March 22, 2013

"The concept of 'redistribution' falsely implies that the existence of property is prior to the existence of the state. #mythofownership"

Tweeted Matt Yglesias last fall, quoted by Andy at Ace of Spades, who notes that "Journalist and political blogger Matthew Yglesias bought a three-bedroom, three-bath condo on Q Street in Logan Circle for $1.2 million" and quips "So, party at Matty's this weekend? I mean, I'm sure he won't mind if we crash the joint, what with that myth of owning private property and all."

51 comments:

Pogo said...

The nomenklatura are exempt.

Revenant said...

It is remarkably stupid to think governments are older than property.

*Animals* have a concept of property, for fuck's sake. Try taking food away from a strange dog if you have any doubts on that point.

Becon said...

Didn't John Locke say there were natural rights to life, liberty and property?

Brent said...

GO Andy! Go Andy! It's your birthday! GO Andy!

BumperStickerist said...

Technically, Matt got himself about $1,000,000 of debt secured by an asset that will inexorably appreciate in value ... because.

Factor in the insurance payments, utilities, maintenance (to upkeep the asset and maintain its value )... and Matt is about to get an up close and personal look into What It Costs.

My prediction: In about eighteen months Matty Y. will be a featured columnist for "Reason"
_

bpm4532 said...

So, if a regime changes, the property rights are forfeit? To the new regime?

Why are these people allowed in normal society?

Achilles said...

People who believe in this "home ownership" thing obviously don't pay property taxes. If you own a house or rental properties you quickly realize it is still the Kings Land. Just fail to pay your property taxes for a while and see how long that house is "yours."

whoresoftheinternet said...

lol. They couldn't post the address? What's the matter, you oligarch? Scared OWS might come over and squat on not-your-property?

Piece of shit. Wish those black guys had murdered him when they beat him up going polar bear hunting a while a go.

edutcher said...

Lefties are all for redistributing private property, as long as it isn't THEIR private property.

Napoleon the Pig would understand.

rcommal said...

Matthew Yglesias has had the property of being full of the most self-serving smug bullshit from his start in the blogosphere. What he was early good at was getting cover for that.

Sweet sheesh, Althouse, at the time I routinely listened to Bloggingheads stuff as podcast (and especially when I saved them up for back-and-forth trips from Midwest to East, due to family illness issues), even my then much younger son couldn't stand his tone. A very young kid was able to pick up on that. This happened pretty much every time his, um, tones were streamed through the speaker[s]. I never said a thing, but just skipped ahead (later, though, when my son wasn't around, I went back, because at that time I still thought that I should give speakers from all sides individual, in-depth hearings out).

But the truth is: Matt Y is a pretty unbearable sort. And it strikes me as notable that he has turned out to lag behind the rest of the then described as "so-called 'juice mafia'."

Out of the mouths of babes, babe!

Bob Boyd said...

Bumperstickerist said:
My prediction: In about eighteen months Matty Y. will be a featured columnist for "Reason"
_

The concept of 'reeducation' in Matt's case falsely implies that the existence of his liberalism was prior to the existence of his audience.

rcommal said...

Althouse: I did not just call you "babe," for the record.

Tim said...

Yeah, private property rights are a pain-in-the-ass barrier until someone actually has property that some other asshole may want to redistribute.

So, how many homeless people now live with Matt Yglesias?

Michael K said...

F Scott Fitzgerald was quoted as saying "The test of an artist is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function."

It's often misquoted but it applies to lefties, as well.

rcommal said...

I do not actually think that I *should* have to say that I've read a great deal of what Matt Y. has written over yea, these many years. But I will say that, anyway.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Go for it Althouse! You can get WaPo to buy you a nice new condo in DC.

AJ Lynch said...

What a great country ! [when a dopey useless POS like him buy a million dollar home].

Leif said...

The narrative spun by Matthew Yglesias falsely implies that the existence of the state is prior to the existence of the inherent rights of its citizens.

Chip S. said...

rcommal, your son is a sharp kid.

Matty Y. es un poco rico Cubano de Nuevo York whose papa put him thru the Dalton School and Harvard. I doubt very much he's buying that townhouse w/ his blog income.

William said...

It's rare that you find a leftist capable of stating his stupidity so succinctly.

bagoh20 said...

There is nothing stopping the modern leftists from claiming the sky is green, bears don't shit in the woods, and they get your wife for the first night of your marriage - absolutely nothing. Not decency, honesty, humility, respect nor eventually even law will stop them. They are foul, despicable creatures, that will eventually ruin all we have come to value as free people.

