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Land ownership and permaculture

 
                              
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To say that since land was not owned privately for the plains "indians" then it must have been owned communally is to fall prey to the false dichotomy fallacy. The other option, which happens to coincide with reality, is that the land was unowned, where it was not de facto owned by an individual. The plot worked, or the particular foraging plot which was nourished, was respected by others as belonging to that individual. This would be de facto private property. That when traveling there was no claim to the land, does not and did not imply communal ownership, but rather simply no claim of ownership.

I don't believe, or at least I cannot find anyone making the argument that "well since we've never done it that way, we cannot do it," though that straw man was brought up as if that were the argument against denying respect for persons, including private property. Denying the labor, time, and inherent value of a person has been the crux of my own argument, though obviously I've also addressed the ineffectiveness of assuming radical change in human nature in order to support a particular ideology. Is there someone actually saying that merely because we haven't done it, that we cannot? Or can we ignore that strawman?

As for communal grazing, that is communal use, not ownership. In such instances (which btw occurred in the western US until recently when the feds began prohibiting this practice) private property of the home and developed areas (shadows of Locke...) was still evident and respected.

I am curious if any who wish to adopt the denial of private property have considered the necessary conclusion: you would no longer own your own body. I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you'd rather that not actually be owned by everyone else..
 
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I would agree that balance is the key.The tension between individualism and the whole will not end but it will take myriad forms.Reality is what you can get away with and I wouldnt want to imply that either private ownership or communal would be "bad".Those two models may not be able to exist side by side ultimatly but in this great new world experiament they can.Each model has advantages and disadvantages and admitadly my individualism often makes it hard for me to bond with others.I think the differnt sides are often more dependent than we realise.I like to think that if a group of people chose to consistantly move toward eachother with vulnerability and have the desire to share ownership that its possible.Stay away from my tools though!
 
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So the Plains Indians were fighting over use of land which was unowned?

Ok, works for me!   

So in that case, there was no ownership of land.  So non-ownership of land seems to have existed in the past.  Ownership of land seems to exist in the present.  Therefore, both ownership and non-ownership of land seem to be possible choices for humans.  Are there any other choices I'm overlooking?

 
                              
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Well Mt Goat, I would say that any theft from an individual is necessarily bad, as is any denial of the inherent value of that individual.  As one or both of these is necessary for "common ownership" it seems doomed from the outset to be not merely unsustainable, but undesirable for anyone who respects the inherent value of others.

Ludi, it does not follow that fighting over territory not being over ownership (though it was over use) then necessarily there was no ownership of land. Imagine that I recognize that I do not own some parcel of land in say Texas, would you likewise argue that I do not own my current land which is not in Texas?

I have already presented third options, in fact in the very post to which you responded. Take a simple example: a garden plot at a given temporary location. That plot is owned, without any regard to the distant territorial disputes. Or another example would be the land upon which the individual's shelter sat.

Then too as I and others have noted, the physical embodiment of the labor of the individual, which is what we are speaking of with regard to property, was still very much present in the form of the tools, weapons, etc. as well. To arbitrarily exclude land would be to employ a form of equivocation.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Storm wrote:

Ludi, it does not follow that fighting over territory not being over ownership (though it was over use) then necessarily there was no ownership of land.



You lost me a little there.    If the Plains natives were fighting over use of the land, who owned the land?  If there was ownership of land, who owned the land the Plains natives were fighting for use of?

 
Tyler Ludens
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Storm wrote: To arbitrarily exclude land would be to employ a form of equivocation.



I thought we were talking specifically about land ownership in this thread?  It's already been conceded there was ownership of personal property.  I'm not sure if the land upon which the tent sat is "owned" during the night.  "Used" maybe.  Not sure about "owned" though. 
 
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Storm wrote:
To say that since land was not owned privately for the plains "indians" then it must have been owned communally is to fall prey to the false dichotomy fallacy. The other option, which happens to coincide with reality, is that the land was unowned, where it was not de facto owned by an individual. The plot worked, or the particular foraging plot which was nourished, was respected by others as belonging to that individual. This would be de facto private property. That when traveling there was no claim to the land, does not and did not imply communal ownership, but rather simply no claim of ownership.



So we have three options for land use among humans.

1. Ownership of land

2. Non-ownership of land

3. Temporary ownership of land

Am I missing any forms of use?
 
