Constitution of Private Property
Constitution of Private Property
Human interactions that are given value or measured through economic avenues rarely become true or exceptional enough for long term or infinite remembrance. This is because the best human involvements entail social or sentimental measures of happiness. In the consumption of production goods, one bases decision making on a number of factors that revolve either against personal or communal benefit. Each consumer market has it specific characteristics fashioned by how buyers, producers and sellers interact. Though not fully balanced, a change in one-element results in changes on the other factors in the relationship. The end consumer alone does not define a market given that other parties also play an imperative role in the economy. In this, the prompt, “Private property, such as one might purchase as a commodity in a free marketplace, constitutes self-regarding behavior” contains slight truth in its first comprehension, but is generally false as a complete statement. Product purchasing does not only integrate personal preference, but also the human effort put in the production with its associative societal implications.
The Slight Truth in the Statement
Each individual in consumption integrates individualistic preference in decision-making or choice making the prompt truthful. Individualism does not go to define the entire fiscal relationship between the buyer, producer and seller in the market, but it does show the mediating factors between the trio. The integration of ‘self’ can be seen in the clarifications made by John Stuart Mill in his ‘On Liberty’ argument. According to the philosopher, individualism represents the prime element of well being. This can be seen in his statement, “it imperative that human beings should be free to form opinions, and to express their opinions without reserve; and such the baneful consequences to the intellectual, and through that to the moral nature of man, unless this liberty is either conceded, or asserted in spite of prohibition” (Mill 52). Mill divides his liberty argument into two sections, in where the first part teaches that people are not accountable to the world over actions that concern themselves. Under such a case, the society has no authority to express disapproval, advice or persuasion.
John Stuart Mill is of the perception that even though an action may cause harm to others, the overall implication may be socially positive justifying the act. In essence, not all individual-based actions result in social adversities. For instance, consider the case that an individual creates a product that is successful in a competitive market. Even though his success results in lower revenue generation for his competitors, social good is derived in the superior quality of the product enjoyed by the consumer and the indirect necessitation for the competitors to elevate their operations. Apart from justifying self-regarding behavior by end implications in purchases, people have their unique sets of liberties that must be respected irrespective of their natures (Mill 52). The society has certain degrees of limitations when it comes to guarding against harm. For instance, law enforcers cannot imprison someone over acts that are potentially harmful to themselves or others. Projected to the economic market, an individual cannot be restrained from making a certain purchase because the act contains some probability of social harm. A person who has the intent to buy poison should not be restricted from doing so.
The prompt is given the notation ‘slight truth’ in this document because there are limitations to individual liberties in economic factors as depicted by Mill’s second argument and Karl Marx’s definition of the natural market. Self-regarding behavior is subject to punishment in its objectivity when it infringes the liberties of others through harm. Even though people have the right to instigate change in others through their opinions or actions, the change is acceptable if positive (Mill 52). The same in economic factors, through individuals have freedom in their fiscal choices; their implications should bear positive implications on the society. Stuart Mill stresses that the society should not prompt an individual from making wrong choices as long as the consequences are reflections of the individual and are felt solely by the character. For instance, a person has the liberty to sell himself or herself to slavery as long as it is him or her solely subject to forced labor. Karl Marx takes a divergent approach to negating the prompt by arguing that self-regarding behavior suppresses the value of the laborer in the production process making the natural market conceptually imbalanced. Purchasing is an objective act meaning it is considered in the definition of man as a species. Without considering the society, man as a species is not witty or productive. Important to note at this juncture is the meaning of ‘productivity’, which is the increment of value or quality in life.
Overall Inapplicability of the Prompt
As argued earlier, the end consumer alone does not define a market given that other parties also play an imperative role in the economy. Each consumer market has it specific characteristics fashioned by how buyers, producers and sellers interact. Though not fully balanced, a change in one-element results in changes on the other factors in the relationship. Arguing that private property constitutes self-regarding behavior as the sole determinant negates the effort made by the producer. Karl Marx highly argues in his writings on ‘The Alienated Labor’ against this function. The concept according to Marx is under industrial capitalism where there are changes made in economic functions shifting the significance of labor from creation to exploitation (Marx 1). In the pursuit for private property with self-regarding behavior, an individual invests effort for product creation. From a capitalistic society, the creator does not benefit from any satisfaction in producing the good because he or she is exploited.
