|About the Book|
Essay from the year 2010 in the subject Philosophy - Practical (Ethics, Aesthetics, Culture, Nature, Right, ...), grade: 1,0, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg (Institut für fremdsprachliche Philologien), course: European Concepts of Private Property, language: English, abstract: Table of Content1. Introduction2. Kibbutz2.1. What is a kibbutz?2.2. The kibbutz culture today3. European thinkers3.1. John Locke3.2. Jean-Jacques Rousseau3.3. Karl Marx4. EvaluationBeing brought up in the Western hemisphere after the fall of the communist bloc, private property seems to be a concept so essential and decisive for our everyday life that questioning its existence is hard to imagine. Already as a child one develops a sense of what is ‘mine’ and what is ‘yours’. Trivial as it may be it starts with toys or stuffed animals. An infant’s understanding and perception of the world can elevate the fact of owning a certain object to the center of interest – as everybody with brothers or sisters knows. An answer to the question why we allegedly legitimately claim things to be our property could be found in that fact that fully mature and reasoning beings behave in a similar manner. Exchange toys and stuffed animals for vehicles, jewelry, houses or the overall equivalent, money, and you will find adults as ambitiously working or fiercely fighting to get or defend their property as children. Individuals face constant unsatisfied needs and the necessity to posses more and more propagated by commercialized mass media. Western societies have developed an “entrainment-mentality” as former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder put it. The unquenchable thirst for growth and the gluttony of the elites could lead one to the assumption that the excessive accumulation of property has perverted the very nature of humanity itself. Or is this picture of a purely materialistically driven society a worn out cliché from anti-capitalistic theories? Aren’t we rather experiencing a time in which we return to values beyond matter, not at last triggered by the financial and economic crises?The question I would like to elaborate upon in this essay is whether societies need private property, whether the very functioning of human coexistence is dependent on it. Or could private property be merely a mode of thinking common in our latitudes and not an inevitable human trace that is found in every culture such as laughing, language or time? To illustrate this question I will refer to the kibbutz culture in Israel as an example of micro societies entirely abdicating private property, hierarchy and to a more limited extend privacy and individuality.