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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Land Ownership is a Privilege, Not a Right (Read 802 times)
Snarky Sack
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Land Ownership is a Privilege, Not a Right
Mar 13th, 2018 at 10:01am
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Owning property such as apples one picks from a tree or a tool made from found material or fish fished from a lake is a natural right that was understood by the most primitive of people.  Even one of my two German Shepherds act as if he understands which bowl and which chew toy is “his” and which “belongs to” the other.  Owning that kind of property is a natural right and taking that kind of property from its owner is not a right.  An individual has a right to defend his property against forceful theft by meeting force with force, especially since being armed is a natural right.  But owning land is different. 

Land cannot be owned by any individual except by a grant of ownership from government.  No individual or even a family could defend more than maybe an acre or two by themselves.  For anyone to own more requires a collective defense by a government willing to use its monopoly on use of force to keep others off that private property. 

Individual ownership of a given parcel of land is a privilege that comes at the expense of the natural right of every other person to travel on that parcel as they please.  For government to grant the artificial right of land ownership superseding the natural right to free travel, there must be a great benefit, not just to the person granted the land but to all the people that government serves.

And indeed there is a great benefit to private ownership of land.  No profit seeker would farm land they didn’t have a claim of exclusivity on.  Nor would they build a factory on land anyone could walk onto.  People who accumulate wealth need a place to store it as well as a place to live in and be secure.  So we allow government to grant titles of land.  That’s the libertarian ideal, anyway.  In reality, we do not “allow” it because government has been doing that long before anyone thought of the ideal of “consent of the governed.”  Government grants land to individuals because that allows those individuals to create wealth that the government always redistributes in one way or another.  It also buys the loyalty of landowners because nearly everyone understands that the ownership of land is only possible with a government that is friendly to their ability to own it.  Jews in the cesspool of Europe learned the hard way that wealth in the form of land is too easily confiscated.  European-Africans in SA may well learn that lesson also as did tribal Africans in previous centuries.  No matter how much you may hate the current government, you want it to keep protecting your land if you have any.  You’ll put up with a lot from a government that does that even if the harm you in other ways.

What’s my solution?  It isn’t for government to stop granting the privilege of land ownership.  It’s for government to stopping claiming nearly every square foot of land as either private property or owned by the government.  A large fraction should be reserved for public access by anyone for any purpose so long as they don’t alter it in a way that prevents others from accessing and using it.  For land that people are allowed to own, it is the owners who should pay for that government service.  No penalty should be attached to refusal to pay.  Instead for non-payers, the government simply stops enforcing that ownership privilege.      
  

"Taxes are morally justified theft" - Jeff
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Jeff
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Re: Land Ownership is a Privilege, Not a Right
Reply #1 - Mar 13th, 2018 at 10:17am
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Have you ever heard of a guy named John Locke?

Most libertarians think his theories are foundational to theories of human liberty and property rights.

As you point out, this is a problem-

http://bigthink.com/strange-maps/291-federal-lands-in-the-us
  
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Don_G
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Re: Land Ownership is a Privilege, Not a Right
Reply #2 - Mar 13th, 2018 at 12:54pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Mar 13th, 2018 at 10:01am:
Owning property such as apples one picks from a tree or a tool made from found material or fish fished from a lake is a natural right that was understood by the most primitive of people.  Even one of my two German Shepherds act as if he understands which bowl and which chew toy is “his” and which “belongs to” the other.  Owning that kind of property is a natural right and taking that kind of property from its owner is not a right.  An individual has a right to defend his property against forceful theft by meeting force with force, especially since being armed is a natural right.  But owning land is different. 

Land cannot be owned by any individual except by a grant of ownership from government.  No individual or even a family could defend more than maybe an acre or two by themselves.  For anyone to own more requires a collective defense by a government willing to use its monopoly on use of force to keep others off that private property. 

Individual ownership of a given parcel of land is a privilege that comes at the expense of the natural right of every other person to travel on that parcel as they please.  For government to grant the artificial right of land ownership superseding the natural right to free travel, there must be a great benefit, not just to the person granted the land but to all the people that government serves.

