On Social Concepts

While it might be unpopular to say, I feel I must say it: in my thoughtful opinion, social concepts like property, justice, law, and rights are not really what volumes written about them say they are, rather, they are simply whatever concerned people agree they are. When people come together to negotiate and agree on what constitutes valid property claims, acts of justice, rules of behavior (law), and entitlements (rights), these social concepts become established norms and conventions among said people. And according to everyone involved, that’s okay. Why shouldn’t it be? If one is found behaving incompatibly with these norms and conventions, the rest will ostracize him. Or, if he poses a serious threat, banish or kill him, which acts are themselves consequences established by said norms and conventions. What do you think of that? And that’s today’s two cents.


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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.