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Friday, April 15, 2005

Great Achievements of the Suffragists

I responded to a somewhat tangential statement in a post by Amanda at Pandagon in the comments with the following:

Suffrage for women is a prime example of this. Feminism got hung up on one issue--the vote--but once that goal was achieved, it blew the doors wide open and women finally had the social status to start achieving all sorts of change.

No, no, no! Why does EVERYONE, liberal, conservative, sexist, or feminist, forget the other great success of the suffragist movement - equal property rights. The suffragists got married women the right to own property and had inheritence laws changed to treat all children equally without regard to sex. In a democratic capitalist society, equal property rights are just as - if not more - important as voting rights to achieving other forms of change.

The difference between the late 20th century black civil rights movement and the feminist movement was that the blacks, having been freed a century earlier, were finally trying to seise equal power in society. The feminist movement was not about seising power, it was about trying to convinence women to exercise the power that the suffragists had seised a generation before.

Really, with over half the votes and probably over half the money, if feminists only succeeded in bringing all women around to their cause, it really wouldn't matter what we men think at all.

I saw your post at Pandagon, and will leave my same comment to you here.

"In a democratic capitalist society, equal property rights are just as - if not more - important as voting rights to achieving other forms of change."

Hey... I agree with that!

Have you ever read "The Mystery of Capital" by Hernando de Soto? It has a lot to do with why property rights are essential to the success of global economies.
I saw your comment on Pandagon first, so this is a reply I left there:

I loved DeSoto's book and what is trying to do, but his ideas don't work in practice. In left-wing jurisdictions, like his native Peru, judges refuse to allow creditors to take the homes, and therefor creditors stop lending, and therefore the land can not become capital. In right-wing jurisdictions, the rich just figgure out how to use the government to screw the poor out of their new titles.

I prefer Henry George's land reform ideas.

By the way, you left the first ever comment on my blog! Thanks!
How sad... I'm an economics student, but I've learned very little about Henry George. My curiosity is peaked now, so I'll put him on my reading list.

First person to comment? Perhaps that's because the only "libertarians" who get lots of attention are the ones who are really conservatives. Haha! I think of myself as a left-leaning libertarian too. I'll add you to my blogroll.
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