Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Doing My Part to Make Changes Happen

Okay, so here are the facts: I know I am not blazingly intelligent, nor do I have any extraordinary intellectual acheivements to show - that means I cannot command any intellectual authority in places that matter - like think-tanks, media, academic societies or journals, etc. My opinions, while it may sometimes be right and useful, does not necessarily hold any/much sway among influentials and decision-makers. In so many ways, I have come to realize that being non-American, being an immigrant, being a non-native speaker of English, being gay, being an atheist, being of marginal educational qualifications, being young and being poor are incredible indicators of how inconsequential my voice and opinion can be among the milieu of other sounds. Typically, I would not even bother or care about that. Primarly, I hold that my purpose is to not to be influential or popular. I care less than little about what people think about my ideas and opinions. If my beliefs are true, I will hold on to them regardless. The possibility that I may or may not have influence over people or that I may or may not be popular are mostly insignificant in the decisions I make.
Yet, everytime I am moved and/or stirred by some decidedly evil and criminal acts in society - I am compelled to do something. Mostly, I just end up blogging about it. However, that is clearly so insufficient. I don't like feeling helpless about situations because it is a false sense of reality. Helplessness is not a matter of fact -- it is a matter of perspective.
Hence, I have been trying desperately to shift my perspective and take cognizance of my situation. Where am I now, where am I headed in life, and how can I change the direction of my life so that I can consequently affect change in the society I live in? I understand that this desire in me is not to make the society better for other people or for coming generations -- that is of no concern to me. If they wanted those changes, they should work to bring it about themselves. I have a desire to change any and some aspects of the society I live in because it's where I live, and I want to live fully, in the way I choose to live my life. In view of that, I realize that the most crucial societal policy affecting the direction of my life and many other consequent factors, is the issue of this world's immigration policies. Where I live and where I am permitted to live means greatly to what I do and how I go about doing it. I take issue specifically with America's immigration policies because this country claims to be founded upon liberty and individual rights. Yet, the glaring contradiction of its immigration policies with that of its "official" ideals are flatly immoral - to say the least. Many other countries flatly deny any individual rights and liberty, or if they do accept those principles, they never stay consistent even in their most fundamental applications - like in the media, economy, etc. America, to some extent, does stay true to its concepts of rights and liberty. Americans do have a sense of what private property and free market economies mean, and they support it - though not wholly. The problem with immigration policies of America then, is that it fundamentally violates the basic human right to own property. The right to own property implies a consequent right to seek legitimate means to own property. Often, those legitimate means go beyond production and trade, and might require movement and mobility. Now, understand that these rights are not "American" rights, but Human rights -- thus, applicable to all human beings. Thus, the right to own property should also permit the legitimate means to gain access to property through a free market system consisting of individuals exchanging value for value. If the very means of gaining access to such a market, or of restricting the movement of traders is enacted as official immigration policy, then that state has just violated the fundamental right that permits such activities. This is why, I believe change is urgently required in this country's immigration policies. Something needs to be done. What have I decided to do about it? Nothing, for now. I have decided to focus my efforts at doing earnestly whatever it is that I am currently doing. I believe that as I progress in my career and earn higher incomes, I will eventually have the ability to direct my monetary contributions in a meaningful manner. Money is certainly a veritable means of wielding power. In my own small way, I can fund and/or contribute to organizations and media outlets that are aligned with my vision of change. Certainly, advancing in education is another one of my plans. For some reason, it seems that having higher educational credentialing will validate my efforts for others - and I suppose one has to play by those rules to be able to do anything else. So, I will.

13 Comments:

Blogger Semperviva said...

heeeeeeey man! so we talked for about 3 hours. its basically over for now... i feel sad about it and also content at the same time... is that weird oh well we can talk later... have a good day at work!

12/21/2005 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gazoo said...

When you refer to ownining property as a human right do you mean land as well as personal items? I've never considered owning property a human right so this interests me.

12/21/2005 02:25:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

I don't know how you differentiate "property" from "personal items"... because the implication of "personal" means "of or belonging to someone".

Property is anything that is owned or achieved legitimately, i.e. through trade, production, invention, etc.

12/21/2005 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Gazoo said...

Well, there is a difference. Property means land or a home or both, personal property refers to things such as your clothes, shoes, silverware, etc. One is blackacre, one is chattel. You own them all by virtue of having obtained them, usually through financial transactions. The reason I ask what you mean by property though is that when you say it is a human right you are basically saying we are all entitled to it. So you mean to say we are all entitled to land and personal items? And if that be the case, because it is a human right, we are entitled to them no matter our ability or inability to obtain them.

For clarification, would you please tell me if you mean property is a human right and therefore we are all entitled to it no matter our ability to obtain it or it is a human right in that ownership is guaranteed once it is obtained.

12/21/2005 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger Rubicund Y. Logorrhea said...

Ergoober:
He may be getting at the legal dichotomy of personalty vs. realty. Some of the doctrines are the same at law, but interesting differences exist.

12/21/2005 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Rubicund Y. Logorrhea said...

And speaking of land, think of all the cultures/societies/legal traditions that believe land cannot be owned, or that it cannot be owned outright, or that it cannot be owned by anyone who is not a member of the chosen family, or... whatever.

Our own legal tradition has developed to a point where one cannot actually own land outright and free of restriction. Think of the rule against perpetuities, and all the circumlitigation we use in an attept to get around it.

12/21/2005 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gazoo said...

Rubicund makes a good point. Following Ergo's logic, property being a human right, you could make a strong argument that since we're all entitled to it nobody can truly own it. The notion of property as a human right creates so many difficulties I don't think Ergo, from what I know of his background, would necessarily approve.

12/21/2005 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Rubicund Y. Logorrhea said...

Where's MY land, dammit!

12/21/2005 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

The right is to OWN property. Not to the specific properties itself.

I have the right to procure specifics through legitimate means, and then they belong to ME. That is the meaning of the human right to OWN property.

Sorry guys, I've had a busy day at work... will keep up with the discussion as much as I can.

12/21/2005 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

It is true that once property - the specifics itself - is claimed as a right, then we get into a communist, Proudhan-ish concept of property.
Ofcourse, as you correctly understand, I repudiate those concepts vehemently.

There is only a right to own property. That, however, implies access, means, and methods to allow you to own property.

12/21/2005 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

In other words, I have the right to own a car. I do not have the right TO a car. That I have to achieve in some way.
Also, indefinitely infinite rights do not exist... rights arise out of contexts, not in a vacuum.
So, yes, Rubicunt... I also reject ownership to perpetuities...
Then the legal specifications thereof are not upto principle thinkers like me... but upto legal professionals like you and others.

12/21/2005 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

Oh.. another point. The "right to own property" is a metaphysical principle. It is not commenting about anyone's specific right to own specific things.

I have an article regaring gun-ownership in which I try to lay the nuance of difference between the metaphysical principle and the actual.

However, this does not mean I am advocating a dichotomy between the two -- that would be Platonism - I don't do that. If any of you are really interested, I might sometime explain in detail the dialectic approach I use in applying the principle of ownership to guns.

12/21/2005 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Ergo Sum said...

Oh.. another point. The "right to own property" is a metaphysical principle. It is not commenting about anyone's specific right to own specific things.

I have an article regaring gun-ownership in which I try to lay the nuance of difference between the metaphysical principle and the actual.

However, this does not mean I am advocating a dichotomy between the two -- that would be Platonism - I don't do that. If any of you are really interested, I might sometime explain in detail the dialectic approach I use in applying the principle of ownership to guns.

12/21/2005 05:23:00 PM  

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