Reading Room #20: What does it mean to own?
Please note: as this Reading Room was particularly well attended, our sound recording did not capture the conversation sufficiently. Therefore, we have not uploaded it as we usually do. Our apologies. To paraphrase Sven Lütticken's eulogy of Kobe Matthys: some of the best memories are unarchivable.
Introduction on Sarah Vanuxem's 'Propriété de la terre' by Kobe.
The term 'propriété' is ambivalent in French: the title means both 'characteristics of the earth' and 'ownership of the earth'
'Droit du servitude' <-> Alignment of properties
1-4 Vincent reads pp 87-88
4 Julie: Who voices the rights of the nature that cannot express itself? Ronny: other text "nature does have a voice, but we're not used to listening". <-> Representational politics
6:30 Vincent reads on p 90 about etymology of 'person' - "per sonare".
10 Lore: legally speaking, where is the difference between animated and not-animated? In law there's a much more important difference: person & object.
12 Louise: on representation
12:30-15 Clementine reads p 91 ("ainsi") - 92
15 About relationship 'human being' <-> 'person'
17 About representation & becoming a moral persona.
How to become a moral persona
18 Speaking for oneself <-> speaking for something else
19 On Thomas Hobbes, occupation and appropriation. Not only are people not listinging to nature, neither do they listen to other human beings. Right of use. "Improvement" <-> exploitation <-> gentrification.
21:30-27 Environmental laws can be used in a very wrong way. About Hugo Grotius, right to appropriate, res nullius. (Coercive) power of who interprets the law.
27-32 reading p 93 from "Parce qu'il" until p 95
32 Van Uxem speaks a lot about "reconciliation" which is not usually the main goal of law.
33 Diplomacy of wolves
34 Podcast by Sarah Worchester who was a billionaire because arms trading company heritage. To decurse herself she created spaces for the victims - voiced by supernatural power. How to deal with the role of the interpreter/mediator? Misinterpretations? Bad intentions?
37:30 About reconciling, mediators, justice de la paix/vredegerecht. Coordinating a space for an open discussion between the different inhabitants of the space.
39 About the 'market' as a space of reconciliation.
45 Shareholder capitalism <-> Stakeholder capitalism. (In Japan, capitalism is about labour maximalisation - create as many jobs as possible.)
47 Matters of care, role of humans in circumventing capitalism's ways of disrupting ecologies. Notion of duration and sustainability. Ecology as long term regularisation of commons.
52:30 Market as play of rights and duties. Free market regulates itself, excludes the mediator. Another market. What would be a good regulation of a market?
57 Market as a violent place. More based on movement than on peace.
1:01 Reading from p. 96, "Refusant..."
1:03 Switch from confrontation to relation as central stake
1:04 Maintaining relations is a very active practice, as we know from organic agriculture. Role of farmer as peacekeeper between species that can have violent relationships.
1:06 Nature as field of symbiosis. Notion of personhood disappears.
1:09 Disjunctive role of legal professionals.
1:10 Representation <-> relation. Symmetric responsibilities can be difficult: can a river be judged and convicted to a sentence for overflowing?
1:12 On responsibilities that Spa Monopole takes and doesn't take regarding local ecosystem and local communities.
1:16:30 Reading from "Dans le sillage"
About "international law", "juridical pluralism". Intentionality not reserved to humans?
1:24 Customary law exists on many levels, even on the level of the household?
1:27 International private law, example of different notions of 'family' and 'caretaking'.
1:28 About a work by franck leibovici dealing with situated legislation.
1:30 About need of different forms of rule-making between various rule systems.
1:33 The explorer, the observer. How to make temporary presence more visible/vocal/accounted for?
1:36 Reading from p 102 ("Précisions") - p 103.
1:38 Planet as the landlord. Meaning of "property" shifts here from "ownership" -> "characteristics". Right of use & possibility to "enjoy" the land doesn't annul the ownership that the planet has of itself.
1:40 On Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
1:43 On transforming definitions of property in Belgian code
1:44 Forest that owns itself through smart contracts and blockchain. The trees make decisions - learning through an algoritm programmed by humans.
1:46 Vincent on accuilli <-> inhabitant, comparison with migrants.
1:48 Cancelling the difference between owner and user? You can't own it, it owns itself, but you can use it.
1:49 Cosmos as ecology where humans are perhaps also "on the menu".