Essay on Ownership

Submitted By pinkyhughes
Words: 986
Pages: 4

What is ownership? Ownership is defined as having control or possession of. Aristotle and Jean-Paul Sartre claim that ownership is beneficial to a person’s moral character, contrasting Plato’s view that ownership is reprehensible to a person’s moral fiber. This essay will prove and up hold Plato’s view on ownership and how it is detrimental to human’s moral standing. Ownership is a powerful idea, with a strong connotation. If someone owns something, then that person has complete control over what they own, that person has the final decision of fate for the item possessed. The idea of owing puts the owner on a proverbial pedestal raising them above what they own. For Millennia, this idea has been used to disadvantage others. In Europe, starting in medieval times and persisting well into today, land ownership was the dominating symbol of wealth and prestige. If someone owned land then he owned the town or people. Patronage was the way of life. Patrons were the landowners let people live on their land for a hefty price. Patrons dictated nearly every facet of life: your patron determined where you worked, for how long you worked, how much food that you are aloud to have, and in times of war, if you were sent off to battle. Societal patterns of thoughts tended to see land ownership as one of the most important thing that could ever be had. The idea and importance of landownership crossed the oceans with the settlers in the United States. There the Europeans were meet with an altogether contrasting belief in ownership from the Native Americans. The Native ideals that ownership was fluid and could not be extended to land, were meet by the Europeans with distaste and violence. The European form of ownership was trusted upon Native Americans with violence until they were forced to submit and to comply. Ownership and its subsequent actions were used to disadvantage and harm the Native Americans even into the 20th century. Patronage is not the only place we have seen the thought of ownership be used to disadvantage humans. The idea of owning a human has been seen and documented since history has been recorded. Slavery, in some form or fashion, has been seen in every culture that has bothered to come about. Every time since humans have come together as a collective since the dawn of human society, we have owned people and forced them into slavery. During this time, up until the last hundred years or so, even the great thinkers; Aristotle, John Locke, Immanuel Kant just to name a few, had one form or another to justify slavery. It has not been seen in just Western society, it has been recorded as far back as the tales of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh been the first ever recorded epic dating well before the time of the Egyptian pharaohs of old. The argument can be made though, that since the paradigm has shifted away from slavery and it has been outlawed by the United Nations and every major First World Country that this is no longer an issue today. In 2006 the International Labor Organization estimated that 12 million people around the world were forced into servitude, while current predictions made by the U. S. Government that 600,000-800,000 people are forced into these situations every year. With this in mind, we turn back to the more traditional view of slavery. Professor of History at Franklin College in Boston and reporter for the Boston Globe, Stephen Mihn tells us how in areas in the U.S. where slavery thrived, inequality runs ramped. Mihn references Harvard economist Nathan Nunn who said “when we see broad areas of inequality… we are seeing lingering stains of slavery.” The report continues on to point out a Standard and Poor Report that condemns