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Primary Land Rights

1 - Introduction

Let's say a big man takes all the oxygen away from earth. Then this big man tells you: "If you want oxygen, you need to fetch me some gold." Desperate for some oxygen, you set out in search for gold, doing all that you can to find it. Whenever you get some gold, you give it to the big man in exchange for some oxygen. Now imagine that you are doing this for the entire duration of your life. Most people would say that what the big man is doing isn't ethical. Also, having to spend time searching for gold in exchange for oxygen would be considered a form of slavery.

Now take the above paragraph, replace "big man" with "government", replace "gold" with "government controlled currency", and replace "oxygen" with "land, shelter and food". For some unknown reason, the new paragraph with all the replacements doesn't seem to bother most people of today. It is in fact, just as unethical for the government to do what it is doing as what the big man is doing. That's what this essay is about.

2 - Government Control

About 200 states control all of the land on earth. They do this by maintaining physical power over the land with military and police forces.

If a bird finds an unused branch, and decides to build a nest, she is usually allowed to do so. But if a human finds an unused piece of land, and decides to build a shelter, and the government finds out, the human will be forced away from the land by the police.

What you need to do for land, is fetch some government controlled currency, that is to say, money, and give it either directly to the government, or to the government-approved owner of the land. If you have a lot of money, it may be possible to "buy the land", if not, you are forced to "rent the land".

If you fetch enough money to "buy the land", you are still forced to regularly fetch more money to pay property taxes to the government.

If you only have enough money to "rent the land", you are still forced to regularly fetch more money as well, this time to pay rent to the landlord, who in turn uses some of that money to pay property taxes to the government.

Some people are lucky and are able to live on some other person's land for free for the rest of their lives. This is usually the case when family or friends fetch money for a certain amount of land, and let the lucky person stay there for free. When I generally talk about people in this essay, I exclude these lucky people.

People who want land, are forced to fetch money for either the government or landlords, which I shall collectively call the "land robbers".

The way in which governments acquired the land in the first place is interesting as well. In the whole continent of america, for example, all of the countries there took over the land by murdering millions of natives, and by fighting and winning wars against others who wanted the same land. Once the most powerful adversaries have been destroyed, or scared away, they then implemented a police force to control the land and the population, and to force taxes on all the people living on the land.

3 - Land and Oxygen

At the present-day state of technology, land on earth is practically as essential to life as oxygen.

Without land, you have nowhere to live, and nowhere to sleep.

Without land, you have nowhere to grow your own food, or to find food.

Without land, you cannot have a shelter to protect yourself from dangerous animals, people, and weather.

Being forced to fetch gold for land is practically as bad as being forced to fetch gold for oxygen, because both land, and oxygen, are essential for basic life.

Oxygen is considered as being much more important than land. If oxygen is taken away from you, you would die in a matter of seconds. If land is taken away from you, imagine being thrust into space, or into the air, or into the sea, you will die just as well as if you had no oxygen. With a few exceptions, like some astronauts, practically all people need land for basic life.

Animals who have their land taken away from them by humans, generally don't get to live much longer. They are usually forced into other land in which their natural food source is not present. The animals die.

For the same reasons that people have a right to free oxygen from earth, all people have a right to free land from earth. Any stealing of a person's fair share of land is unethical, even if done by the government.

4 - Slavery

There are many definitions of slavery. The definition I use in this essay, includes any cases in which somebody is being forced to perform labour because of another person's actions.

Since land is essential for basic life, people who want to live have to do whatever it takes to have land. Furthermore, since all land is controlled by the land robbers, the only way to acquire land is to fetch money for them. It is the actions of the slave robbers which forces people to fetch money. Fetching money is labour. Therefore, fetching money for the land robbers is slavery.

Some people consider employees to be slaves to their employers. This is not what I am saying. In this essay, I'm saying that people, whether or not they are employees in a company, are slaves to the land robbers, not to their employers. People have the choice of getting a job or not. What they don't have a choice to, is, whether or not they can fetch or not fetch money for the land robbers. People are not forced to do as their employer says; people are forced to fetch money for the land robbers.