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It's frustrating sometimes in these threads to see how convoluted and off track they seem to get.
So I'll try to clarify my initial query.
Present time to include three generations into the future.
Does one owning his own property preclude him/her from being a permaculturist?
Does one owning property inhibit Fair Share, what does a property owning permaculturist owe to those who do not own property if anything.
Should communal ownership be the norm? If so why?
Indicate if you currently own property to see if it might be indicative of your stance.
 
                              
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Whether we are focusing on land or not, it would be arbitrary to treat it differently than other extensions of the individual's labor, such as the tools, weapons, clothing, etc. which have been acknowledged as property.
If we can recognize that the individual has inherent value, and that individual's labor creates the property that they own, why would we add "except for land" or any other property? This is why I noted the arbitrary nature of that exclusion.

I thought that my example of land in texas I do not own not implying that I do not own land elsewhere clarified the difference I referred to, but I will try again from another angle.

Consider that the fighting was not over land, but over the buffer space between tribes. Each camp needed a certain distance to have at least the illusion of security. So unlike trespass as we understand it today, the concern was not that they mere set foot on "owned" land, but rather that the threat was coming within a distance so as to pose an immediate threat. The focus here is not the creation of property (See Locke) but rather on the warding off of danger.

Clearly this differs in type from the improvement of land via gardening, terracing, and other forms of working the land, which are clearly examples of property.

My reference to use was the use of that area as a buffer and perhaps also hunting grounds, though for the most part the buffer would need to be far enough away to prevent an immediate threat, which would also make it a poor choice for hunting as the meat would have to be cured on site, which might be taken as a setting. up of a camp within a distance which would be a threat to the other tribe. (of course I am simplifying this by assuming only two tribes, but you get the idea)

 
                              
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oh, and as for the land that the shelter sits upon, I would argue that the land has been improved, that labor has been mixed with it, thus fulfilling the lockean criteria for ownership, but furthermore that the right of exclusion (which in many tribes as I understand it rested with the woman) existed which demonstrated clear ownership of that parcel, ownership which was respected by others.

 
Robert Ray
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Storm,
Please re-read the thread topic and then my clarification. I'd like to stay on topic and get some  present or real time "on topic" answers or insight.
Please share your thoughts on present land ownership either communal or personal and if it is a positive or a detriment to permaculture or how it would or if it does inhibit community fare share.
 
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Storm wrote:
Whether we are focusing on land or not, it would be arbitrary to treat it differently than other extensions of the individual's labor, such as the tools, weapons, clothing, etc. which have been acknowledged as property.
If we can recognize that the individual has inherent value, and that individual's labor creates the property that they own, why would we add "except for land" or any other property? This is why I noted the arbitrary nature of that exclusion.



Ok, I think we've acknowledged there was/is ownership of things and of one's own person and temporary ownership of land.  This thread is about LAND ownership specifically, which is why I was asking about the three categories.

There seemed to be some controversy about communal ownership of land versus communal or individual use of the land.

Robert Ray wrote:
Storm,
Please re-read the thread topic and then my clarification. I'd like to stay on topic and get some  present or real time "on topic" answers or insight.
Please share your thoughts on present land ownership either communal or personal and if it is a positive or a detriment to permaculture or how it would or if it does inhibit community fare share.



I'm probably just not sure what the conversation is about.    I'm easily confused.

 
                              
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As I have noted all along, "communal ownership" is not merely a logical impossibility but is of course detrimental to the property, the environment, even interpersonal relations.

I don't see how I've strayed from the topic Robert, perhaps you could clarify what you found offensive or off topic. Understanding the nature of property, and respect for persons (the basis of all property) seems to be very key to present solutions.

Ludi, once you allow that individuals are morally worthwhile you have introduced land ownership. Even if you wanted to deny this, once we've allowed ownership of ANY property (like the tools) we've acknowledged implicitly land ownership. To treat land differently requires equivocation or simply arbitrary stipulation. Either of these approaches leads to logical and practical failure.
(general not specific use of "you" here.. I've found some folks are put off by using "one" instead of "you")


 
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Storm wrote:
As I have noted all along, "communal ownership" is not merely a logical impossibility but is of course detrimental to the property, the environment, even interpersonal relations.

I don't see how I've strayed from the topic Robert, perhaps you could clarify what you found offensive or off topic. Understanding the nature of property, and respect for persons (the basis of all property) seems to be very key to present solutions.

