The Evolution of Property Rights

Newsweek has an article entitled Why Conservative Muslims Favor Free Trade. It’s a very good read and quite accurate coming from a publication based in The Great Satan. The story talks about the birth of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula and Muhammad ibn Abdullah’s life as a trader in the capitalist marketplace that was Mecca. The article begins by talking about how Judeo Christianity, while heavy on religious directives, is rather light on economic instruction. This is then compared with the Islam:

Islam is different. The prophet Muhammad—himself a trader—preached merchant honor, the only regulation that the borderless Levantine market knew. In Muslim liturgy, the deals cut in the souk become a metaphor for the contract between God and the faithful. And the business model Muhammad prescribed, according to Muslim scholars and economists, is very much in the laissez-faire tradition later embraced by the West.

This is not to say that all the social ideals of the west are presaged in Islam but the economic impact of the religion on contemporary society is unmistakable. Add to that that a woman’s right to own and maintain property was recognized in Islam long before it was in the west (in English common law once a woman was married all her stuff became the property of her husband up until like a week ago) and much of the Qur’an deals with contract law. As any of you n00bs should know, property rights are only possible in a society that upholds the sanctity of man’s right to enter into contracts and protects and upholds the terms therein.

The Qur’an further goes into detailing the rights of intestate succession (for those of you know don’t know, intestate does NOT mean dying without testicles, it means dying without leaving a will, but nice try). And, perhaps most famously, it also details that there should be witnesses to every contract, either one male or, if that is not possible, two female witnesses (which makes perfect sense since women spend half their time either bleeding or waiting to bleed they can’t be expected to be able to remember all the subtleties of individual contracts so there you have it).

Fast forward about a millenium and you have Thomas Jefferson et al asserting that property rights are universal and inalienable as part of the human condition (and therefore human rights). Mankind was certainly on a roll and it seemed that a new age was dawning, an age based on Liberty, government based on Consent and Reason. No sooner had we thrown off the chains of England’s King George the III, though, that the homeowners associations moved right into the vacuum of power and now you can’t even paint your house an off color without going to beg some group of frustrated little Hitlers for permission to modify your own house!

If Thomas Jefferson were alive today he would throw hot catfish grease on the whole lot of them and I would be beside him 100%. It is time now that we again rise up against our oppressors. EVERYBODY LET YOUR GRASS GROW A FOOT HIGH AND PUT THE TRASH ON THE CURB THREE DAYS EARLY! WHO IS WITH ME!!!????

(multiple loud cricket noises in the background. Somewhere a coyote howls)

13 Responses to “The Evolution of Property Rights”

  1. guy in the UNLV Jacket says:

    Let God set the price!

    Allah?: Thou shalt sell apples for $.50 a busshel at thou 4th of july sale.

  2. mexi says:

    I like to think that was a sneaky way to say to let the market determine the price!

  3. guy in the UNLV Jacket says:

    Your article said God should determine the price not the market.
    Actually my post was written how the christians would say it. The muslims set the price of apples like this

    Allah: Dirka dirka Muhammad Jihad $.055 dirka dirka Muhammad ali dirka dirka muhammad ali

  4. Mexioggue says:

    Yes but saying God determines it is a coded way for saying that no person should determine it. The default then results in leaving the price up to the market.

    (swoosh!)

  5. Phelps says:

    Of course, you left out that all these rights belonged only to Muslims, and everyone else could get fsked. But other than that, enlightening.

  6. Nice Rack says:

    Ok Mexi, you didn’t come out last night so you missed a good run by me again. I won all three again, my average is now 1127. I have gone up 93 points in 4 weeks! All bow down to the goddess of pool.

  7. Mexioggue says:

    I was at home preparing for my next Friend of the Court date which is tomorrow. Since Kim might be there I prepared by watching King Kong. It doesn’t look good. The only thing I could determine is that if she starts climbing a building I should find some way to jump back out of her hand before she falls off. That is all.

    I might have to play pool tonight.

  8. guy in the UNLV Jacket says:

    If saying that God determines the pirce means that the market determines the price then by your logic God is the market. This revalation makes the statement that “Marketers have no souls” blasphemy, because they do have souls and that market research and product placement are really akin to Bible study. Interesting…..

  9. Nice Rack says:

    You might have to play pool without me, I’m house hunting again. Then I am going home to watch “So You Think You Can Dance”. I am totally addicted to that show, though I have no idea why.

  10. Phelps says:

    I hear obsession with that show is a symptom of advanced herpes.

  11. Citizen Quasar says:

    “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is what the Old Testament Law says about fair trading. That sounds fair enough to me.

  12. Mexigogue says:

    An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth

    How do you work that in the Appalaichians?

  13. guy in the UNLV Jacket says:

    How about a tooth for an eye and an eye for a tooth

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