They will do this while smiling in your face, and claiming it right and for the good of all, while they steal and covet and collect their own tightly gripped booty. I wish we had tall ships to fill the harbors ,and laden the yardarms with them.


I love Fridays.

Gahrie said...

Property exists prior to the state even while man is in a state of nature. In fact the primary purpose of creating government is to protect property, not create it.

tim maguire said...

I've never met a socialist who didn't want a nice house and a nice car.

Henry said...

I hate hashtags. A hashtag isn't an argument. A hashtag isn't a witticism, a bon mot, a riposte. Give it up, Mr. Edgy. You're as clever as a Henny Youngman joke. Everyone in the room thought of it before you did.

rcocean said...

"Matthew Yglesias has had the property of being full of the most self-serving smug bullshit"

But give Matt credit. He loves black folks and regularly listens to Stevie wonder, watches the NBA, and calls anyone to the right of him racist. He's down for the struggle in his $1 million dollar Condo.

rcocean said...

He also supports increasing Federal spending and open borders - both of which increase the value of his $1 million dollar Condo.

"Anti-racism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" - Dr.Johnson.

MartyH said...

Gahrie is right, property pre-dates the state. A bear marks his property with scent and claw marks; any other bear is free to try to take some or all of this bear's property. No state tells other bears to stay out; it is the bear's responsibility to protect his property. So it was with early humans, undoubtedly. The state arose to protect people and property from external and internal threats.

AJ Lynch said...

Little Matty and his fellow Juicebox Mafia try n try to be recognized as big thinkers.

EMD said...

Fen's Law in action.

rcommal said...

There is nothing stopping the modern leftists from claiming the sky is green, bears don't shit in the woods, and they get your wife for the first night of your marriage - absolutely nothing. Not decency, honesty, humility, respect nor eventually even law will stop them.

Well.

Thank you for not helping.

AprilApple said...

Leftists get to keep their private property. Not so much the rest of us.

rcommal said...

I'm feeling a little shocked (apparently my stock of shock got just a little bit re-stocked).

EMD said...

You know, I love to call out a hypocrite in this instance, but also, deep down I think "Good for you, Matt ... sounds like a nice place."

rcommal said...

Perhaps it's because I've been put to it a little bit longer, theoretically, bagoh, than you. For example, see the other thread where I referenced a dried paint-roller (in the same thread that you did). It's a stitch, it is. In both senses. By my lights, anyway.

\/

Christy said...

That price in that location isn't grand, is it?

Paul Zrimsek said...

The proverbial Argument That Proves Too Much. For instance, the concept of "taxation" implies the same thing that "redistribution" does.

YoungHegelian said...

1.2 Mil for a condo? Wow, it's impressive how much Logan Circle has gentrified over the years.

Back in 1982, my boss lived on 13th & Logan Circle, and he sent me, as young tech who he could spare at the time, over to his house to meet with some workman.

Walking back to the office in the early afternoon after meeting the workmen, a young & pretty black woman asked me on the street if I wanted a "date" with her. I told her "No thank you, ma'am. My heart belongs to another."**

That was what Logan Circle was like in the 80's.


** My wife thinks this is sweet. I'm surprised the hooker didn't say "I don't care about your heart. What yo dick saying, honkey?"

Mitch H. said...

I've been playing devil's advocate on this story everywhere I've seen it pop up today. I think a lot of libertarian-sympathetic people like to confuse possessiveness with ownership, possession with property. Yes, your typical Russian serf was very possessive of his land, but he sure as shit didn't own it, and it wasn't his property. "Property" as Anglosphere libertarians talk of it is a conceit of common law, and yes, damnit, common law is a creature of the state - a Burkean, evolutionary, effectively decentralized state of tradition and principle rather than institutions and continuous bureaucracy, but still a sort of state.

Property is a vital element of rule of law, and without rule of law, there are no owners, only more and less successful bandits.

Gahrie said...

Mitch:

The point you are missing is that those Russian serfs were themselves property, according to the government ruling them.

Revenant said...

Yes, your typical Russian serf was very possessive of his land, but he sure as shit didn't own it

Many, if not most, libertarians would disagree. The feudal lords "owned" that land by virtue of having seized it by force. The government recognized their claim, but the true owners were, in most cases, the serfs.

Similarly, I own 100% of my income even though the government takes around half of it at gunpoint.