Ludi, once you allow that individuals are morally worthwhile you have introduced land ownership. Even if you wanted to deny this, once we've allowed ownership of ANY property (like the tools) we've acknowledged implicitly land ownership. To treat land differently requires equivocation or simply arbitrary stipulation. Either of these approaches leads to logical and practical failure.
(general not specific use of "you" here.. I've found some folks are put off by using "one" instead of "you")





Ok, thanks for clarifying.  I think I've acknowledged there are three categories of land use in humans:

1.  Ownership

2. Non-ownership

3. Temporary ownership


You seem to be saying all ownership is individual.  Is this correct?


 
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Is land owned by a family not "communally owned"?  Or is it owned individually by each family member?

 
                              
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yes this is necessarily the case. Any pretense to the contrary leads to the tragedy of the commons already noted (and ignored near as I can tell).

Risking Robert's wrath consider how property comes to be. An individual mixes her labor with that which is unowned. Not a group, not a 'society" not any non-entity, but a particular individual. While some argued (like Karl Marx) that since a person interacts with others, the others have a greater claim to the labor and thus property of the individual than the individual does, no one has been able thus far to my knowledge offer a reasoned argument for this denial of the value of the individual.

BTW owned and temporarily owned are the same category unless you have a way to live forever that you'd like to share..
 
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Though I would find it difficult personally to live in some forms of communal lifestyles and believe in property ownership I live every day with some form of communal sharing.
Roads and civic infrastructure heck even a library or the internet are being shared yet owned by someone else.
I never said it was offensive just not real time about current permaculture efforts.
Communal sharing of farm equipment is often seen in some areas even though the land is not jointly owned. Co-Ops, granges are an example of of communal farm efforts as an example.
 
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Thanks for clarifying, Storm.

Robert, if I'm understanding Storm's ideas,  each person owns the road as they are using it.  The state does not own the roads because according to Storm there's no communal ownership of anything, only individual ownership.  So the road is owned by each individual during the moments they are using it (if I'm understanding this correctly).
 
                              
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I believe I've made this point before but it bears repeating as it seems to get lost in the talk of "communal sharing." We can cooperate and still have property, we do it all of the time. I help out neighbors, I work for them in trade, and we all do similar activities. Ownership does not prohibit cooperation, it simply recognizes that the individual is of value.

If addressing the problems with communal "ownership" is not "real time," I don't see how this can be a discussion which includes "communal ownership." We best interact when we best understand and respect others. So the most practical approach to a permie community includes property as that is necessitated by respect for others. This is how I see it being "real time."
 
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maybe, like Ludi, I'm just a little too slow.  Storm, could you clarify again how interpersonal respect requires individual ownership of land?  maybe use smaller words this time.
 
                              
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Ludi, no the roads are unowned because they were simply seized. While we are told by the state that we own them, the fact is that they are not owned by anyone. Ownership means the right to dispose (which can mean merely use) as you see fit, but no one has that right with regard to the roads as the state, via the threat of violence, dictates how the roads will be used.

We are in a strange place in time where non-entities, such as governments, decree that they own a great deal but for which there was never any creation of property in the first place. This can lead to some misleading language. Yes we can use the roads, but even as the state will say you do not have a right to dispose (or use) the road as you see fit, thus you do not own it.

 
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I think private ownership of land as this culture divides it is very permi.Often pictures show homesteads(instead of villages) and since that is and has been a dominant model for some time,many books desighned to meet the public half way have been written around perpetuated that model.I am a land owner in as much as the state allows.I do not feel that the current land ownership model is the most productive.Because it spreads people out into individual homesteads,it eleminates the possibility for large scale management like fire and as long as people want to be civilized,it uses large amounts of resources in the distribution network.
 
                              
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Tel, I don't want to get too far off what Robert's objective is here, but in short:

You own your body, your self.
You alone have a right to your labor, your time. (the alternative is slavery)
You mix your labor with that which is unowned, you create property. (standard Lockean Property creation)
You can trade that property for other property with other individuals.

That is the short of it. Once you allow the first, that you own yourself, which is another way to say respect for persons, you have introduced property. To exclude land would require an arbitrary stipulation along the lines of "you can create property except when you mix your labor with land." This of course would be logically equivalent to "You can create property except where someone else wants to take it" or "you can create property except on every third thursday." 

We could go on and note that non-entities, such as groups, "society," etc. cannot have any traits and are not themselves distinct entities, thus cannot have any ownership, but that really isn't necessary to answer your question.

 
Tyler Ludens
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I don't see how a state can own anything if there's only individual ownership of things.

 
                          
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Storm wrote:I don't appeal to "authority" as requested, because that too is a fallacy. However I did reference the examples of government housing, which have been and continue to be dismal failures because there is no ownership, thus no reason for improvement or even basic maintenance.



