Sunday, October 16, 2011

Property Paradox

A slogan from the Occupy movement shows a perfectly formed example of the reflexive paradox:

"All property is theft."

"Theft" is the denial of property. Implying that theft occurred means the existence of property.

The slogan tosses in the absolute "all." It has been known since antiquity that absolutes set up a reflexive paradox because statement's become paradoxical as soon as one applies it to itself.

If you believe that the rich have stolen from the poor, then the problem is the denial of property rights (theft), not the existence of property rights.

No comments: