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Is private property "sustainable"?

 
                                
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I really have to post but I feel like I'm just re-posting what others have said in a different light.

** Hypothetical situation following giving an example of my ideals**
To me, sustainability, being able to be self sufficient and self sustaining... I buy land, and after hard work and sweat I build a home. Maybe I don't have the strength to build all of my home...But the kind farmer down the way has a Son that's just about grown and needs new shirts. I know how to sew beautifully!
Farmers Son helps me build my home with his strength and my own. And I help him with new shirts
I grow food and raise animals for food and other assets. My cow gives far  too much milk and I forgot to buy any grain... but the other farmer down the way just took on a cheese making adventure and would love to trade some of his extra grain for my extra milk.

IMHO at this point, I am being self sustainable. WAIT!! PSHYA!! No YOUR NOT!! You might say? To me, if you have the resources to barter, or trade with to get what you need yours still sustaining yourself.  Like, you didn't incur a debt to get what you needed.

Just my opinion after all. And one might say "Yeah but I don't know any Farmers that nice!" Well, you can't know everyone and after all, this is only hypothetical.
 
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My property (4 acres) is in a once labelled 'preservation area' in South Carolina. There's a 'main gate' to get in, and an expansive 5,800 acres once through.. Covered by pristine hardwood forests with your typical loblolly pine concentration as well as several watersheds, including Lake Keowee.. If sharing wholesome information to the people who live there and have them act on what is said (better eco practices) then I feel I've played a part.. A part in a more sustainable future.. I've influenced several dozen people to begin composting every bit of scrap that comes in their lives, and asked that the community cut down on it's single-use plastic consumption. It's a start. The change starts at the community level and things begin to take shape at state levels, and one day we'll see further change in the national realm.

 
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One way to approach this is to look at tribes and societies that functioned and survived in environments of resource scarcity. What were their relationships to the land and other natural resources? Were their survival strategies cooperative or competitive?
 
pollinator
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I recently gave a speech on ‘sustainable’ lifestyles.  I wanted people to understand that sustainability means different things to different people.  Here are a couple of examples that I gave on how a person could make their own life more sustainable.

Example :  If you buy a two/three story McMansion you may, currently, be able to hire someone to fix the roof or clean the upper story windows.  You may be handy and can do it yourself.  When you are elderly and frail will you still be able to do those tasks?  Will you still have the income that you have now to hire it done?   Will you still have the income to heat and cool it?  Unless you can absolutely guarantee your future income then this home is not sustainable.  A one story smaller home is cheaper to heat or cool and if necessary you can always apply duct tape or tarps to emergency leaks – not the prettiest solution but you can ‘make-do’ by yourself if you have to.  This home is more sustainable.

Example:  Organic auquaponics set up.  Sounds like a really neat idea that fits under the ‘sustainable lifestyles’ umbrella.  Can you afford the electricity to power pumps, heaters etc.?  Will you always be able to afford it?  Do you have a back up if your local power supply goes out?  A local, fairly large organic gardening company recently suffered a loss of several hundred fish when the city power grid reached its peak and they had power outages.  The company did not have backup power.  Not sustainable. 

Example (last one, I promise):  Switch to eating all local and organic foods.  Will you always be able to afford this?  While I try to support my local farmers and prefer organics in the grocery store I intend to be on a very limited income in about 4 years; my guess is that very few of us will have the money that we think we will have when we retire.  Buying all local and organic will not be sustainable.  I can, however, develop foods at home such as garlic, muscadines, mustard greens, and butternut squash that are grown with very little physical effort on my part.  These are foods that either come back year after year or grown from saved seed (no money required); I can trade/barter these for other food items.  This is sustainable. 

Like one of the previous posters said, the word ‘sustainable’, just like the word ‘natural’ gets skewed by people to promote their own, usually for-profit, agendas.  When trying to create converts to a more sustainable lifestyle I try to find something in their current lifestyle that can be made more sustainable.  I am really surprised that people are starting to listen – even if just a little bit.
 
Lee Einer
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I think the obsession with ownership of land is a symptom of a topsy-turvy world view.

The notion of private land ownership has its roots in a world view in which humans are superior to the land and to nature, and control it.

But the land is not dependent on us, we are dependent on the land. I think that the indigenous world view is more reality-based; We belong to the land, and have responsibilities to the land. If we hold to that notion, we are in right relationship with the land, and we have a healthy sense of our place in the world.

The contrary view is a large part of what has brought us to the brink of the precipice.
 
Lee Einer
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anuttama wrote:

I'm also wondering if this forum might be a part of the "sustainable" movement as presented in the video.  When I posted a thread about the importance of developing an economy that was not dependent on the whims of the banksters, the owner of the forum moved the thread to "useless drivel". 



I think that the "useless drivel" heading is maybe meant as self-deprecating humor. That, after all, is where we post our personal introductions, also, and I don't think that is meaningless or drivel.

Permaculture as I understand it extends not just to permanent agriculture but to permanent culture. And to build permanent, sustainable culture we have to be able to examine, analyze and critique invisible structures such as monetary systems and concepts of ownership and governance courageously without being easily offended at divergent views.

I hope we can get there. Because I don't see how we can be optimally effective without talking about these things honestly and without resentment or anger.

I hope we can get there.
 
gardener
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I've said it in previous posts and I stand by the notion that ownership of property should require responsible stewardship. Continuity of a sustainable vision is possible with ownership or control if you'd rather.
One has to plan or attempt to plan for sustainability.
In South Carolina's illustrations I can see where not planning led to the failures and not taking into account the possibility of weather, crop failure or even a personal injury could be an issue in the grow your own barter scenario.
I see permaculture as a human engineered improvement, with the creation for example of swales the development of food forests by design, certainly designs guided by nature but helped with the sweat and vision of the permaculturist. There are very few areas where without the dirt stirring required for food production man can live. I'm not superior to the land but should be symbiotic with it. That being said I see why one needs to protect and nuture the land.

I consistently see referencing of the indigenous doctrine, unfortunately I have the opinion that once you discuss indigenous many have forgotten but need to remember that someone else "a victor" is usually inhabiting/occupying the land.  A whole other topic better left for another thread.
 
master pollinator
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    Jefferson Davis was quoted as saying that if you control the land you control the people on it. He was a strong proponent of sharecropping since in many ways it was just as enslaving as if you actually owned those who worked the land. Many post-Civil War sharecroppers were worse off financially than when they were slaves. Now it was no one's responsibility to house them or look after their health care or other needs. Jefferson Davis saw this as a positive development because it maintained the class system and made individual sharecroppers completely disposable since there were plenty of other desperate families looking for a job.

   In other words if you don't own the means of production you are destined to be enslaved by those who do. Get yourself some land.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
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Dale, I'm pressing the 'Like' button.
 
Posts: 204
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I'm not sure that this dualism of 'private property vs. something better I can't precisely define' is that helpful.


Let me give you an example of how weird things can actually get:

In my country, you can buy a piece of land and then leave it alone, only paying a few bucks in taxes annually.
This land is way below 5 on the Savory brittleness scale, which means it'll turn into brush and then forest, if left to its own devices.


Then, if you came back a few years later to actually make use of your land, you wouldn't be allowed to, because the fact that an assortment of trees has
grown on your property means that it's now considered to be a forest, and the law requires it to stay as forest !

It's still your property, but it won't feed you, because you're not allowed to keep domestic animals in a forest, you can't clear any
of it to grow vegetables, and it's a mixed forest, not an orchard (which you would have had to plant ...)


 
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So could you get around the system by tossing out handfuls of seeds or planting some saplings of a desirable variety making it an unmanaged orchard
 
Michael Radelut
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Not really, because wild saplings of forest trees wil always outperform your orchard varieties.

And then you'll have your hands full to prove to the forestry department that those swamped apples down there in themselves constitute an orchard ...

Of course, as you've probably seen in the Sepp Holzer video, it also works the other way around:
Plant fruit trees, remove the labels, and you've got your "forest planting"
 
              
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Location: swampland virginia
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hügel - forests have fires, fires make char, char is good for growing your food in ...

old testament of the bible has a bit on the topic along with some agriculture, permaculture, stewardship, and the likes. might get you scratching on the polyculture, but that's another topic.

i'm for private property and know it is sustainable.

on a completely ownership neutral point, how would one way or the other be more or less sustainable? in the end, isn't it the control of the few that has gotten us into this current food mess? I can find other things to blame it on... but it's the ownership by the few, and that is what would happen if no one owned it. someone would claim higher authority and get others to follow.