I see a difference between asking for a reference—a neutral(-as-possible) source where I can find the facts of the case under discussion—and appealing to authority ("Dr. Elinor Ostrom, Nobel Prize Winner, says...").

Storm wrote:This is of course one of the problems. This claim is simply that you like it because you like it


Actually I meant this to refer back to the specific ways I enumerated that I feel it was being managed better than previously. They are subjective, but maybe you would agree if I listed them. Specifically, the reduction of homeless drug users discarding needles on the property, the production of food, the measurable regeneration of soil and the elimination of lead and other poisons.

Storm wrote:Thus removing all motivation to improve or maintain the residence. And of course this requires denying the value of the individual and respecting that there may be emotional or other ties to the property/home.



There are other motivations to improve and maintain a residence. A temporary resident took her spare time to make considerable improvements to a home she was only living in for six weeks, finishing her final touches the day before she was to leave. Resident members work on each others' houses occasionally, just to help out. A current resident member is adding a wing to the home he's living in to accommodate a new partner and the possibility of a child. Maintenance is done as needed and the homes are well-kept. So there must be some motivation for all of this activity. One motivation that I see in action is valuing the individual needs of the other community members one lives with. You say "This of course requires denying the value of the individual" as if everyone must agree to that statement. It doesn't require denying the value of the individual. Individual needs and values are highly considered in this environment.

Storm wrote:In such a setting as you describe, were I to create three rooms of libraries to house my books, which bring me great joy, and maintained those rooms with great care, the "community" could simply steal that home from me, giving me a one room shack with no room for my books, perhaps even decreeing that my books be used as fire material, giving over my lovingly crafted home to others who chose to have lots of children.



Only if you consented. That's what consensus means—everybody in the community, including hypothetically yourself, must agree to a decision that affects them.

On the other hand, since you would be using community resources to build your three room library—land, if not on-site clay, timber, and straw—and community members would expect to help you, that too would be subject to consensus, and I imagine that other resident members would have a strong desire to suggest ways to accommodate your needs in a less resource-intensive manner. That's a trade-off. I'd be happy to make it in exchange for the benefits of community, but I don't suggest it's for everyone.

Storm wrote:We need not deny the value of the individual in order to work together. We can have respect for persons, including recognizing that we each have property rights, and still work together to improve our lives.



About this we're in complete agreement.

Storm wrote:When I hear how we must or should abandon respect for others, including property rights, I cringe knowing the historical failures of this mentality, but also because of the success of respect for persons.



I hear you—and it sounds like maybe we're both fixating on a false dichotomy, in this case the dualism between private ownership of land and respect for individual rights. I don't see these as mutually exclusive. If someone suggested that everyone be required to give up their private property and live communally, I would agree that this infringes on individual rights. What I'm suggesting is that for some people who desire to live communally, communal property can work as well as individual property, with different trade-offs that some reasonable people might prefer. That doesn't require that we throw individual rights out the window.
 
                              
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It can't Ludi. The state merely controls areas (in fact it essentially claims ownership of all persons and land within the borders it claims)

Ownership is not the deed issued by a state, but rather the state of being justified in the disposal (use) of the property. Certainly we  can understand that the US government was not justified in killing off native peoples and seizing the territory, so no ownership occurs, simply occupation or control via violence, which is no different than the thug in the alley who threatens your life for your wallet. He may get your wallet, he may control what is done with it, but he does not own it. It is still your wallet.

Best we can do logically and practically speaking with regard to "state owned" areas is treat them as unowned land which could be improved by individuals so as to make it property.

Robert, should we start a separate thread so as to not derail your intentions? I realize that we are delving into the fundamental aspects of property, which while necessary to address your question seem to be something I believe you'd rather not address. Or so I am guessing...
 
Tyler Ludens
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Kerrick wrote: One motivation that I see in action is valuing the individual needs of the other community members one lives with. You say "This of course requires denying the value of the individual" as if everyone must agree to that statement. It doesn't require denying the value of the individual. Individual needs and values are highly considered in this environment.



I see that as valuing others as one values oneself.  Where have I heard that before?   
 
                          
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I wanted to add that I'm sorry for responding so slowly to this quickly moving thread; this is a really busy period in my life and I'm unfortunately focusing on the direct responses to my previous contributions as a result. But I'm appreciating everyone's efforts here.