And indeed there is a great benefit to private ownership of land.  No profit seeker would farm land they didn’t have a claim of exclusivity on.  Nor would they build a factory on land anyone could walk onto.  People who accumulate wealth need a place to store it as well as a place to live in and be secure.  So we allow government to grant titles of land.  That’s the libertarian ideal, anyway.  In reality, we do not “allow” it because government has been doing that long before anyone thought of the ideal of “consent of the governed.”  Government grants land to individuals because that allows those individuals to create wealth that the government always redistributes in one way or another.  It also buys the loyalty of landowners because nearly everyone understands that the ownership of land is only possible with a government that is friendly to their ability to own it.  Jews in the cesspool of Europe learned the hard way that wealth in the form of land is too easily confiscated.  European-Africans in SA may well learn that lesson also as did tribal Africans in previous centuries.  No matter how much you may hate the current government, you want it to keep protecting your land if you have any.  You’ll put up with a lot from a government that does that even if the harm you in other ways.

What’s my solution?  It isn’t for government to stop granting the privilege of land ownership.  It’s for government to stopping claiming nearly every square foot of land as either private property or owned by the government.  A large fraction should be reserved for public access by anyone for any purpose so long as they don’t alter it in a way that prevents others from accessing and using it.  For land that people are allowed to own, it is the owners who should pay for that government service.  No penalty should be attached to refusal to pay.  Instead for non-payers, the government simply stops enforcing that ownership privilege.      


Your solution isn't libertarian, it's already working with national parks. Do you want more?

A large piece of land 'can' be defended by a family. They can hire people with guns to defend it. Their right to kill trespassers might be questioned but changing that would likely be a goal of libertarians.

Otherwise, it makes no difference whether it's called a privilege or a right. It's still considered legal land ownership by the governlment.

What was your point?
  
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The Opposition
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Re: Land Ownership is a Privilege, Not a Right
Reply #3 - Mar 13th, 2018 at 5:55pm
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John Locke posited a restriction on claiming land known as the Lockean Proviso.

It states that when claiming the unowned, such as land, one must leave enough and as good for others.

Now let me give you a proper Time Lord's interpretation of that.

Everyone understands that if you extend the width or breadth of the patch of land you claim, you're claiming more. If you extend the time for which you claim it, you're also claiming more.

If you claim an acre for one year, you have one acre-year of land. If you claim ten acres for one year, or one acre for ten years, you have claimed ten acre-years of land. Either way you're likely to get roughly ten times the produce as the fellow who has only one acre-year.

And if you claim that once you've got your grabby little human hands on a parcel of land, it's yours forever, you are for practical purposes claiming a near infinite amount of land. Just because humans happen to be mortal and die like mayflies does not rectify this injustice.

Locke obviously didn't want one person to have all the land simply because he claimed it first.

So let's look at what happens when we have fifty people on a fifty-acre planet. Let's say they all have one child, and all the adults die, but instead of each leaving their land to their own child, everyone leaves the land to the same child.

Now one person has all the land. He didn't buy it, and he might as well have just claimed it.

Where is Locke's enough and as good for others now, just one generation in? The rest of the children are forced to work for the one landed one, or they'll die. They must pay whatever rent he asks and work however hard he asks. They don't have a means of transport off the planet, so they're slaves.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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Jeff
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Re: Land Ownership is a Privilege, Not a Right
Reply #4 - Mar 13th, 2018 at 6:00pm
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The Opposition wrote on Mar 13th, 2018 at 5:55pm:
John Locke posited a restriction on claiming land known as the Lockean Proviso.

It states that when claiming the unowned, such as land, one must leave enough and as good for others.

Now let me give you a proper Time Lord's interpretation of that.

Everyone understands that if you extend the width or breadth of the patch of land you claim, you're claiming more. If you extend the time for which you claim it, you're also claiming more.

If you claim an acre for one year, you have one acre-year of land. If you claim ten acres for one year, or one acre for ten years, you have claimed ten acre-years of land. Either way you're likely to get roughly ten times the produce as the fellow who has only one acre-year.

And if you claim that once you've got your grabby little human hands on a parcel of land, it's yours forever, you are for practical purposes claiming a near infinite amount of land. Just because humans happen to be mortal and die like mayflies does not rectify this injustice.

Locke obviously didn't want one person to have all the land simply because he claimed it first.