The thing ownership brings is better stewardship. If you are eating out of that plot, you are less likely to intentionally poison yourself. If you are growing to sell to others, you are trying to make the most gain of the least effort. If you are growing in commune with others, then you are putting in the least effort to keep in good relations with your fellows.
 
Michael Radelut
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Dr_Temp wrote:
hügel - forests have fires, fires make char, char is good for growing your food in ...



Sorry again, but: If that happened, you'd be obliged to replant the area as forest ...

But you're right: 'Ownership of the few' is a lot more precise in terms of what needs to be changed than 'private property'.
 
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My participation in a permaculture garden - just started - is challenging my attachment to "private".

I currently also garden in a "community garden" which has about 30 plots, most of them fenced in, some even with locks!
I am very protective of my plot, I don't like people walking thru it (there are good reasons:  I have plants in weird places that might be stepped on, and I sometimes leave holes when I am in process of digging, where someone could trip)
but also some people take my herbs - unoffered - and I don't like that.

Now at the permaculture garden there is not the concept of "plot" - everywhere is worked by everyone. Everything belongs to everyone. I had planted some herbs in a plot and when I went yesterday to check on them, someone had put various sticks and rocks around each herb in a very attractive way, and someone had weeded the entire plot!

Even tho this is all good - my first reaction was I was unsettled - what are they doing in "my" plot.
But I recognize this for a vestige of how I am used to thinking, and I quickly felt very delighted that someone had come in and helped out.
It actually feels good not to feel that I "own" this area of land.

This is quite an education for me. 



aaorris wrote:
I've always found a troubling double standard with private ownership. If you can spend your entire life sustaining yourself on your own piece of land, I see no problem with seeking privacy or some sort of control. However, a lot of people expect to say that they can own land, get everything they need from someone else's land, and I have a problem with that!

I guess if I had a take on the answer to "is private ownership sustainable", I would say: only ideally!

But hey, I don't even own land yet so maybe I'm missing something.

 
Robert Ray
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Ellen I like your illustration but to me I see it more of a description of two differing community mindsets than ownership.
Our small community had a greenhouse/garden/coop tour a few weeks ago and it was a non-stop flow of visitors all day. I didn't mind that the visitors sampled my honey berries, snow peas and raspberries, my lettuce beds provided several salads for those that wanted to harvest some. I was concerned when my wife let small children take warm eggs from the chicken coop and what happened after they got into their parents cars clutching the fragile things.
I still decide what is planted, the chickens, berries and lettuce are still there and are sustained. However had someone come and taken all the berries or ripped out entire lettuce plants I would have felt differently.
Does your permaculture garden experience have some kind of master plan? Is there a governing body or some type of overseer?
Does ownership mean control or just involvement? I've seen it used both ways in some instances. If it does mean involvement how much participation each one of us makes to the end product probably varies to some degree. If actual ownership I am responsible for the outcome.

 
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Interesting ideas. I was referred here by a reply in another thread (I asked about how sustainability/permaculture relates to single households owning/coveting large land holdings specifically because they want to do the Gaia's Garden sort of permaculture dream with the many zones of food forest, etc. rather than living in smaller digs/less land).

I personally think private property is much more sustainable than public or shared property (case in point, the "public" property we enjoy in America is only enjoyable and available to us all equally because the government actually owns, protects, manages, and supplies us with that resource). American public property isn't just some natural entitlement from the heavens/mother nature to us all. Nope, it's a product of our government and the various departments that keep the land free of squatters/developers and police it enough so it's safe and pleasant enough for everyday people to want to be there. If it was just a free-for-all, I think it would be a scary place to go/camp/play since anything could happen there. You could have a good time there with your community one day and then a competing group of people (or animals even) could move in and make it really dangerous or difficult for you to keep camping or using the space. Just having communities on public spaces is something various people and tribes have tried in the past and it was often a bloody and conflict-filled space rather than a harmonious utopia. For every planned community there's likely a big group of people nobody wants who are rejected from the community for "bad" (non-conformist) behavior, and those folks will then be in competition (as will the other communities) for the so-called public resources.

Basically I think we have a much sweeter deal going on now where we have some government-protected public lands available for the use of people who can't afford or don't want private land (for recreation, even sometimes gardening, etc.) but it's also a lot safer and nicer to live on private lands (whether they are controlled by single households or communes of many families).