Storm, I hear you saying that when you mix your labor with something which is unowned, you establish ownership rights to whatever it is you work on. I don't see that that necessarily follows from "I alone have a right to my labor." I alone have the right to choose my labor, which includes choosing to contribute my labor to a community enterprise and community property if I prefer that to contributing my labor to a private corporation or doing everything for myself. I can choose to do work knowing that I won't claim ownership in the end result, and such a choice might have tangible benefits for me. I think this is compatible with individual rights.
 
                              
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Back to practical solutions, while common "ownership" is not possible nor desirable due to the tragedy of the commons and historical consequences, perhaps a single owner of the shared spaces, with explicit privileges spelled out, combined with actual ownership of private space (residence, garden plot, utility building, etc.) would work. You would still have the community I believe we all desire, but also have accountability. Since someone would have a vested interest in maintenance, and the right to charge for that maintenance, the tragedy of the commons would (or at least could) be avoided, without sacrificing anyone's rights.

The use agreements would have to be carefully worded, with guaranteed access riders included, but that sort of thing could fairly easily be worked out, and just to appease those who love committees over individuals, perhaps the schedule of maintenance could be determined via committee at the behest of the owner.

Just an idea off the top of my head.
 
tel jetson
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just skimmed this whole thread again.  some good stuff.

one problem I see with private ownership of land is the tendency to treat it as an investment to eventually sell to the highest bidder.  real estate speculation is an ugly thing that only ever seems to work out to the favor of a small minority of folks and to the detriment of ecological systems.  I don't know if that is a necessary consequence of private land ownership, or if it's a quirk of the prevailing culture and economic system.  whatever the case, in my neck of the woods the most productive land seems to frequently end up buried under sprawling asphalt.

some check on that tendency seems wise.  ideally it would be a cultural check instead of a legal one so that folks don't feel like their rights are being trampled.  but cultural changes of that scale aren't easy to affect, though legislative changes of that scale aren't easy, either.

all this doesn't preclude private owners from responsibly stewarding their land, it just makes it a lot harder.

 
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Once the property is seen as an "investment only" I think responsible stewardship might take a second seat.
It's always disheartening to see farmland paved over or subdivided to me.
Property should be improved upon, just who and what would be judged as an improvement is a big can of worms.
I think property ownership is important.
Communal to me would stretch to the community of surrounding properties and I see my interaction and willingness to participate in helping my neighbors or small town satisfies my need for interaction and what I see as a personal moral obligation. That moral obligation also tempers my land use choices and not wanting to do harm to adjacent properties.
 
                              
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Kerrick, "Individual needs and values are highly considered in this environment."

Some may be, but this ignores the point, or rather obscures it. A need in me cannot and does not create an obligation for you. Were it to create such an obligation, or if you simply had the "right" to take whatever you "needed" from me, then I am at very best merely a tool, not a moral agent. This is the point I have been making.

Then too it is worth noting that stipulating that denying the inherent moral worth of an individual is not denying the inherent moral worth of the individual does not change the facts. The law of non-contradiction hold no matter how tied you are to a particular ideology. I've addressed how and why the value of the individual is negated, ignored, or denied, and I don't believe that you would believe that I or anyone would be convinced that these objectively verifiable cases and sound arguments are of no value merely because you stipulate otherwise.


As for how the individual alone has a right to their labor, well allow me to ask under what conditions you have a right to the labor of another against their will? Or the short form: how do you justify slavery?

As for your extremely rare and exceptional cases where someone does act to improve that which is not theirs, you cannot universalize from an instance. Enough said right?

"Only if you consented. That's what consensus means—everybody in the community, including hypothetically yourself, must agree to a decision that affects them. "
Consensus is rarely if ever used to mean this. However if you do employ that extreme definition, then either I have private property (thus negating the ideology) else, might makes right (thus negating the extreme definition). After all if I can deny you or anyone the right to take my labor, time, and knowledge (which property is the embodiment of) then I have private property.

I strongly doubt that you can find a group of 3 much less an entire society or even community which will agree on all aspects of life..

"in this case the dualism between private ownership of land and respect for individual rights. I don't see these as mutually exclusive."

Perhaps showing where there exists an error in the argument would be helpful. I am never convinced by mere stipulations. BTW this is not a false dichotomy. I've shown how one necessitates the other, not that they are opposing.



 
Tyler Ludens
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Storm wrote:
Kerrick, "Individual needs and values are highly considered in this environment."

Some may be, but this ignores the point, or rather obscures it. A need in me cannot and does not create an obligation for you.




What if a group of people simply like doing things that please each other?  Not because of obligation but because they like to.



