Saturday, March 01, 2014

Self Ownership

Yes, in spite of any claims to the contrary I own myself and my life.

Ownership of anything includes the right to damage or destroy that which you own. I could harm myself (although I'm not "Emo" and not generally inclined to do so), and I could destroy myself through suicide if the pain of living became more than I could bear. I can also rent out my self- my mind or my body- for a time, if that is what I wish to do. Maybe I could even sell myself, but if I did that, whatever I got in return for myself would then in actuality belong once again to my new "owner", where it came from originally, which means I didn't really get anything for the sale, so I'm not really sold after all, which all seems untenable.

Recently in a thread somewhere I mentioned that "sovereign citizen" is a contradictory condition, since we are all sovereign- self owning- and a citizen is claimed by some State. You may quibble over that assertion, but that's not the main point.

Someone came back with: "You cannot OWN yourself as you are not property. You cannot be divided without ceasing to exist."

Hmmm. "Then how can you donate a kidney?"

He replied that: "A kidney is not a division of YOU. It is simply a part of you. Divide your acre. You get two half acres. Both are land. In your example you have YOU and a Kidney after the donation."

That seems a complicated distortion/contortion to me. A division is, by definition, a "part".

If I divide a car in half, neither half remains a "car". If I divide a raw egg in half, neither half is an "egg". If I take my cell phone apart, none of the constituent parts now qualify as a cell phone. But all of those were property before the division, and continue to be property- albeit, somewhat less useful property- after the division.

If I chop myself in half, neither half is a person anymore.

If I take a seat out of my car, I now have a car and a seat. If I take the back off my cell phone, I now have a cell phone and a back panel. Just like if I donate a kidney, there now exists myself and a kidney.

I am perfectly comfortable being "property" which belongs to the consciousness I identify as "me", which resides inside the brain/body, making the whole, which understands that no one else can own me. Call that what you will- self ownership or something else.

Added: I just found this video by Josie the (Awesome!) Outlaw: Who Owns You?



  1. The person who claimed that we cannot own ourselves because we (humans) are not property should read a little history. People have owned people as property (slaves and slavery) for thousands of years. And it still goes on in certain nations of the world. Plus there is the sex slavery industry in which women are forced into prostitution, not of their own free will.

    But, to the point of self ownership and a person's right to do with the property of his or her self as he or she pleases: The laws prohibiting certain actions of self determination (using mind-altering drugs recreationally, renting out our bodies [prostitution], or suicide) are based on religious beliefs, the Sharia laws of America. Until we can separate personal moral/religious beliefs from secular law that focuses solely on the violation of rights we will never truly be free and have inalienable rights.

  2. Kent, thank your for your thought provoking articles. You have almost single handedly changed the way I view the world and my self. I am evolving and I like it.

  3. I think there is some substance at the core of this reluctance to treat sapient entities as "property" but I can't say I have personally elucidated it satisfactorily in my own mind yet to be able to define it in discussion with others. Nevertheless, I have taken to using the terminology of the old English agitators (Levelers) to state this as "self propriety" rather than "ownership" in an attempt to obviate the potential linguistic ambiguity.