Also, speaking as a former renter, renters don't care as much about a property as the owners do. I think property ownership instills a great sense of responsibility, pride, and an instinct to be a good steward of that land. Not for everyone, but I think people treat their own backyard a lot better than some place they are just visiting or squatting. In congested urban areas, especially, I think people are more respectful of private property than the public areas (streets, boulevards, etc.) and this suggests to me that when land is considered "everybody's" or "nobody's" it might be less well-cared for than land that is loved and appreciated by owners who have defensible legal rights of use... perceived value and all of the positive psychological triggers that entails. Put another way, look at your average public bathroom and ask yourself if many people throw the wet nasty paper towels on the floor in their own house (I doubt they do, but you never know). 
 
master steward
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Last post deleted for suggesting that folks here on permies are less than perfect.

 
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First major thing that comes to mind. In the homesteading days (I'm talking about the first government induced one) Everybody was given or allowed to choose a quarter section in the western states. They had to have these parcels under the plow and producing in a certain amount of time (was this the best choice, probably not, but hindsight right?). So when the homesteaders did not comply with this, the land was sold/given to the neighbor who could make a go of it. That in my mind is sustainable. Creating an agriculture by those who can do it and allowing those who cant to pursue other professions that will supply the non essential needs of the agrarians. This induces an economy, which is never a bad thing. The second thing that comes to mind is the fact that if all the land under production was put into a centralized format we would see the same bickering and partisan non sense we see today in government. Except in a agriculture under one management, we would bicker and partisan and starve, there would eventually come a Czar of ag that would totally destroy the entire production with the stroke of a pen (think about it, you know it would happen) The only way that agriculture will ever become sustainable is giving everyone in the world the ability to grow their own food in one way or another. Even just a window planter in downtown New York would work. Put a couple cows on every "40" that has been subdivided from bigger holdings. And make these people produce it for themselves. This will create a world where agriculture is respected, understood, and will thrive. And that IS sustainable! 
 
gardener
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If you don't have private property, then who controls the distribution of resources?

Should we let the government decide?  Looking around the world, that hasn't seemed to work out so well.  What incentive do I have to work harder, if my efforts are averaged out over the entire population?

Chances are if you're on this forum, you're probably far more noble than the average person.  The problem with building a system that relies on better than average people is, on average, they aren't.  Listening to Paul's podcasts on his experiences with collective living demonstrates this very well, in my opinion.

Private property allows me to be better than average, and then I have the luxury of choice.  I can choose to use permaculture principals to build a better environment for my family, without having to keep a loaded shotgun next to my bed to protect that environment from the "less than noble".  I hope to be in a position in the future to share my knowledge with others as an act of charity, but again that is a choice afforded to me by the fact I can sustain myself (and my family) first.  To paraphrase what some luminary (Churchill?) once said of democracy - Capitalism is the worst system we have, apart from all the others we've tried.
 
Robert Ray
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I don't really think that many of us will ever be totally self sufficient.
I wonder if I should measure success with a measure of external impacts of my actions?
 
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you're right... but that is relatively far away from mainstream logic since debt has replaced savings with credit and cost-efficiency with derivative markets.

private property rights are more needed in a credit driven society where debt is driven by supply social capital to the industrial model....

if permaculture was apart of our education it would definitely result in cost-efficiency to such a point where private property rights will not be nearly as vital to economics interest to property owners as it is during modern times...

I write about this a lot because you are on to something... if you look at Austrian Economics you will find a model that fits in with these ideas because the model cant not become fragmented by social capital resulting in monopolization of resources...

some good books are road to serfdom by: FA Hayek

The Creature From Jekyll Island By: E.B. Griffin
 
Dale Hodgins
master pollinator
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This thread saw a two year break. The original poster took down the video and replaced it with a weird notice. Here it is ---- Problem? Looks like you have a problem here sir/madam. You sure you have the right place? Maybe you got a little lost? Maybe you're looking for something you're not supposed to find? Either way, just go search for it, it can't hurt.---- I'm not sure if he means get lost or if we're supposed to spoon through the goo on that site in search of it.


Whenever I hear about phasing out private property, I think about what happens to land that is not privately owned, but is used in some way by business interests. Mining claims are a prime example of land that is simply used for it's resource value and then discarded. Over grazing of public lands, has been a disaster in many areas. Forests on public land that is privately managed, often end up as monocultures with a short rotation cycle. All of these public lands are degraded by the tenants. Quite often, it is expected that the land will serve wildlife and have other recreational uses, but vast areas become undesirable as diversity is reduced.

