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Old 08-19-2010, 11:34 AM
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Default Ownership Of Land - A Deeply Flawed Concept?

This is a continuation brom a debate started in this thread here: http://www.tree-of-souls.com/communi...82-broken.html

I continued it here to not bust that thread. Moderators maybe you can move the rest of the debate here, too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fkeu 'Awpo View Post
I find it hard to believe you could build your own house
It depends on what kind of house. I could build a wooden hut, given enough time. In fact we built a little one already on the property of my mothers.

Quote:
I think you're underestimating how much work goes into building an entire house.
Again - it depends of what house you want. A place to live in, to have it warm, sleep, cook food and maybe read - that is not a big deal. A 10 story building made of concrete and bricks and with steel reinforcements and marble floor and central heating and all that - thats an entirely different thing, but in the end it provides the same - a warm place to sleep, cook meals, and spend some time (reading or TVing or PCing).

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And about the free land, what's stopping others from just coming onto your land? I wouldn't want a bunch of crazy people just sitting outside my house.
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Originally Posted by Aihwa View Post
When you purchase land, you have legal protection of it, and your family that lives on it from trespassers or thieves. I do quite enjoy being able to sleep soundly knowing that in most instances, a random stranger isn't going to walk into my home.
I think you both do not understand what I try to convey here. Sigh. I'd have to dig deep in Anarchism and maybe Socialist theory to explain this properly. But the thing is, that only the concept of land ownership makes such things as trespassing or "people coming on your land" possible. If you dont have a land, you dont own a land, you just live on that land - there would be no trespassing. People may come by on the land around you and walk there, so what? This does NOT mean that you cant own a house you built and lock the door or set up protection for that house. The house is something entirely different from the land. We are trained to believe that humans need a government, a ruler, a boss to behave properly. That it requires prisons and punishment and complex laws to fight the evil behaviour that is human nature. That is such a sad view of things! And it is not true. People can live together in [url=http://www.peacefulsocieties.org/]peaceful societies[/quote]. Its not at all human nature to walk into other peoples homes or steal from them, unless someone else did steal from them first. And if you steal from the people the natural right to have a place to live and the means to feed yourself and replace it with a system of money and ownership, naturally these people will struggle and turn against the memebrs of that system. Why do people commit crimes - it is not because they are inherently evil, it is because they perceive a need. They break and steal a TV to sell it for food or drugs - both needs that arise from an artificially created scarcity. Abundant crime is a mere expression of the failure of this socioeconomic system to fulfil the needs of all its people. In aboriginal cultures and some present day peaceful societies as well as in regular small villages, crime is virtually unknown. In rural areas it is not uncommon to leave the front door open all the time and to not lock the bikes. People have cars that are not started by a key but by a button. The point is, in small communities, people are not strangers, there is often no need to have a police or state there. And while these small villages still have a concept of property, most aboriginal cultures dont have that. Maybe you can own a house or animals or maybe even the crops you planted, but not the land itself.

Quote:
Aurora, people own land. Thats the way it is now. Every square inch is owned by somebody at this point. "Back in the day" ownership was decided by how much land you could take from others and defend.
Just because it is like this now does not mean it will always be and it also does not mean that I cannot criticize this! If one cannot think of alternatives to whatever is now, there will never be any progress or change. You could by the same right say, that we will never be able to get rid of crime, poverty, hunger, ... - and that would be a rather fatalistic worldview leading to a future of misery and collapse.

I dont know what "back in the days" means to you, but whatever time that is, you still talk about ownership. Of course, if you want to have ownership over land, excluding others from beeing there, they you need to fight for it and be vicious and lead wars or have a police force and guns and violence because if someone owns land and others own less land, there will always be struggle. But what if ownership of land does not exist - people would not have the need to defend their property, they would not need all that violence. What a concept:
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Alexander Williams
The Indians had no concept of "private property," as applied to the land. Only among the Delawares was it customary for families, during certain times of the year, to be assigned specific hunting territories. Apparently this was an unusual practice, not found among other Indians. Certainly, the idea of an individual having exclusive use of a particular piece of land was completely strange to Native Americans.
I dont know how you concluded this:
Quote:
And you say that you get nothing from land?
- if that is what you read in my lines, I may have stumbled over a language barrier, but that is not what I was saying. It is contrary to everything actually. Land is the most important thing, it is where we all come from and all go to, it is what feeds us and provides for us, it is our home. And for exactly that reason, I find it ludicrous that every square inch of it is owned by some person that does not require that land but can extort other people who have been born into this world for the right to benefit from what this world, the land provides.

