Unreal property: Anarchism, anthropology and alchemy

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Property, Place and Piracy, 2017, pp. 50 - 64
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© 2018 selection and editorial matter, James Arvanitakis and Martin Fredriksson; individual chapters, the contributors. ‘Property’ is complicated. We shall argue that property is constituted within a paradoxical field of vague boundaries, personal relations, poetry and violence. It is not constituted by a set of universal rules (although rules may grow around it), but by ongoing culturally negotiated, psychologically based and enforced categorisations, disorders and persuasions. Consequently, there are many different types of ‘property’ and relations we can define as ‘ownership’ across different cultures. We use anarchism because it notices the violence of property, anthropology because it notices the strangeness and variety of property, and alchemy as a way of thinking about transformations, that make or undermine property.
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