Without ownership, there is no reason to not use everything up. It can turn into a sort of race. Here in British Columbia, we have seen forestry companies hurriedly clear an area because they believe that some new rule will prevent them from doing it in the future. It breeds a gold rush mentality where the chief concern is getting as much as possible before others do or before legal restriction sets in. Fisheries on both sides of the North Atlantic were devastated by this tragedy of the commons.

Rather than getting rid of private ownership, I would like to see rights of ownership strengthened but with a clear means of losing your land to fines if you pollute it or degrade it in other ways. I would also like to see anti monopoly laws enacted which would limit the amount of farm or forest land in the control of one person or corporation.

When looked at over a period of decades, huge factory farms are essentially mining operations where soil is traded for money. The same could be said for some forest operations. With the farms, it should be simple enough to do a soil audit every decade or so on those over a certain acreage.(this concept will soon have it's own thread) Let's go with a nice round figure of 1000 acres. If you have more than that, you are subjected to some stewardship scrutiny. Many choices that can be made on a farm are hard to quantify. Things like soil depth and compaction along with aquifer pollution and depletion are quantifiable. A biodiversity report might also come in handy. This sort of thing would no doubt face opposition. That is to be expected. Most of us prefer that others be accountable while we would like total freedom for ourselves.

Such a system, would see many large farms go out of business. This would put lots of land on the market. There will always be winners and losers in any system. A system that prescribes environmental accounting and financial punishment for doing damage, would tend to favor long term thinking and planning. Owners who are in for the long haul are likely to make good choices. More later ... past my bedtime.



 
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Does anyone know of a country (countries) where even is actual land ownership??


I would looooove to own a piece of property. But realistically will probably never move out of the US. Thus; I'll probably never get to own my own property Pitty.
 
pollinator
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i like the distinction made earlier in this thread about "personal property" being different than "private property", i agree. whatever we call those different ways of owning something, there is definitely a distinction in different attitudes and ways of owning something.

and that these two different forms of owning get confused leads to misunderstandings when talking about this stuff.

personal property, to me anyway, would indicate a real belonging to something, responsibility and investment of time and care. this is a kind of ownership that is universally recognized, and without even being spoken or formalized. its kinda obvious when something truly belongs to a person, yet this doesnt always follow with the current distorted idea of private property.

something a person made, invested years into, responsibly stewarded, something that one has sentimental attachment to, one's tools. it could be a piece of land that is what a person actually uses and lives on, which is more of a sanctuary for them, rather than something they are detached from and yet still own with exclusive entitlement.

where private property, the distorted form of it, where people can own something without even stepping foot on it, without having any REAL connection to it at all, to do with whatever they want even if its destructive and unethical, this is the problem, IMHO, and a root cause of many of our larger problems.

what gets really freaky is that not just individuals can participate in this distorted and unhealthy form of private property, that corporations, governments and other groups have, and perpetuate this distorted form of private property, even on (so called) public land.

and with everything being backwards and weird it seems that people think the only two options are either privately owned by individuals which are more likely to be stewarded and cared for (if you are the few who can afford to do so), or privately owned by governments and corporations, with the pretense that it is "public". or these kinds of groups that see it as a right to have that second unhealthy form of private property, making it seem as though it is the same as your wanting to have sanctuary and that more responsible kind of personal property.

so i think this perpetuates the idea that they should be allowed to do so, cause its like...everyone wants to have sanctuary and wants to have a right to defend it, as is fitting to care for it, but it is NOT the same thing at all.

i also think that the first form of personal property, and some land to build and live on, is a birthright given to all of us. NOT to exploit it or damage it, not to own it exclusively, but to to truly own it in the first way, and should not be subject to some silly pieces of green paper.

the second form of private property which encourages exploitation should not be allowed, but how anyone could go about making that so with things as they are, i dont know. if one tried to use government to make anti exploitive laws or something, how likely you think they would work? it seems it would all just turn into some weird backwards thing, like most of what the government tries to do....and anyway the governments seem to be the most exploitive of land -the public land, so not likely you could even get people to understand enough to pass such laws.

i think theres some answers in people having this awareness of this.

i think maybe the answers to solving these things would come from somewhere else, people healing themselves and their minds, seeing the illusions of scarcity for what it really is...but i really dont know. if there were suddenly an availability of huge amounts of cheap or free land, homesteading laws and lands opened up to peoplefor free that encouraged the first way and discouraged the second way....this would help.
 
pollinator
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Dale

Most what you say makes sense. Except the "laws" part <g> Pure politics that with all the usual problems.