Mitch H. said...

Revenant, you need to read Pipes' Russia Under the Old Regime. I had a comment laying out the legal relationship between the old Russian nobility, their serfs, and the Prince/Czar, it's complicated but bears no resemblance whatsoever to Lockean or common law notions of property. Shorthand is that the nobility were the slaves of the prince/czar, the land belonged to either the sovereign or the individual (with individual ownership passing away with time and events, until pretty much all land was effectively owned by the sovereign), and the sovereign owning people outright. Study of Asiatic polities generally shows the reviewer of libertarian sympathies just how nonsensical his notions of inherent property are, if he isn't ideologically wedded to natural law theory.

Weren't you the guy I was arguing the existence of platonic divinity a couple weeks back? How did we reverse positions like this? Natural law in the absence of divinity is a non sequitur. Personally, I class Lockean ideology about property with Christian theology - it so culturally and socially useful that it is vital that we allow its truthfulness, even though actual examination with untrammeled reason makes it rather of rather dubious logic. Call it neo-Polybean hypocrisy, a Gramscian "vital myth", but the Lockean stance on property and the Christian faith are both so valuable that they must be guarded by a bodyguard of white lies.

AprilApple said...

Matthew wins the Andrew Sullivan award.

Rusty said...

Becon said...
Didn't John Locke say there were natural rights to life, liberty and property?

Yes he did. And in a few minutes someone will be here to disabuse you of that notion and instruct you that all rights stem from government.

Rocco said...

Mitch h wrote:
Yes, your typical Russian serf was very possessive of his land, but he sure as shit didn't own it
As an IT consultant, I am very possessive of the applications I support, but I don't own them either.

Note: I am not a serf, nor am I a Microserf.

[Property] is a conceit of common law, and yes, damnit, common law is a creature of the state - a Burkean, evolutionary, effectively decentralized state of tradition and principle rather than institutions and continuous bureaucracy, but still a sort of state.

First, you are conflating two very different concepts of the word "state". The "state" in "state of tradition" is more closely linked to the concept of "status". It is a very different concept from a political state, which is the topic at hand.

Put it this way: My laptop is in a powered-up state, but there are no political, institutional or bureaucratic consequences of that fact.

Secondly, the "Burkean, evolutionary" nature of common law hints to the fact that common law predates the state. The state is a creation of common law tradition, not the other way around.

Property is a vital element of rule of law, and without rule of law, there are no owners, only more and less successful bandits.
Owners are owners, whether or not the law recognizes it. The law is merely one instrument for setting disputes or recognizing ownership, not the actual ownership itself.

Rocco said...

Mitch H wrote:
Natural [L]aw in the absence of divinity is a non sequitur.
This hard core athiest disagrees. See Descartes' doubting exercise that lead to "Cogito Ergo Sum".

Cedarford said...

Reference to Juice Box in Urban Dictionary:

Juicebox Mafia

Young liberal bloggers who are insufficiently deferential to Israel's Likud party or its agents within the United States. Generally recognized members include Matthew Yglesias, Ezra Klein, and Spencer Ackerman.
The Juicebox Mafia thinks that Israel's operations in Gaza were a failure. They're self-hating juice!


Another definition of them is:

A new generation of Progressive Jews in the media and Ivy League legal activism, born to wealth and privilege and nepotic connections, who grow up with belief that oppressed peoples need champions still. Champions against the Hating Haters!! residing in the evil lesser- educated white heteronormative Christian part of the world. Those progressive Jews also give honorary membership to Israelis for emulating evil white christian male colonialists who oppress the darker-skinned.



David Davenport said...

Secondly, the "Burkean, evolutionary" nature of common law hints to the fact that common law predates the state. The state is a creation of common law tradition, not the other way around.

One might suggest that the existence of a Volksgemeinschaft predates both common law and formalized government.

That's your evolutionary nature of common law, Burkean or not.

Ambrose said...

Pre-state: This rock is mine; that rock is yours; everybody's happy - Property!

Hey, put my rock down. Look you've chipped it! Torts!

Alright, if you like my rock so much, you can have it, but I want that stick of yours. Contracts!

Post state - If you want to move that rock, you need to file an environmental impact study, get your rock movers license and join the union. And don't forget to put an orange cone out - it's to protect the children, don't you know.

Balfegor said...

That's like saying families didn't exist until the invention of family law. Absolutely potty. Did he go to law school or something?

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