The Abuse of Property
A fundamental critique of the current property regime, calling for radical social and political change.
In The Abuse of Property, Daniel Loick offers a multifaceted philosophical critique of the concept of property, broadly understood. He argues that property should not be the dominant framework in which human beings regulate the use of things, that property is not the same as use. Property rights, in his view, are not conditions of freedom or justice, but deficient, dysfunctional, and harmful ways of interacting with other people and the natural environment. He dissects not only the classic justifications of property (from John Locke’s justification of property as a natural right based on individual freedom to Hegel’s justification of property as a form of mutual recognition) but also the classic critiques of property, from Proudhon and Marx up to Adorno and Agamben.
Through an innovative critical approach to legal studies, Loick demonstrates how the concept of property, historically applied to things and people and still a linchpin of our distorted relation with the world, forms a direct line from the Occupy movement to Black Lives Matter and beyond.