Leila

I sympathize w/your thoughts and feelings. Corporations embody the "distant ownership" you dislike and I think you're quite right about it's affects.

Not sure what ground you're standing on though re: " some land to build and live on, is a birthright given to all of us". Per my best thinking to date a "right" is an option (not an actual power) that is _given_ - there is a giver and a givee and it's _not_ an entitlement. It is given by somebody/thing that has the power to do so. It cannot be taken - to acquire by force demonstrates that you do not in fact have that right. I have doubts whether one could give oneself a "right" but perhaps that can work... Haven't gone there - some fine hair splitting. Since most people don't "have" land and most that do have no intention of parting w/any of it gratis so it appears on the face of it that you're wrong. Who might be giving, what is the source, of this right your mention? And a right is something that must be exercised - it doesn't just fall on you like mana - so how to do that?

And why "to us all"? The only thing "us all" seem to have in common which has no obvious material source/lien is life itself (and some very wise people talk a lot about "illusion" in that regard). All else including rights and advantages is and has always been extremely varied amoung the people and basically the result of lots of hustle and conniving and just plain luck. The "inalienable rights" phrase in the Declaration has always seemed to be a bold assertion that time and politics would test for truth. At the moment it looks like American people have little awareness and less wish to follow up on that. Rather the opposite.

Don't know if you or the Declaration are right or wrong. But it usually helps (as in makes you stronger and more capable) to understand as well as possible and be able to express truly where you come from, what your actual position is, who/what you can point to and say "becuz". And when there is nobody and nothing to point to... What you may think and do then.

So. Why do you think everybody has a right to a grub stake? (More than one maybe?) And then what does that mean exactly in the here and now?


Rufus
 
leila hamaya
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Rufus Laggren wrote:
Since most people don't "have" land and most that do have no intention of parting w/any of it gratis so it appears on the face of it that you're wrong. Who might be giving, what is the source, of this right your mention? And a right is something that must be exercised - it doesn't just fall on you like mana - so how to do that?



but yes it does fall on all of us like mana, the land is here, given to us as a gift.
the gift is already given.
and to all of us, not just some, just by birth. by being born here, we belong here and should be allowed the space to be- this i feel strongly is all of our birthright.
regardless of whatever weirdness and illusions others force us into complying with....
not that everyone should be living on easy street, or that humans are entitled to anything they want, no not at all.

but just because someone has no green pieces of paper should not mean they are not allowed a proper space to ground out and be, and just because another has more green pieces of paper doesnt mean that they re then entitled to exploit. there should be no justification or reason for exploitation, by anyone, but this is what happens to the land with all these paradigms and ideologies of exclusive ownership, profiting off some illusion of exclusive ownership of the land.
this is- to me- exploitation.

i suppose this doesnt seem like an illusion to most, but to me it clearly is...regardless of how well supported and enforced this idea is....

and old friend of mine phrased this well -"two fleas fighting over which one owns the dog!"
this, i think, is somewhat accurate description of our situation !
but truly there are many people who are not acting like fleas, who are not interested in participating in exploitation, there are many humans who dont want to live in a parasitical relationship to our planet. so perhaps thats not fair to say of all humans, but it is unfortunately too common.

and i wish to hold open the space for those who are acting parasitical to the planet, stuck in consumptive modeling, to be able to grow and change, learning better ways of interrelating to the biosphere. "private property" as it now is, does not help this in several ways, and in general further encourages one to participate in consumptive modeling, disconnection, and to unhealthy power trips and exploitation.

its ok though, that you dont share my perspective, i am quite used to people not getting where i am coming from and disagreeing with me, especially
about this in specific. this presents itself to my mind as a truth, regardless of how i might want it to be or not be, to me this is just the way it really is....regardless of whatever other weirdness that goes on which masquerades as "reality". i know this is not a popular opinion, it seems there arent many who agree with what i am saying here. i still see this as i see it.

it has nothing to do with with taking, and certainly not with force, but that was basically how the land was first stolen FROM ITSELF, and from all of
the beings that live within it. and with force is how it is held in this unhealthy way, in the illusion of ownership, a disconnected possession which allows exploitation to be the normal course of business..