 
                              
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No problem with that Ludi. Though obviously I am a very vocal supporter of respect for persons, including property rights, I spend much of my time helping others that I choose to help. The absence of an obligation is not a barrier to helping. That is one of the points I have been trying to keep in mind when pointing out that private ownership in no way lessens or deprives us of community. Quite the opposite is true, for without it we never would have civilization in the first place.. (Not that all aspects of civilization are good for that matter..)

The absence of an obligation simply means that no other person has the right to take from you that which is yours, whether that be your time, knowledge, labor, life, or property.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Thanks for the reply. 

 
                              
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Anytime..

BTW I thought of another way to look at this which might help.. The old saying "Good fences make good neighbors" reminds us that as long as we know where the boundaries are, no one's toes get stepped on.. (ideally)

With the illusion of some form of ownership under "communal ownership" toes will get stepped on as the norm unless the group shares all knowledge (not possible), all interests (very unlikely) and the same heirarchy of value (never found two people who shared this yet). Your plan for a black walnut grove may interfere with my plan for new water sources. My plan for extensive foraging opportunities, may interfere with your desire to deter wildlife. Examples such as these are infinite.

Contrarily, with respect for persons, including property, we can both embrace the idea of working with nature, but each emphasize what is most important to us. I can sow or encourage wild edibles, and you can create the natural windscreen you desire, each without stepping on the toes of the other. And as I noted in the last post, we may even choose to help one another and find ways to work for mutual benefit.

And again, I am using "you" in the general sense as I don't know what aspects of permaculture you personally would rank as most important to you.. You might hate black walnuts for all I know..
 
                              
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While reading the Native American Indian Gardening thread in the permaculture category, I read a bit of the book it linked to which discussed dispute settlement. Since this is central to part of what we have been discussion here I will quote it:

"Dispute and Its Settlement

About two years after the first ground was broken in our field, a dispute I remember, arose between my mothers and two of their neighbors, Lone Woman and Goes-to-next-timber.

These two women were clearing fields adjoining that of my mothers; as will be seen by the accompanying map (figure 1), the three fields met at a corner. I have said that my father, to set up claim to his field, had placed marks, one of them in the corner at which met the fields of Lone Woman and Goes-to-next-timber; but while my mothers were busy clearing and digging up the other end of their field, their two neighbors invaded this marked-off corner; Lone Woman had even dug up a small part before she was discovered.


    Map of newly broken field drawn under Buffalobird-woman's direction. The heavy dots represent corn hills; the dashes, the clearing and breaking of ground between; done after hills were planted.

    In the lower left hand corner is the ground that was in dispute.

However, when they were shown the mark my father had placed, the two women yielded and accepted payment for any rights they might have.

It was our Indian rule to keep our fields very sacred. We did not like to quarrel about our garden lands. One's title to a field once set up, no one ever thought of disputing it; for if one were selfish and quarrelsome, and tried to seize land belonging to another, we thought some evil would come upon him, as that some one of his family would die. There is a story of a black bear who got into a pit that was not his own, and had his mind taken away from him for doing so! "

Clearly this is even stronger personal property rights in land than we recognize today!
 
Matt Ferrall
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Yea,in many places you could be killed if encroaching on neighboring tribes land.While I wouldnt want to limit our future options,it is important to recognise that the people managing certain areas of N.America were doing so in a more sustainable way than ourselves and looking at their land use models and related property divisions.Often family groups would control large areas and within those areas,no doubt,individuals had some autonomy over management choices but,of course,there was also a multigenerational master plan.Just as in our culture,people probably struggled to have more say over land management decisions. The use of fire on ones private proerty would require the consensus of the whole(no doubt)so how things actually played out was probably a balance between the individuals needs and the communities(similar to todays world).If one were to use their land in a way that effected others in a negative way than the community will often step in and do something so ownership of private property is always limited to an extent,despite theoretical,ideological,and philisophical attempts to  prove otherwise.
 
Matt Ferrall
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I would propose that land ownership has never been totally by the individual.Upseting the community around you can lead to all sorts of problems which could ultimately cause you to want to leave.You could appeal to the state but alas,they also could seize your land.Private ownership of land seems dependent on the consent of those around you.A sense of ownership is what is what is ideal in the temporal realm of history.
 
                              
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Ownership is the simply the state of being justified in choosing  the disposal (use) of the land. That others may seize it does not change this state of ownership, any more than the thug in the alley taking your wallet changes the fact that it  is still your wallet. Sure theft occurs, but without the state of ownership, that theft is impossible for it would merely be seizure.

 
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