So let's look at what happens when we have fifty people on a fifty-acre planet. Let's say they all have one child, and all the adults die, but instead of each leaving their land to their own child, everyone leaves the land to the same child.

Now one person has all the land. He didn't buy it, and he might as well have just claimed it.

Where is Locke's enough and as good for others now, just one generation in? The rest of the children are forced to work for the one landed one, or they'll die. They must pay whatever rent he asks and work however hard he asks. They don't have a means of transport off the planet, so they're slaves.
Yeah yeah, Blah blah. Do you think owning land is a right or a privilege?

Coward.

I expect your diversions and denials and misrepresentations will be boring as usual. Cry
  
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The Opposition
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Re: Land Ownership is a Privilege, Not a Right
Reply #5 - Mar 14th, 2018 at 10:31pm
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Land ownership is a right (if you own the land, of course).

None of what I've said, or what Burnsy has said, invalidates the fact that land is property and property is one of the fundamental natural rights.

It's just some stuff to think about for the people that actually like to do so.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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Snarky Sack
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Re: Land Ownership is a Privilege, Not a Right
Reply #6 - Mar 14th, 2018 at 11:15pm
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Quote:
Your solution isn't libertarian, it's already working with national parks. Do you want more?

I sure do.


Quote:
A large piece of land 'can' be defended by a family. They can hire people with guns to defend it.


That was the problem with the inception of America.  Sure, that system worked under feudalism.  But in America, everyone wanted to be the landowner; nobody wanted to be the hireling.  So we had to import slaves and force them to do the hand work.  People like Jeff may be comfortable with that as long as it's "for a good cause" but not libertarians.


Quote:
Their right to kill trespassers might be questioned but changing that would likely be a goal of libertarians.

Otherwise, it makes no difference whether it's called a privilege or a right. It's still considered legal land ownership by the governlment.




It makes a YUGE difference.  The privilege to own land is one of the few instances where humanity actually benefits from the loss of a right (the right to travel freely) in favor of a privilege (the privilege to own land).  This needs to be looked at carefully to ensure that selfish interests do not prevail over the moral imperative to protect rights over privilege.

  

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Don_G
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Re: Land Ownership is a Privilege, Not a Right
Reply #7 - Mar 14th, 2018 at 11:24pm
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Snarky Sack wrote on Mar 14th, 2018 at 11:15pm:
I sure do.


So do I and I want the existing parks protected. This is a noticable depart from Republican for you!


Quote:
That was the problem with the inception of America.  Sure, that system worked under feudalism.  But in America, everyone wanted to be the landowner; nobody wanted to be the hireling.  So we had to import slaves and force them to do the hand work.  People like Jeff may be comfortable with that as long as it's "for a good cause" but not libertarians.




I find that to be consistent with what I consider libertarianism.
Pretty obvious really. I don't know if you're readidng Jeff right though. He may agree but he needs to be contrary to keep attention by somebody. I'm finished with him, other than to have some fun with him.
  
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Jeff
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Re: Land Ownership is a Privilege, Not a Right
Reply #8 - Mar 15th, 2018 at 8:20am
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Snarky Sack wrote on Mar 14th, 2018 at 11:15pm:
That was the problem with the inception of America.  Sure, that system worked under feudalism.  But in America, everyone wanted to be the landowner; nobody wanted to be the hireling.  So we had to import slaves and force them to do the hand work.  People like Jeff may be comfortable with that as long as it's "for a good cause" but not libertarians.
This is an extremely misleading revisionist history of America. Property rights in land were well established and protected by law in England and the English colonies long before American was created.

Slavery, which is in it's essential nature a horrible evil, was imported as an institution into the English colonies, almost exclusively by cronies of the government who received large land grants and thought of themselves as progressive aristocrats. That's a separate issue from the right to own land.

What are the philosophical roots of your idea that owning land is a privilege that must be granted by a government? Where would a government get such power and what could possibly make it legitimate?

Edit: It's the Divine Right of King's you believe is controlling here isn't it? No one can own land unless the King allows it.
  
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The Opposition
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Re: Land Ownership is a Privilege, Not a Right
Reply #9 - Mar 27th, 2018 at 3:49am
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This was a good thread. Pity.
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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