it has instead to do with receiving gratefully what has already been given, and what must be shared. proper boundaries, and every individual's need for sanctuary and for self sovereignty should be respected, but this isn't the same as "private property" and all the problems it creates.

i am not that into capitalism in general, and how it makes the world and its resources to be objectified and abused by these illusions....but when it is
applied to unnecessary things it doesn't bother me as much. when people want to save money, work and give up their time in exchange for
unnecessary things, fancy cars and gadgets, well thats their choice. people who want to play monopoly constantly, who think thats what this game is in life, this disturbs me. but about things that arent needed, it is different. i certainly wouldn't do so, i will stick with my old beater truck and my freegan gadgets that i fix, but it seems ok if that's something someone wants to do.

capitalism, profit from, and objectifying the land with its resources and inhabitants, as applied to basic essential survival needs- food, land, water shelter- seems completely wrong in every way to me. and because access to the land is tied into food production, and the huge inequities in access to land affects people's access to the essentials of life, everyone is forced into this very unhealthy form of exploitive relationship to the land, and many (even the owners) are also encouraged to be disconnected to the land. with unequal access to land, there follows unequal access to food, and also the common disconnection that causes a whole lot of other problems.

i think there should be ways for those who dont want anything to do with the silly monopoly game others are playing, to do so, and that those people should still be able to have a bit of dirt under their feet to connect to and take care of, which will support them without having to buy into the monopoly game.

when i am in nature, i am always at home =)

=============================================
apologies, i am not sure i have answered your questions, though i tried. i get carried away sometimes!
about this, i feel very strongly.
 
leila hamaya
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anywho, in answer to one of your questions- in my world view the giver is the earth itself, our mother- not other humans.

she has given us all that we need, not exclusively, but to be shared among all. and further it has been stolen FROM ITSELF, by humans...whoever did the original stealing then wrongfully excluded other beings from access to it...now that it is how it is...its hard to know how we could go anywhere from here.

but there is still a lot of land that could be opened up to people to choose to not participate in the weirdness of it all, who would choose just to live simply on a bit of land and make a life for themselves. i truly wish that homesteading, as in being able to have some land to grow food and build on without a money investment, but rather an investment in time and caring for the land, were allowed. actually i think this alone would fix many of our social problems, as if this righted itself other things would naturally right themselves too...
 
Robert Ray
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Once one takes posession of the gift "of a piece of land" stewardship if you will. What protects your stewardship?
 
leila hamaya
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well if other people also had their land to steward they wouldnt neccessarily be looking to take from your private space.

perhaps this reinforces why private property has gotten rolling the way it is, because thats the perception.... and the idea is this could be prevented, protected from other people. but it isnt so...as someone just pointed out above about not really owning land in this country, the government can kick you out, force you to pay taxes, etc, among other things that are not within one's control. and if it was not an exclusive thing, if everyone HAD, then they wouldnt be in that lacking mindset where they then were inclined to exploit and take with force.

so it seems that the weirdness of all this, and the need to protect private property is needed because only few can have it...at least with the current set up.

in response to what you write- i am getting this metaphor of a starving dog...who would when presented with an abundance of food would over eat because of its previous starving. yet another dog given all the food it could eat would naturally only take what was needed, maybe a little extra just in case, but not have the same response....being much more secure in its sense of having enough.
 
Robert Ray
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Even when ownership doesn't occur their have been conflicts over an areas productivity, better hunting areas, better fishing areas, a more fertile land. When one attaches "private space" then does that become ownership, doesn't that mean exclusion?
 
leila hamaya
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i am not sure i understand exactly what you are asking.

from what i am getting from it- no, imo, one could own something and not need to exclude, and also not need to control.

there is order which we dont control or create. what i am talking about has more to do with being a part of something, belonging to it as much as it belongs to you, rather than exclusively controlling it and exploiting it.

and agreed, there is conflict between people, and competitiveness is what we are taught. i am not suggesting if things were the way i am talking about, everything would suddenly be perfect. but i dont think theres some magic button, single thing, that would suddenly make everything perfect and without conflict.
 
Rufus Laggren
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leila

I think you have a wonderful vision. Your views seem very like many religious beliefs. In fact people in monasteries and retreats, etc the world over try to live out their version of what you describe.

What I try to do is connect a vision in a meaningful (ie. active, effective, real, understandable, practical, etc) way to the world most of us live in. I think that's necessary for anyone who honestly feels they have a truth to share - even perhaps if they just think they have a truth for themselves to live. Paul's (peerless leader) various efforts over the years can be seen like this; don't know if he much cares but the fit looks pretty good.

