So we’re actually getting an original post from me today rather than me commenting on someone else’s work. Rare, I know. But this is thought that’s been rolling about in my head. In his recent post (that I went over) Rhyd attempted to claim that exclusivity was wrong, and that for example the exclusivity of private property was a violent action against the homeless and was part of the cause of homelessness.
Which I responded with by asking him how it was sleeping with his co-writer’s wife. Now, I’m actually writing this before that post goes live, so I don’t know for sure how people are going to respond to what I said. I can only imagine that a number of people will feel I crossed a lined there. Which, okay, I probably did. But it was a line I crossed for a reason. Mostly, because using Rhyd’s anti-exclusivity logic, it’s a line that would be crossed in the future should such an idea take hold.
At its heart, Exclusivity is a concept that says a person has the exclusive right to something. Typically, this is something they own, be it a house, a tool, a car, or some object of that nature. To an even further extent though, it also refers to an individual person’s ownership of themselves. It actually is based on individual ownership of the self. If you own you, exclusively, then no one may possess you. If you own yourself, by logic, then you own what you produce and no one has the right to gainsay your possession or even what you do with that possession (so long as it does not violate a law).
Exclusivity then, is something that originates with the Individual, and then expands out to the World/Collective.
Anti-Exclusivity, however, begins at the Collective and then progresses to the Individual.
So let’s talk about Marxism.
Marxism, as originated by Marx, was about class conflict. The Workers produced goods via Industry, but the Rich enjoyed the profits of those labors. (This is a gross simplification of the process, but it’s is the one most Marxists go with so we’ll start here).
But basically, Marxism started as a call for Exclusivity. Workers have the exclusive right to their labor, but that the “Bourgeoisie” were taking that labor’s wealth for their own needs and exploiting the worker. But the initial position was “you have a right to what you create.”
Now, unfortunately Marxism didn’t stop there and went on with ideas that everyone deserves to have an equal amount of everything as their neighbors and that they then had a right to those things…even when they did not produce those things or even trade for them. Basically “you have a right to what your neighbor has because you need it and it is just.”
This then, has an unfortunate contraction and ultimately is one of the reasons why Marxism fundamentally fails. You cannot both have a right to what you create and a right to what someone else has created. It has to be one or the other. Either an individual has the right to what they create or the individual has the right to take what they desire from others and have others take what they desire from the individual.
Rhyd is clearly holding the latter position. People have the right to what others have, because it is “unjust that some have, and some have not.” Now…maybe he doesn’t realize that means others can take from him what he has, or maybe he does. Maybe Chris does, because he’s spoken to similar positions and spoken favorably of groups that do hold this position. In fact, as I stated in the article Chris mentioned one of the groups, I noted that I thought they were a group I’d heard which had banned monogamous relationships because…they were a form of exclusivity.
Hence the comment about Rhyd and Chris’s wife.
If everyone has the right to what someone else has…this ultimately comes down to the individual person themselves.
If I have a right to what someone has, simply because “I am” and “I have a right to have equal measure.” Then that logic means I have a right to a house created by someone else…and I don’t have to compensate them. It’s mine by right They just have to give it to me, because refusal means they are being “exclusionary” with that object. But what if I want them to make something for me? By anti-exclusion logic, if they refuse to make that thing for me they are being “Exclusionary” with their talents, because I have a right to the thing I “need made.”
So far, then, I can force someone to give me something, and I can force someone to make me something. I have “seized” their means of production for myself (ironically, an anti-Marxist position fully supported by Marxism). And if I can own what a person makes, and I can own what they are made to make, then I ultimately own most of their person already.
Now lets say that what you want them to make is a Child.
I can already hear the horrified gasps. After all, seizing a person and forcing them to produce my child against their will is Rape. But, under anti-exclusivity logic, their refusal to have my child is an exclusionary act.
After all, if I have a right to food, a right to a house, a right to clothing, then I most certainly have the right to have my family line carry on, and dare I say it, since I apparently have the right to have my bodily needs of food, clothing, and shelter met there is then no argument that says I should not have my body’s sexual needs met as well. After all, the entire point is that a person has a right to have their needs met in equal measure to everyone else, even if those resources must be taken from those who would hold them “Exclusively for themselves.” And since some people “have’ sex” that means I have a right to “have’ sex” as well. Because it would be unjust for me to “have not’ sex.”
And if someone can produce for me a sexual experience with their labor, by anti-exclusionary logic I have the right to have that need met by that person and their refusal would then be an exclusionary act (which according to Rhyd would be an act of violence against my person, and thus an immoral act).
Which would be bad enough to an exclusively minded individual. However, it goes even further. Say the person I desire is married to someone else. That spouse’s refusal (or desired refusal) to let me sleep with their lover would be a secondary act of exclusionary violence against my person. Which again, according to anti-exclusionary logic, is both immoral and violent. In fact, it would be even worse than if I propositioned a single person, because this married could would “haves” in both terms of “having” sex and “having” marriage, where as I would be a “have not” when it comes to both sex and marriage. Meaning by anti-exclusionary logic theirs is an even more violent action against my person.
This road cuts both ways though. I as a person can then have sexual demands made of me by anyone who desires my sexual labor. Now, I can already imagine any number of people making the petty “who would want to sleep with a loser like you,” comment. At which point I will just smile and point out that I’m not the person(s) demanding politically/morally sanctioned cuckoldry. So who is the real loser?
But if the first example (you could demand sexual favors from anyone you wanted against their will, and they would be morally wrong to refuse you) doesn’t horrify you, then perhaps the second example that you could have sexual favors demanded of you and you would be morally wrong to refuse them, will horrify you. (I never underestimate the narcissism of people anymore).
And it won’t matter what your “sexual identity” is. Because to claim a sexual identity is to claim exclusivity to ones own self. So say you’re a gay man (like Rhyd is I believe) and say some woman finds him strong, handsome, and intelligent and she has the need to have a child by him because she desires a child that has his traits. His claim to denying her (that he is not heterosexual) is an act of exclusionary violence against Her Right to have her needs met. And should he try to further refuse, then there need only point to the fact that the Collective has need of a child with his traits, so he should be made to breed, because the right of the collective to have their needs met is higher than any individual’s exclusivity right to their person or property, including their genetic code.
After all, we have the right to have our basic needs met equally, and if that means we have to take from someone who has “more” then that’s okay. That’s the heart of Marxism. That’s the heart of anti-exclusivity.
Now some may think I’m taking the logic too far, but I will point out it is still within the logic of the anti-exclusionary philosophy. As soon as you say that something a person owns can be taken from them because another person has a right to that thing, then the argument is made that anything can be taken from the person who “owns it.”
Religious belief, sexual identity, private property, even “means of production” rely in an individualist and exclusionary system in order to exist. I have the right to choose my religion because I have a right my individual person. I have the right to choose my sexual/gender identity because I have a right to my individual person. I have a right to engage or not engage in sex with someone because I have a right to my individual person. I have a right to my labor because I have a right to my individual person. I have the right to be paid for my labor because I have the right to my individual person, and my individual labor. I have a right to the things I buy with the profit of that labor because I have the right to my individual person and my individual labor.
And because I have the right to myself, the right to my labor, and the right to what I obtain via the profits of that labor, I have the exclusive right to dictate what can and cannot be done with my person, my labor, my profits, and my possessions. And I either have all these rights…or I have none of them.