Private Property is Theft (or) Animal Labour Woes


Private property is thievery.

This idea, when brought to the attention of pro-capitalists, seems to bring with it confused frowns and furled brows. Those firmly attached to the ideas of private property–something they may have spent their entire lives striving toward–do not enjoy this sentiment.

Private property, here, must first be divorced from possession. The capitalist breathes a sigh of relief. Alternatively, it is the idea of private property–and its lack of controlled corporate gathering–that will ultimately result in the thievery of human (and animal) worth.

“The day when the labourer may till the ground without paying away half of what he [sic] produces, the day when machines necessary to prepare the soil for rich harvests are at the free disposal of the community, the day when the worker in the factory produces for the community and not the monopolist–that day will see the workers clothed and fed, and there will be no more Rothchilds or other exploiters.” –Peter Kropotkin.

Kropotkin mirrors this sentiment when he writes about the worth of a human being’s labour being less than the worth of the product the human being is essential in creating. The advent of private property compounds this oppression because human beings need to work in order to simply exist, or create. Therefore, industrial power lies in private property as a source of oppression.

“No one will then have to sell his working power for a wage that only represents a fraction of what he [sic] produces.”–Kropotkin

Now consider this idea extended to the lives of animals. They suffer the brunt of this oppression without the possible positives (although wholly ill-conceived wavering on completely untrue) that capitalism can actually produce. Private property is used in order to rear, raise, slaughter and produce millions of pounds of animal flesh every day. Without this private property owned by these corporations, this landscape would be necessarily different–even, abolished.

Furthermore, considering human oppression again, their labour being exploited, is not entirely at par with the case of animals; animals give up their entire existence. Workers get to leave their jobs, still own possessions and have the choice to relocate. Animals, under the laws that make animals a commodity, owned by their captors, have no such “freedoms” (if they may even be called that in the human sense.)

Like private property, animals too are considered as commodities. Property in every respect is always subservient to the property owner. Otherwise, a better definition of possessions would need to be cultivated. However, as Bob Torres argues in his book, Making a Killing, this definition of animals will always result in more oppression as their sentience is considered, ever-increasingly as a commodity.

Private property is thievery because it takes the lives of animals in order to benefit bourgeoisie oppressors. Those who contribute to this kind of oppression are only giving popular consent to the acts of these corporations. In essence, absolving the thieves in this scenario by paying them. Thievery at such a grand level stops being a crime since it is so inundated within our society, and becomes all but invisible to the inattentive mind.

To be put simply: to take that which is not yours is theft. The lives of animals are not yours.

One thought on “Private Property is Theft (or) Animal Labour Woes

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