Please don't jump to conclusions that I disagree with you. But I do believe that "truth" never contradicts the world in it's broadest sense and vice versa. I respect the world - it's ultimately the only teacher we have. We ignore it or disdain it to our arrogant peril. The "world" includes everything we see, hear, etc. Everything, "good" and "bad". But different folks have different (!) ways of communicating and going forward and perhaps conceptual exploration isn't your way. But you surely use words well enough.

To get back on topic: "Property" is a conceptual tool. Various people have grabbed on and used it for various purposes and sometimes they were "good" purposes. Perhaps in the present day usage it's bad, though. Perhaps we do need to come up with a new version of "property rights". This may actually be happening because of the "intellectual property" shenanigans taking place over the last 20 years in the software and entertainment industries. At some point that stuff may bleed over into bricks'n'mortar but I sure don't have a clue what that brave new world would look like. <g>

Rufus
 
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One theme I read reccuring on permies.com is our battles with zoning laws and regulatory processes . We think we have a better way and want these roadblocks removed. We want to steer our own ships. I think it's funny that even those who think private property is an ethical dilemna voice truly libertarian notions when it comes to managing their own permaculture projects.
 
Rufus Laggren
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Wayne

I personally think zoning et al is just a red herring, a distraction. Sustainability has so many permutations and the thrust has little to do with particular, this or that, method. There's always a good way forward. That's part of the territory. Always, forever. Just extend Paul's "be nice " policy a little further out and carry on.


Rufus
 
Robert Ray
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Though I think zoning goes way to far sometimes it shouldn't go beyond the be nice premise. Safe treatment of septic waste, and a myriad of other issues creep past the curtilage of ones property or space. A good steward would be aware but there are those that are not good stewards.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I agree with Rufus that often the concerns expressed about zoning and other usage laws add up to fear mongering. Most places don't legislate against farming. A desire to have complete building freedom often comes up. It seems that these worries are often expressed by those who haven't built much before.

But, zoning and building rules can make or break some of us. If the city near my land were to grant me whatever zoning I want, I would start work tomorrow on a vastly different plan than what currently exists. The property would likely be worth $200,000 more, if I were to go to zoning heaven.

Quite often, people like myself, buy a property knowing what is allowed and what isn't and they feel forever short changed when they aren't allowed to develop the property outside of their zoning. We have a large farm outside of Victoria that constantly submits plans for a subdivision and it is rejected. Had they purchased land that was zoned for that, the original price of their land would have been far higher. They chose to spend their money in the agricultural land reserve where the price per acre is much lower. Now they want to start a town amongst the other farms.
----------------------------
Wayne mentioned the contradictory nature of some libertarians--- Wayne - "I think it's funny that even those who think private property is an ethical dilemna voice truly libertarian notions when it comes to managing their own permaculture projects." --- Me again - There's been talk of squatting federal land and private land, without regard for the legal owner's wishes. At the same time many want to defend "their" territory and to seek legal ownership of it. I've seen threads start out as "everything should be free and easy" rants, then 20 posts down, they're musing about how to lay legal claim to a slice of a park or whatever. They have to do this in order to protect themselves from squatters.
 
Rufus Laggren
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> ... constantly submits plans for a subdivision...

Sound like a strategic nefarious plot to me! <g> Hope you're submitting your own applications for variances and changes...


Rufus
 
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What is private property ?
I am just about to start renting a property in France I will have security of tenure . Is that not what is important ? I dont mind paying rent rather than buying because I will have some security . Its not ownership thats important its security.

David
 
Robert Ray
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I guess that is the the distilled point, security in having a "place".
So sure I have a piece of property and through taxes I'm allowed to call it mine.
By following "Codes" I'm monitored as to what I can do on my property. In some cases following Code protects my neighbors and myself from irresponsible neighbors and in others cases become an intrusion on my desires. Code should address land abuses but it often doesn't and allows it in some cases. Security of place shouldn't be lack of responsibility.
I have legal recourse that can prevent trespass or access. It sounds as if Paul is experiencing that issue in Montana with previous uncontested right of ways through his property.
So is security of place sustainable? Rather than saying is private property sustainable.
Who or what insures that security? What if after your sweat equity your "place" is someone elses idea of their perfect place?
 
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