Quote:
Reward and aid those that are willing to do work, and leave those who want to leech off the hard work of others in the dust.
Yes - work has to be rewarded, living off other people not. But who is leeching and who is working. Is the CEO of a company really working a thousand times more than a shop clerk? Is the person who inherited millions not leeching on the poor people if he lends them money for interest or if he invests the money in projects that extort people in foreign countries with wages of $5 a day while he is sitting at a pool doing NOTHING? Isnt a person who is working two jobs to feed the family entitled to a higher reward as such a lazy golf playing upper class guy?
I believe people shall be rewarded for their work, equally, on level ground but I do not consider ownership as work, yet in this socioeconomic system it is treated that way.

Greetings, Aurora
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:37 PM
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CEO's of most companies worked hard to get to where they are today. They build these massive conglomerates with their own blood sweat and tears from small businesses. They can also be people who invested currency in the initial business. Since the business succeed, they made money, they take an extreme risk with that, and reap the rewards if all goes well. Taking away their hard earned money is nothing more than thievery.

As for land, it is the most valuable commodity on earth. Everything is harvested from it in some way. No matter what you do, people will always stake a claim and protect land as "theirs" unless you use military force on them. Just like any other animal stakes out territories and protects them, so do we. We just do it better.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:30 PM
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Ownership -in general, that is- is an intangible invent for the societies to stabilize and establish themselves, so they can grow. Otherwise we would be fighting forever for whose the fruits I worked hard on harvesting are. It has no logic base, people have that mania of *having to* attach themselves to objects -ownership, as every single part of the Law, is just the regulation of the fact.

Depending on the regime, there are several methods to decide how people eventually owns: back in the 15th century only if you were born noble or freeman you could have your piece of soil, after the American and French revolution things changed and it was about who had worked harder; and when capitalism evolved, work meant money: thus we are where we are now.

Though actually it all began with the "I was here first" selfish statement.

Fact is, that ownership exists. Should we remove it? It would be as perfect as impossible to realize, as long as human spirit remains as it is now. Communism didn't work, because it required a change in human attitude that was difficult to reach. Machiavelli said, "those who focus themselves on how things should be and stop thinking on how they are are struck not by fortune but their ruin".

Now, building a bridge between the present and the utopia? Perfectly possible. Just look for a realistic way to join both elements.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:48 PM
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The only system I can see that would work in the place of land ownership is a system of land-use rights. Though, one problem I see with land-use rights is what happens if one builds a building, but then no longer holds rights to use the land. Why should this person build the building if they may lose the right to use the land in which it stands?

I tend to think land ownership is important to the functioning of our economic systems. I know property rights (not specifically land) is important to the functioning of an economy.
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aihwa View Post
CEO's of most companies worked hard to get to where they are today. They build these massive conglomerates with their own blood sweat and tears from small businesses. They can also be people who invested currency [...]they take an extreme risk with that
Sorry, but I dont think this is true. Surely a CEO worked hard, but you cant tell me he worked harder than an engineer spending sleepless nights developing a new product or a guy who pushes pipes at an oil rig or a mother who takes two jobs to feed her kid.
It simply does not add up - the amount of work is not 1000 times different, though the rewards are. And taking the risk to loose money is way different from taking the risk to loose health or life (thinking of that oil rig worker again).

I cannot imagine anyone working hard enough to own a mansion and a yacht - no single person could by regular work produce such a thing. The only way it works is by "working hard" to let others (employees) work harder and then reap from them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
Ownership -in general, that is- is an intangible invent for the societies to stabilize and establish themselves, so they can grow. Otherwise we would be fighting forever for whose the fruits I worked hard on harvesting are.
Well thats two point there. Growth (which I dont think healthy at all as it is on the basis of whats destroying this planet now) and working hard for fruits of the land. I know this is utopian, but ideally - ant this was proposed in several ways - people have to work not a lot to get "fruitsof the land". Primitivists argue, that hunter gatherers did not have to work hard for their harvest, as they simply took what nature provided, so the taking was the work, not the maintaining or sowing. Communist utopians argue, that technologcal advances make it a low work intensive task to produce food from the land. In both cases the result would basically be, that people would not have to defend the crops they sweated for because there was no sweat to begin with.