The general harm in producing goods under exploitation is understood first through fetishization of the commodity. The socioeconomic theory refers to the removal of the subjective value in things while stressing the objective. Through objectivity, the value of a commodity is in the explanation of social organization mediated through trade exchanges. In meaning, the buying and selling of goods in a capitalist society explains the nature of labor. This means that the purchaser to some extent determines the good experienced by the producer and vice versa given that the natural market is a relationship. Exploitation by the self regarding purchaser means that there is decreasing value by the effort s made by the creator as according to Karl Maxx. This can be seen in his statements, “The more the worker appropriates the external world and sensuous nature through his labor the more he deprives himself of the means of life in two respects. First that the sensuous external world gradually ceases to be an object belonging to his labor to a means of life of his work. Secondly, that it gradually ceases to be a means of life in the immediate sense, a means of physical subsistence of the worker (Marx 2).
In the modern capitalist society, the creator for a producer actually lowers his or her value with each commodity that he or she creates. The self-regarding consumer ascertains that there is continuity to this exploitive and harmful process by maintaining the imbalanced supply and demand chain. The employee benefits little in his or her defined wage bracket, irrespective of the level of profit that a firm makes. In this, Marx argues that the worker suffers from an alienating effect by failing to benefit from the extra gains he or she performs in work (Marx 2). Projected to the consumer, purchasing such capitalistic goods ascertains that the worker is transformed to a tool instead of a person. This objective definition of a human being negates Marx’s argument of man as a species and Mill’s call for non-infringing freedom in liberal behavior.
Private property either fashioned through individual efforts or acquired through capitalistic companies should not be defined though individualistic behaviors as they do not capture the true values of a commodity. The purchaser only interacts with a product through his or her relations with the seller via exchange of cash. In this, the person accesses the commodity through the ‘blindfolding’ exchange of money with capitalistic firms that eat the profits of laborers. Therefore, the buyer does not understand the level of effort made to create a product. The creator equally does not comprehend the satisfaction that comes from his or her efforts. In this, there is more social harm than good being done in the market. Marx depicts how things were different in the Feudal Society where dependencies between laymen, lords, vassals and clerics ascertained that workers did not live a life that was different from the fantastic forms of their efforts (Marx 4). The subjective products take no shape in transactions meaning that there is universal equivalence. In essence, the relationship between the creator, producer and consumer is in equilibrium. The balance is the claim that Mills makes in his call for economic liberties.
The prompt, “Private property, such as one might purchase as a commodity in a free marketplace, constitutes self-regarding behavior” contains truth given that the objective act does not result in overall social harm and ascertains that an individual benefits from his set of liberal freedoms. Not all individual-based actions result in social adversities. People have freedom to form opinions, and to express their opinions without reserve as long as it is within moral boundaries. Anything aside from the limits is prohibited. However, overall falsehood arises from the fact that the end consumer alone does not define a market given that other parties also play an imperative role in the economy. Self-regarding behavior promotes the fetishization of goods by capitalist agents. In this, the buyer does not understand the true value of a commodity. In addition, the creator for a producer actually lowers his or her value with each commodity that he or she creates. The worker does not benefit from the full gains of his efforts because the producer eats up his share. The individualistic buyer ensures that this trend of economic oppression continues. Therefore, the imbalance does not affect good on the society as championed by Mill and Marx.
Mill, John S. On Liberty. Raleigh, N.C: Alex Catalogue, 1990. Print
Marx, Karl. Capital: Volume One. Ware: Wordsworth Editions Ltd, 2013. Print.
Marx, Karl. Marx on Religion. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2002. Print.
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