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Perkins on Pursuing Insufficiently Abundant Intangible “Values”

I’m often stunned when an Objectivist is bold enough to be explicit–as when they occasionally admit they are really in favor of one-world government; or when they admit that they are in favor of legislation, or that scarcity has nothing to do with property or, yes, that they think “values” are some kind of real things floating around people can homestead.

This comment by Greg Perkins is illustrative:

Cpx, you ask in #115 that I try to imagine the impossible (i.e., infinite abundance of anything we might want), to see how the notion of property would arise from lack of infinite abundance. I genuinely can’t imagine the impossible. But I think I can see how the lack of infinite abundance of values (notably, both tangible and not) relates to the need for the concept of property: We must identify and pursue values in order to live, and that requires work because values do not exist intrinsically apart from us, ready to instantly and automatically serve our lives. Notably, some of the values we pursue are instrumental to the pursuit of other values; the need to secure such instrumental values in a social context is, I suspect, the basic fact that gives rise to the concept of property.

And what I meant by “physical exclusion necessitated by mechanics” is just what you mean — the physics of things is the metaphysically given; I couldn’t have been referring to the man-made, like laws or whatever. Anyway, again, I genuinely cannot imagine an impossible world with simultaneous contradictory uses of things (and note that when you posit the existence of such contradictions, it goes broadly: not just this crop and that on the same piece of land, but this thing of any kind, used for anything, in any place, at any time, by anybody or anything). The fact that contradictions cannot exist in the use of things does line up with the above observations on lack of infinite abundance.

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