Quote:
Fact is, that ownership exists. Should we remove it? It would be as perfect as impossible to realize, as long as human spirit remains as it is now. Communism didn't work, because it required a change in human attitude that was difficult to reach.
Well - what I say here is not a single step solution. I cannot say, I want to remove ownership from today to tomorrow and all will be blimey. So indeed it is a vision of some future and I very much know that a fast change is unrealistic and that also depresses me. I think it is right, that the human spirit or the way of thinking or the culture has to change fundamentally for this to work. As I mentioned, there are and have been cultures or societies that do manage to think more along these lines. So it is not beyond human nature to do it, but everyone is trained to see the way we live now either as the best way to live, or as flawed but inevitable. Communism failed mostly because it was never tried. What people now call communism was a dictatorship - In the Soviet Union, the original communist movement was hijacked and a Leninist regime was erected that founded itself as much of power, force and ownership of everything as the capitalist system, just that the power and ownership was in the hands of a political party instead of corporations - which is preferrable I leave to everyone, for me both is undesireable as the original communist idea was more along the lines of ownership by the people themselves.

So what coms closest to that communist ideal are in fact present days coop companies that are literally owned by the workers, in which everyone gets a share of the revenues and the people who work there do so under almost the same conditions. And I think this is a way in which some things may actually start in the present and real world. Other ways are small scale communities.

Generally I think the achievable way to get somewhere is to form tribal structures. And I mean this in the sense of Daniel Quinns writings - not literally as ethnic tribes with tattoos going hunting together, but as small groups of people who share things and work together for whatever they do work for. That can be producing stuff in a small coop company, doing organic farming, printing a newspaper or manageing a Internet coop company. It can also mean to form an ecovillage - whatever, just finding a group of people who "got it" and do things in an egalitarian way and try to be as independent from the larger structures as possible. I dont know if that will cut it or if that will be enough or if that will really lead to utopia, but it is a good start, I think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonoran Na'vi View Post
The only system I can see that would work in the place of land ownership is a system of land-use rights. Though, one problem I see with land-use rights is what happens if one builds a building, but then no longer holds rights to use the land. Why should this person build the building if they may lose the right to use the land in which it stands?
Ah but that is already the system in place in a way! I rent a piece of land or a house - why should I want to improve that if I know I will eventually leave? Still - land use is better than land ownership, though yes - there would have to be a system in place that allows you to stay there. If I do not have to worry about loosing the place I live in because it is owned by others or because it is rented or leased just for a certain time - then this would be closest to haveing the freedom of land. It pretty much cuts into what I said before - of course you own the home you built and you have the right to tell others not to come in if they are not invited. But you cant own the land it sits on. You cant own a forest or a plains or a river and by that you also have not the right to destroy these things.

I know some native americans said something along the lines of how incredibly ludicrous it is that white people think they can own the land and that it would be as ridiculous as trying to own the air. That was back then and it was a good comparison back then. Nowadays, air pollution rights are sold and I dare not even joke about "what will be next - they will charge for the rays of the sun" as I fear that such things tend to fulfil themselves all too quickly.
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Old 08-22-2010, 12:16 PM
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Ha. Some are trying to sell land ON THE MOON. How dumb can corps get?
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
Sorry, but I dont think this is true. Surely a CEO worked hard, but you cant tell me he worked harder than an engineer spending sleepless nights developing a new product or a guy who pushes pipes at an oil rig or a mother who takes two jobs to feed her kid.
It simply does not add up - the amount of work is not 1000 times different, though the rewards are. And taking the risk to loose money is way different from taking the risk to loose health or life (thinking of that oil rig worker again).

I cannot imagine anyone working hard enough to own a mansion and a yacht - no single person could by regular work produce such a thing. The only way it works is by "working hard" to let others (employees) work harder and then reap from them.


They built it, its their company. If somebody wants to live like that, they can try building their own. Chances are however, its not going to work. This is because it takes dedication, knowledge, and an incredible self driven attitude to gain a respected position in the global economy. Most people either have no idea what to do, or just don't want to go through all that trouble. Those who do, and do it successfully (there are millions who have failed at it throughout the years) become rich from their accomplishments.

You cant penalize people for being successful. Would you harass a farmer for bringing in more crops than his neighbor? Of course not.
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Old 08-22-2010, 07:35 PM
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People can own land, in that they have control of it - other people can't come onto it without permission, they can build things there if they have planning permission (if that is required), they can give it away, sell it, leave it empty, or anything else, but technically they don't own it, it's more borrowed.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
Well thats two point there. Growth (which I dont think healthy at all as it is on the basis of whats destroying this planet now) and working hard for fruits of the land. I know this is utopian, but ideally - ant this was proposed in several ways - people have to work not a lot to get "fruitsof the land". Primitivists argue, that hunter gatherers did not have to work hard for their harvest, as they simply took what nature provided, so the taking was the work, not the maintaining or sowing. Communist utopians argue, that technologcal advances make it a low work intensive task to produce food from the land. In both cases the result would basically be, that people would not have to defend the crops they sweated for because there was no sweat to begin with.
The fact is that we wouldn't fight for the sweat put in but the ownership of what I made or took. It's called egoism. The "I worked hard" argument is just an excuse and an incentive to promote this attitude; just like the old "I am a nobleman and you're a mediocre peasant" or the "I bought it", or even the "I saw it first".

