The art of self-ownership.
Who owns me?
It may sound like a strange question… but really…
Can anyone own me?
Can an entity own me and my life decisions?
Can I even own myself?
Self-ownership implies that a person owns themselves but it is not meant in a way that degrades someone to some sort of property.
After all, you are not furniture or a possession to be owned.
Self-ownership is declared as a moral or natural right of a living being of flesh and blood, to be the sole and independent controller of his or her own body, life, and choices.
Self-ownership signifies that a person has an exclusive right to make their own choices and embrace their own values (within the field of their own rights) and act upon them.
Self-ownership is the right to live for one’s own purpose and have no obligations independent of a contract.
Your geographical location at birth is not evidence of a contract.
No human/agency/corporation may employ violence or physical force to coerce us to perform a duty.
The attitudes of others may hold us accountable by disapproving or withdrawing friendship, partnership, or business but we should not be subjected to physical force or violence.
The State does not own us, society does not own us, and no government owns us – we own our lives, our choices, and our decisions. It is time we started acting like it.
The principle of self-ownership asserts that every person has a property interest in his or her own mind and the labor of his or her body.
Ever since the 17th-century political philosopher John Locke argued for self-ownership on the ground of self-preservation, many political philosophers, economists, and business ethicists have debated the meaning, extent, and political implications of self-ownership.
The basic tenet of classical liberalism in the 18th and early 19th centuries was the idea that individuals owned themselves.
To protect individuals’ freedom to develop their talents and life plans without intervention, many classical liberals argued that maintenance of law and order and protection of individual liberty were the unique functions of government.
Ive been thinking about this idea of self-ownership, a concept almost universally assumed to be a foundation for human rights and the civilized life.
At the same, this idea is constantly threatened by political ideologies that presume it not to be true.
I would say that most of us assume self-ownership to be self-evident.
As a concept, however, it seems very much tied to the liberal tradition.
This is for a reason.
It was denied in the ancient world, where one’s birth and social standing were fixed.
Only with the birth of modernity and the rise of social mobility in the late Middles Ages did we gain social consciousness of the notion that each of us should be able to choose our life path, that we are owners of our own bodies as much as our minds and hearts.
John Locke’s Second Treatise on Government makes an elaborate argument concerning private property, and you can agree or disagree with his analysis here.
What matters is that this argument begins with a statement he finds self-evident.
“Every man has a property in his own person: this nobody has any right to but himself.”
When does this happen?
It is an embedded part of human life, and one begins to exercise it upon maturity.
Children’s “parents have a sort of rule and jurisdiction over them, when they come into the world, and for some time after,” writes Locke.
“But it is but a temporary one.
The bonds of this subjection are like the swaddling clothes they are wrapt up in, and supported by, in the weakness of their infancy: age and reason as they grow up, loosen them, till at length they drop quite off, and leave a man at his own free disposal.”
You don’t have to rely on Locke to believe it.
Marcus Aurelius presumes it when he implores man to preserve that “spirit which is within him, from all manner of contumelies and injuries” and “wholly to depend from himself and his own proper actions.”
Jesus presumes it when he implores his followers to leave their parents and communities and follow him.
The Declaration of Independence postulates that every person has a right to life and liberty. And so on.
There is a sense in which every philosophical outlook that focuses on what a person should believe and do presumes that the juridical center of control is located with the individual.
The notion of self-ownership is bound up with modernity’s understanding of what liberty is all about.
The idea of slavery, which for thousands of years was believed to be essential to social order, we now rightly find morally disgusting.
No man or woman can presume without consent to possess the right to control the body and choices of another person, thus denying him or her the volition that lies at the core of what makes us human.
And yet we are terrible practitioners of the idea of self-ownership.
We have built huge states in almost every country that exist and grow based on denying it.
Any ideology that proposes to support and expand the state implicitly denies it too.
That is true whether the ideology is communism, socialism, nationalism, or any other ism that proposes to submerge individual rights to the higher claims of the political community.
They try to inspire us to give up what is ours, in the name of living according to higher ideals, being part of something larger than ourselves, submitting to the demands of the community.
Some people want to do that. It should be their choice to do so. It should also be their choice to decline.
It’s not that we as a humane culture reject the idea of self-ownership.
It’s that we don’t take it very seriously in our politics.
Everyone believes it; no political system practices it.
But if we do, prepare for dramatic structural changes in the composition of our political communities.
You will have to get used to the idea of being truly free.
When one is awakened he or she knows who owns them and they also know the true power they hold as the living .
The awakened mind knows they own themselves and nobody has any right to intervene ,interfere or inhabit ones free will when creating no harm.
An awakened mind knows that any interference in the free exercise of ones will when not creating acts of harm to another is blatant trespass against them.
An awakened mind knows society is committing acts of harm and wrong doing in many ways everyday to lawfully acting men and women .
Sooner all later mankind will come full circle and realise that to see peace on earth one must live and let live .
Unless we actually harm another we have done nothing wrong.
However it seems that mankind still has a long way to go.
While ever we see good men and women face punishment or penalties for non acts of harm
We shall never see peace on earth.
While ever there are individuals forcing their individual and collective will onto another we shall never see peace.
Its time people took care of their own lives rather than attempt to control others.
For we only own ourselves we have no right to own others or determine the lives of others.
I own me and you own you.
What you do is of no concern to me until it effectively effects me or my fundamental unalienable rights as free sovereign man or woman to control my own life and life experiences of my own free will.
If mankind spent as much time worrying about their own lives as they do controlling and manipulating other’s lives the world would be a better place.