I was accused of being a Communist yesterday. This is a peculiar claim. Anyone who knows me would well know that I oppose Communism to the core. Communism, the abolishment and/or redistribution of private property, is evil.
The accusation stemmed from my advocation of abolishment of what is currently labeled “Intellectual Property”. Intellectual Property, as a term, is fairly new in human history. It seems to have been specifically coined to force an association with actual property. This is much like leftists hijacking the term “liberal” to identify themselves. It would be a mistake to accept this labeling propaganda on face value.
To show the absurdity of the term Communism being associated with “Intellectual Property” one needs only to show the failure of “Intellectual Property” to have an actual real definition. Advocates of “Intellectual Property” neglect a whole host of areas in which: 1. Some concept is created by someone, and 2. A third party freely benefits (e.g. words (coinage and usage), oral stories (retelling stories from friends to friends), germane practices (method of brushing teeth or tying shoelaces), etc.)
Every word we use falls under this. I did not invent the English language. Other people invent words all the time, which I use freely without giving them compensation. Does this fact make every advocate of “Intellectual Property” a “word” Communist?
If I see my friend eating pizza with a fork, and I adopt this practice without paying him, does this make me a “practice” Communist?
This can even be applied to some physical goods. The air I breathe. I do not pay for it. I use it freely without compensating anyone. Does the fact that air is free make this country “air” Communists? Some people even work hard to change the composition of air by applying cologne or perfume. I benefit freely. Should I be paying these people as they pass by? If I do not advocate paying these people am I an “air” Communist?
Real property, unlike Intellectual Property, is rival. That means one person’s use of the item excludes a second person’s use. If someone steals property from one person that means the original owner no longer can use that property. It does not mean that person can no longer make as much money as he would have otherwise. Only when the actual original owned item is diminished does real theft occur.
In the real world, sometimes people work hard to create something that has massive positive externalities. This fact does not authorize the government to use socialism (in the Nazi sense of the word) to encourage those behaviors.