Just like kids who don't work at all fight for toys they were given, or teens face each other for the computer and whose turn is to check Facebook, for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
Well - what I say here is not a single step solution. I cannot say, I want to remove ownership from today to tomorrow and all will be blimey. So indeed it is a vision of some future and I very much know that a fast change is unrealistic and that also depresses me. I think it is right, that the human spirit or the way of thinking or the culture has to change fundamentally for this to work. As I mentioned, there are and have been cultures or societies that do manage to think more along these lines. So it is not beyond human nature to do it, but everyone is trained to see the way we live now either as the best way to live, or as flawed but inevitable. Communism failed mostly because it was never tried. What people now call communism was a dictatorship - In the Soviet Union, the original communist movement was hijacked and a Leninist regime was erected that founded itself as much of power, force and ownership of everything as the capitalist system, just that the power and ownership was in the hands of a political party instead of corporations - which is preferrable I leave to everyone, for me both is undesireable as the original communist idea was more along the lines of ownership by the people themselves.
If actual Communism wasn't put in practice it's exactly because some bastard would probably ruin the utopia; most probably by hijacking the movement and making the people work for them in a false "all equals" atmosphere. The same reason applies for all the Anarchist communes.

Human spirit still has to change.

Quote:
Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
Generally I think the achievable way to get somewhere is to form tribal structures. And I mean this in the sense of Daniel Quinns writings - not literally as ethnic tribes with tattoos going hunting together, but as small groups of people who share things and work together for whatever they do work for. That can be producing stuff in a small coop company, doing organic farming, printing a newspaper or manageing a Internet coop company. It can also mean to form an ecovillage - whatever, just finding a group of people who "got it" and do things in an egalitarian way and try to be as independent from the larger structures as possible. I dont know if that will cut it or if that will be enough or if that will really lead to utopia, but it is a good start, I think.
Though nice and beautiful idea, all utopias degenerate -if not see how democracy was pictured in the 18th century and how we complain about it in the 21st.

The main reason for this to happen is growth: everything is predictable to a point, but once the system is not small enough to keep working it collapses; just like the organs of every living system, they work well within their limits. Once their cells over-reproduce themselves, a chaotic cancer appears and eventually kills the organ.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
People can own land, in that they have control of it - other people can't come onto it without permission, they can build things there if they have planning permission (if that is required), they can give it away, sell it, leave it empty, or anything else, but technically they don't own it, it's more borrowed.
Well - borrowed is a better term. What I oppose is for once that people claim to own land - even if it is only borrowed. The attitude is different, like do I own a dog or is my dog living with me. This also means that selling or giving it away is not the right way to do it - if someone lives on a land and lives off that land - so be it, but to try to control more land than one needs and then sell it or rent it to others - that is not the right one has. If anything, than it is the right of weapons - as in fact what is sold then is not the land itself, but the "protection" from beeing driven off by the land by the person who "owns" it. Its like with the Mafia. Someone goes out and takes land into "posession" by means of weaponry and then forbids others to enter unless they work for him (or pay tribute). This sounds like Feudalism or Warlord rulership? It is the system we live in now - try not paying rent and you will at one point look into a gunbarrel...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
The fact is that we wouldn't fight for the sweat put in but the ownership of what I made or took. It's called egoism. The "I worked hard" argument is just an excuse and an incentive to promote this attitude
Well it is ok to protect what one has made, that is sure. Protect your shelter, protect your family or your tools. But to take things and claim ownership is a lot harder to justify - and to take land into posession as mentioned above is not really possible - it can only be borrowed. But I agree that the worked-hard-argument is just an excuse...

