Property & Power

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Is it naivety or are most of us asleep in the wheelhouse? I don’t know for sure but I am concerned. What is so difficult about remembering that property is at the base of all power? It has been so since man started living in settlements and nothing has changed for around 10,000 years.

Sure, the needs of many are satisfied without property. Well, in many countries anyway. But does that mean we should fall asleep on our laurels?! Does that mean it is okay to aquiesse to anything those with power want?! No!

The basic premise of any business is ownership or control of assets that provide a competitive advantage. The ROKC method explicitly recognizes this historical fact and builds upon it. However, even belief systems recognize this fact. Most belief systems are road maps to help individuals understand how to be who they are. To be their specific and individual self. Why would we give that away?

This week, I have been reading Jaron Lanier’s Who Owns the Future with a certain amount of frustration. The primary source of my malaise is the degree to which he echoes my own thoughts and conclusions, some of which have been expressed on this website. The second source is Lanier’s inability to put a framework around all his observations which go all over the place. If Lanier stopped and focused on the relationship between property and power all would become much clearer to him and his readers.

Businesses exist to convert abundant and cheap resources into products valued by their clients. It makes no difference if the resource is land, a machine, an ore, or the individual expressions of millions of people using social media platforms or the computing power needed to analyze all that data. As long as their is a market someone will devise the means to use that resource. Even the converse is true. People will come up with a way to use the resource and then convince as many people as possible of its intrinsic value, some of whom will buy into it.

Just as we have done in the past, either legislation – or armed struggle –¬†will be employed in order to control and mitigate the exercise of power that comes with the concentration of power that new technology brings. Any other solution does not exist. Or, to be more precise, is not part of man’s common experience.

So let’s stop the nonsense and kick our legislators collective butts to pass laws that protect our most basic and fundamental personal property, who we are.

OK. Now my rant is over. I can go on to finish Mr. Lanier’s book.


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