Proprietors and Parasites: Dependence and the Power to Accumulate

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This article introduces the idea of ‘dependence subtexts’ to explain how the stories that we encounter in property theory and public rhetoric function to make some actors appear ‘independent’, and thus capable of acquiring property in their own right, while making other actors appear ‘dependent’ and thus incapable of acquiring property. The argument develops the idea of ‘dependence subtexts’ out of the work of legal scholar Carol Rose and political theorist Carole Pateman, before using it as a tool for contrasting the canonical property stories of John Locke and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. We argue that the link between property and dependence provides a useful starting point for understanding issues of economic justice which share a common political problem: how do we choose to govern the relation between dependence and independence through the institution of property?
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhilosophy & Social Criticism
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)179
Number of pages199
StatePublished - 2018

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