Quote:
If actual Communism wasn't put in practice it's exactly because some bastard would probably ruin the utopia; most probably by hijacking the movement and making the people work for them in a false "all equals" atmosphere. The same reason applies for all the Anarchist communes.
Human spirit still has to change.
Well - I think one thing that has to happen here is that people are aware of that. They had not been in the Revolution in Russia, they were all hyped up about it happening. One thing that makes this not work is to have masses of people. Like it or not, but masses of people behave very much different than individuals or small groups. They will follow a lead or act like a liquid or behave irrational. The key to a success I thking is a small group size. Within a village of 200 people, a revolution can take place, they can, like in Cuba or in India, organize to share what they have and set up egalitarian structures. This actually works, though they would not call themself an anarchist commune at all they still follow some of the basic principles there. In a small group, it would be a lot harder for some bastard to control all others - as he simply would be kicked out. The danger comes, when the group is large enough to support/feed soldiers/police/guards that have the monopoly on using force. A small community however has a good potential to avert this, unlike if a mass society with a rigid system of police, military and ownership rights is established.

Quote:
Though nice and beautiful idea, all utopias degenerate
Well - Utopias yes, Sane societies not (Peaceful Societies). And if you think of it, the societies/cultures that lasted the longest, like the indigenous cultures that survived to the present or the cultures that existed for hundreds of thousands of years in the past seem to largely have not much of a stratification or ownership problem. For the old ones it can only be inferred by archaeology (like determining food distribution in pupolations), for the cultures that survived into the post 1500 era, those who have smallscale structures often (not always!) show quite a different way of living than the dominant culture now.

But of course I agree that quite a shift in consciousness or awareness in the people has to happen before any of this could be set up. If you take away the government and police right now, probably the system would just revive itself in a different form. The people have to share a different vision than to regard humans as flawed, agressive and greedy by default. And there has to be a realization that mass society is not really working - or rather is the reason for the kind of setup we have now. In respect of land ownership this means, that small communities may have the "right" to borrow the land they live on from Nature, but no individual owns the land - nor some communal government - no one that asks anyone money or labour in return for using the land. It would be shared among that community.

Quote:
The main reason for this to happen is growth: everything is predictable to a point, but once the system is not small enough to keep working it collapses;
Well, that basically is what I mean - growth (or as I said also mere size) is the main problem. And my case is, that growth, especially the kind of infinite growth this society is built on is unsustainable and the source of many of the problems this culture faces. But as growth (economic and in population) is at the root of this culture, it is not really possible to shape a different future with small reforms of that very system - it has to change at the root, and that is admittedly a hard thing to do. But as I said, I guess I partly agree with Quinn that such a change cannot come from top down, neither can it come by a forceful revolution. It can come only by people walking away from it. By people getting together in small groups, they can become mostly independent of the larger structure without violence, revolution, overthrowing anything. I dont know if that strategy leads anywhere - it would require eventually a large portion of people to do this and I dont know what the reaction of "the machine" would be to that. Usually it would fight it. Like smallscale farms or companies are simply put out of business by the ability of larger corporations to "dump prices" for a time. But I still think it is a much better way than to do nothing or than to try a new Soviet Union style regime change.


And now to something completely different
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aihwa View Post
They built it, its their company. If somebody wants to live like that, they can try building their own. Chances are however, its not going to work. This is because it takes dedication, knowledge, and an incredible self driven attitude to gain a respected position in the global economy. Most people either have no idea what to do, or just don't want to go through all that trouble. Those who do, and do it successfully (there are millions who have failed at it throughout the years) become rich from their accomplishments.
See - I think we are going nowhere here. You repeat your arguments. I can also repeat mine now. To "build a company" may take a lot of dedication and knowledge, but so does becoming a medical doctor or a professor. The fact is, that in this kind of economy, certain abilities as well as prior wealth are ranked a lot higher than other, much more productive skills when it comes to "making money". Someone who has money and some good luck or abstract knowledge of stock markets can make millions in days, while someone creating important knowledge or helping people will never get rich. To set such a huge difference in the value of different kinds of work is utterly insane and can only be kept up by a system of power that allows the one who already have to maintain that system by using their power, eventually also in very physical means by violence, to kepp it all going. To put it bluntly - I dont see that a person who builds a big company has any more right to getting a significantly higher revenue from it than the person building or maintaining the machines for that company. They have different sets of skills, both have learned them over years and invested a lot of time learning them and other would have no clue as to how to go about when faced with the respective problems - why would an economic skill be more worth than a mechanical? (This is of course just an example and one that is treated in existing cooperative companies in which the boss gets only marginally more pay than the mechanic who gets just a bit more than the janitor)

Greetings
Aurora
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post

See - I think we are going nowhere here. You repeat your arguments. I can also repeat mine now. To "build a company" may take a lot of dedication and knowledge, but so does becoming a medical doctor or a professor. The fact is, that in this kind of economy, certain abilities as well as prior wealth are ranked a lot higher than other, much more productive skills when it comes to "making money". Someone who has money and some good luck or abstract knowledge of stock markets can make millions in days, while someone creating important knowledge or helping people will never get rich. To set such a huge difference in the value of different kinds of work is utterly insane and can only be kept up by a system of power that allows the one who already have to maintain that system by using their power, eventually also in very physical means by violence, to kepp it all going. To put it bluntly - I dont see that a person who builds a big company has any more right to getting a significantly higher revenue from it than the person building or maintaining the machines for that company. They have different sets of skills, both have learned them over years and invested a lot of time learning them and other would have no clue as to how to go about when faced with the respective problems - why would an economic skill be more worth than a mechanical? (This is of course just an example and one that is treated in existing cooperative companies in which the boss gets only marginally more pay than the mechanic who gets just a bit more than the janitor)

Greetings
Aurora

There isn't really too many ways for me to argue against "illegalizing success". And last I checked... Professions such as doctors usually are very, very well off in the world due to the amount of schooling they were required to achieve.

The only way you're going to achieve this, is by going up to somebody, taking something that is their property, their company, and giving it away to others. Now, this of course would have to be done through threats/force, because most people don't take too kindly to being robbed of their possessions. So you end up with a dictatorial government pretty much like Soviet Russia or China.

You cannot take what is not yours. That's that.
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  #12  
Old 08-23-2010, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
Well it is ok to protect what one has made, that is sure. Protect your shelter, protect your family or your tools. But to take things and claim ownership is a lot harder to justify - and to take land into posession as mentioned above is not really possible - it can only be borrowed. But I agree that the worked-hard-argument is just an excuse...
Let's say that in fact every single thing we take is borrowed actually; but another thing is that in human societies borrowing is taken as ownership. They will keep in mind that no matter what: you can explain them they're just borrowing, but they'll tell you it's theirs. Period.

Perhaps you can convince someone reasonable about this, but not all people are ready to change their mind and give away their possessions.

Also, there's no need to justify anything if you've got a gun, for example.

"Whatcha doin' in mah lawn?"
"Sir, this is not your lawn. In fact..."
"GETTAWT OF MAH LAWN!"
"Please sir, I-"
*takes out rifle*
"But why would you say this is yours?"
"Becoz I paid fo' it, and it's mine, period!"
*shoots to knee*

Sometimes the best answer you'll get is a "Just because". It's sad, but it's real.

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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
Well - I think one thing that has to happen here is that people are aware of that. They had not been in the Revolution in Russia, they were all hyped up about it happening. One thing that makes this not work is to have masses of people. Like it or not, but masses of people behave very much different than individuals or small groups. They will follow a lead or act like a liquid or behave irrational. The key to a success I thking is a small group size. Within a village of 200 people, a revolution can take place, they can, like in Cuba or in India, organize to share what they have and set up egalitarian structures. This actually works, though they would not call themself an anarchist commune at all they still follow some of the basic principles there.
Yes, but making small structures and creating a "social paradise" does not solve the problem, does it?

It may work, but just within its limits and inside the previous system. And once the group splits up for any reason, it means the end of the movement.

So if you expect your commune to change the world, I'm sorry but being realistic, it won't happen. A nice idea, but unrealistic: it does not bring a better life condition or political situation but to the 200 people in there; and that if they manage to create enough wealth to pay taxes and get licenses.

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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
Well - Utopias yes, Sane societies not (Peaceful Societies). And if you think of it, the societies/cultures that lasted the longest, like the indigenous cultures that survived to the present or the cultures that existed for hundreds of thousands of years in the past seem to largely have not much of a stratification or ownership problem. For the old ones it can only be inferred by archaeology (like determining food distribution in pupolations), for the cultures that survived into the post 1500 era, those who have smallscale structures often (not always!) show quite a different way of living than the dominant culture now.
Societies and cultures are maintained by their power and not by their peacefulness -neither do I like the fact, but it's the real thing. Roman culture lasted for 1000 years (Roman Republic and Empire, if we take out the Eastern Roman Empire), for example; and had an aggressive expansionist policy. Middle Age feudalism lasted even more, and was based in vassalage and oppression; wars between noblemen were a usual matter.

If such tribal societies survive, it's because of the benevolence of current governments and pressure from people with common sense. But should they attempt to be a bother for the top bosses, they will be crushed. For further details see "The Mission".

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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
But of course I agree that quite a shift in consciousness or awareness in the people has to happen before any of this could be set up. If you take away the government and police right now, probably the system would just revive itself in a different form.
Actually, the strongest and more powerful would take control again. Civil war, constant fights for mere possession of a piece of land. It would be the law of the jungle.

Not because we're inherently bad, but because we're in a inherently egoist culture who teaches us to take over and use the rest as a means to reach what we want.

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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
The people have to share a different vision than to regard humans as flawed, agressive and greedy by default. And there has to be a realization that mass society is not really working - or rather is the reason for the kind of setup we have now. In respect of land ownership this means, that small communities may have the "right" to borrow the land they live on from Nature, but no individual owns the land - nor some communal government - no one that asks anyone money or labour in return for using the land. It would be shared among that community.
Perhaps you can organize your system to be so; but it will be just a matter of time for the conflicts and ownership to appear again. As simple as a single person claiming something is theirs.

And regarding mass society: most of us have realized it is bad, but since being part of the solution is too difficult, we would rather stay being part of the problem; contenting ourselves with a job, money and stuff to buy.

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Originally Posted by auroraglacialis View Post
I partly agree with Quinn that such a change cannot come from top down, neither can it come by a forceful revolution. It can come only by people walking away from it. By people getting together in small groups, they can become mostly independent of the larger structure without violence, revolution, overthrowing anything. I dont know if that strategy leads anywhere - it would require eventually a large portion of people to do this and I dont know what the reaction of "the machine" would be to that. Usually it would fight it. Like smallscale farms or companies are simply put out of business by the ability of larger corporations to "dump prices" for a time. But I still think it is a much better way than to do nothing or than to try a new Soviet Union style regime change.
Violent revolution is not the solution -it ends up in dictatorship and repression against the enemies of it. But neither it is to create a smaller than the current government resistance -it will end up absorbed by the previous system.

I purpose a parallel government based in free association, but that's me; and it's an idea I'd rather keep to myself as long as it remains undeveloped.
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  #13  
Old 08-26-2010, 06:11 AM
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Ah but that is already the system in place in a way! I rent a piece of land or a house - why should I want to improve that if I know I will eventually leave?
I believe that is why a security deposit is a popular charge when one first agrees to rent a unit. It gives people an incentive to at least keep the property near its initial condition.

Quote:
Still - land use is better than land ownership, though yes - there would have to be a system in place that allows you to stay there. If I do not have to worry about loosing the place I live in because it is owned by others or because it is rented or leased just for a certain time - then this would be closest to haveing the freedom of land. It pretty much cuts into what I said before - of course you own the home you built and you have the right to tell others not to come in if they are not invited. But you cant own the land it sits on. You cant own a forest or a plains or a river and by that you also have not the right to destroy these things.
But then when it comes to legal issues concerning the land, who can make the claim or be held liable for damages. Who will control the use of resources on the land? One problem I can see arise is the 'tragedy of the commons.'
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:32 PM
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you can't own the land, man
Read the thread and then reply please.
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Old 09-24-2010, 11:45 AM
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Ok, I want to point out and emphasize, that this discussion is quite a philosophical one, meaning it focuses a lot on analyzing the problem of the current situation and thinking about ideal states of "how it should be". It cannot be a guideline or manual on how to get there!

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Originally Posted by Aihwa
There isn't really too many ways for me to argue against "illegalizing success". And last I checked... Professions such as doctors usually are very, very well off in the world due to the amount of schooling they were required to achieve.
That is really not an argument to justify beeing "well off" by itself. Dont be hung up on current educational systems. Imagine (and in some countries this is partly realized) that education is free, everyone has access and people choose what they want to learn out of interest. A doctor would become a doctor because he is interested in helping people. A mechanic is interested in providing people with machines and a scientist wants to do science and so on. As there is no monetary investment in education, there is really no justification in increased monetary return.

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Originally Posted by Aihwa
The only way you're going to achieve this, is by going up to somebody, taking something that is their property, their company, and giving it away to others.
This is what the stalinists did, yes - they tried to be nationwide robin hoods but here we are at the point I do not want to discuss in detail as on how to get there. Probably it is needed to "take from the rich and give to the poor" to achieve a new egalitarianism - but by what means this can be done - force is the most likely option probably. Another one is to dig away the flow - forming new companies as cooperatives and take away marketshare. A good example (though it definitly could be inproved in many ways) is Mondragon: Mondragon Corporation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - the differenc between upper management and assistant worker is WAY less than in traditional companies, the setup is democratic and the managed to get in the top 10 of businesses in Spain!

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Originally Posted by zenit-yerkes
Perhaps you can convince someone reasonable about this, but not all people are ready to change their mind and give away their possessions.
Also, there's no need to justify anything if you've got a gun, for example.
Well - frankly there are two options - kepp up the inequality out of respect for some proclaimed ownership, or trying to establish a more egalitarian ways by not acknowledging that claim. The means to get it may be diverse, but to just accept this is not really an option for the 21st century. I already gave an example above from Spain, another obvious one is Open Source Software - you dont need to take away the posessions of Bill Gate$, you give people an alternative that does not give rise to another person becoming rich.
The theory behind this is "Rhizome": Anthropik Podcast #4: "The Rhizome Network" : Tribe of Anthropik : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenit-yerkes
It may work, but just within its limits and inside the previous system. And once the group splits up for any reason, it means the end of the movement.
[...] it does not bring a better life condition or political situation but to the 200 people in there;
[...]
Actually, the strongest and more powerful would take control again. Civil war, constant fights for mere possession of a piece of land. It would be the law of the jungle.
Not because we're inherently bad, but because we're in a inherently egoist culture who teaches us to take over and use the rest as a means to reach what we want.
Well - if it splits, you will have two groups that follow the same principle. Its like cell division - it is the way such structures grow! If it provides a better way of life for the people involved, it will attract more people and then it goes "split" again and so on. In "The Earth only endures", Julie Pretty gives some examples of these setups from "3rd world countries" in which farmers organize that way. Once the cooperative or foundation reaches a certain limit and the marginal returns diminish (marked by the appearance of administrative specialists), the groups split in regional and local subgroups, interacting with the other, but not beeing part of a hierarchy.

The "law of the jungle" is not that, I assure you. but yes - as long as people really believe in the current culture setup, they are prone to fall for it again. There is however an increasing distrust in that. Power and violence are however a problem that would have to be dealt with, that is for sure. But not by opposing it with more power, but by taking away the means to have power. If someone controls your food, your place to live, your landbase, then you are prone to his rulership. But every "big man" would need to have some means of power to begin with - he needs resources to pay his soldiers. He cant force people to do as he wishes just by having a gun. You cant control an army with a gun only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenit-yerkes
Perhaps you can organize your system to be so; but it will be just a matter of time for the conflicts and ownership to appear again. As simple as a single person claiming something is theirs.
And regarding mass society: most of us have realized it is bad, but since being part of the solution is too difficult, we would rather stay being part of the problem; contenting ourselves with a job, money and stuff to buy.
See - in southern Germany until something like 50 years ago communities existed that shared land. A village could have shared ownership of a valley and the members of the village would agree on how many cattle each of them was allowed to let graze there. One might think that eventually one person would claim it all for himself or that a few would put in a lot of cattle and others just one, but thats not what happened - it worked well for centuries until cattle farming became industrialized and cattle got put into houses and fed with grain.
And yes - most have realized that mass society is bad - the key now is to find a way to show people a way out of it. Providing alternatives that work, that are an improvement will draw people out of mass society. In the 1960ies, suddenly people saw that some communes were successful and in the blink of an eye, numbers of people abandoned mass society to go for it. Of course we know it did not work out for a number of reasons, but the point is, that if people see an alternative, they are willing to abandon the ship and go for the tropical island
Quote:
Violent revolution is not the solution -it ends up in dictatorship and repression against the enemies of it. But neither it is to create a smaller than the current government resistance -it will end up absorbed by the previous system.
I purpose a parallel government based in free association, but that's me;
Well any such "parallel government" would inevitably start out as smaller and weaker as the big systems in place. It is a bit of a David vs Goliath theme, but with the same reasoning as in this fable, it has a chance of success. Big systems cannot react quickly. They are buried in complexity and simply cannot react quickly. To stick to economics - if people set up more and more effective cooperatives, other companies could not really "defend" against that any more than against other traditional companies. And guess who people looking for a job would prefer to join if positions are open

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonoran Na'vi
But then when it comes to legal issues concerning the land, who can make the claim or be held liable for damages. Who will control the use of resources on the land? One problem I can see arise is the 'tragedy of the commons.'
Who will control and protect the land? The very people that depend on it. If your life depends on that land, if it gives you water and food, they you take care of it. This is how native people did it for millennia and this is why they fight vigorously to protect the jungle and mountains they live on. They dont own it in a legal sense, but they defend it anyways! Maybe they dont stand a chance against rifles and helicopters but the point here was to ask who would protect the land from damages!

Sorry for the WOT, but there were many replies I wanted to adress

Greetings,
Aurora
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