There are many ways people can fetch money:

Two of the above choices are actually illegal. This severely restricts the safe choices available. Furthermore, some or all of the choices may be completely unsuccessful. A person may never find a treasure, or a person may be unable to find a job, or a person's own business has not made any money. This can lead to a very difficult life.

A man who forces a slave to make a sandwich, can give the slave several choices on how to actually make the sandwich. The slave may choose between either 2 or 3 slices of tomatoes. The slave may choose to put a little bit of mustard, or may choose to put a lot of mustard. Clearly, having choices on how to do his work doesn't mean the person is not a slave.

Even though we have several choices on how to make money, we are still slaves to the land robbers, because we are being forced to fetch money and give it to them.

Sometimes people are completely restricted from even the choices listed above. A person may not be successful at running their own business. A person may be completely unable to find any treasure. A person may be unable to get all jobs applied for except for one. In this situation, the slave is not only forced to fetch money for the land robbers, but is also forced to work at a particular job for the land robbers. This person doesn't have the choice to work at another job, or to choose one of the other choices.

Printing their own money, and stealing money, is illegal under all circumstances. I would like to note here, that such actions may be justified and ethical in some situations, especially in a world that is completely controlled by land robbers. This topic deserves an essay all on its own, so I will not discuss it any further in here.

A lot of people wouldn't consider themselves slaves to the land robbers because they may work for more reasons than just paying rent and buying food. These people spend most of their money on luxuries, and only a small percentage of their income needs to be given to the land robbers. They would work even if they had free land and free food. Their slave work doesn't including fetching the money and working. Their slave work mostly just consists of giving away a bit of their money. A small amount of labour in comparison to the actual employment. This is hardly what anybody would consider slavery. Because of this, the majority of people with power, those with luxuries, don't consider themselves slaves, and would be unmotivated to fight for the liberation of the most unfortunate slaves.

5 - Landless People

When people fail to fetch money, life generally become very difficult.

They don't have land to grow food on, and usually become malnourished.

They cannot buy food from others.

They don't have safe shelters, and are subject to dangerous animals, people, and weather.

Some are forced to live on harsh land, such as in deserts, where even water is hard to find.

Some are forced to share a shelter with many people, with only enough space for each person to just physically fit inside.

The life expectancy of landless people is generally much shorter than that of people who successfully fetch money for their enslavers.

6 - Ethics

Today, oxygen is taken for granted. If somebody were to steal all the oxygen from the people, most people would immediately figure out that this stealing of oxygen is unethical. But because the robbing of land by the land robbers has been going on for thousands of years, and the population has always been successfully forced to submit to this behaviour, people don't even think about the possibility that the stealing of land in this way is unethical.

Many people say that people "must work" to survive. So they acknowledge the fact that we are forced to fetch money. They acknowledge that we must fetch money either for rent, or to "buy" property and pay property taxes. What they don't acknowledge is that the only reason we "must work" is because land robbers have unethically stolen all the land of the world, and use military and police forces to physically force others to work for the land they live on. People fail to realize that people are being forced into slavery, and fail to realize that what is happening is unethical.

In summary, land robbers do two things that are unethical:

  1. They steal every person's fair share of land.
  2. Then they force people into slavery for their own survival.

What the land robbers are doing is unethical. They must stop.

To replace the current system of land ownership and property taxes, a system of land sharing must be implemented.

7 - Land Sharing

Different animals and people need different amounts of land. But there is a limited amount of land on earth. With present population numbers, it is not be possible for every living creature to have all the land that they want.

A system must be figured out for fairly sharing all the land between all the living creatures on it.

This system must also take into account the fact that the human population is growing at an incredibly rapid rate.

The discussion on how such a system could work is beyond the scope of this essay.

What needs to be made clear is that until we can move all people off the land into space colonies, a fair system of land sharing needs to be implemented in which each person has their fair share of free land.

In this system, people would not be enslaved by the powerful land robbers, and everybody would have their own fair share of land, which is essential for basic life.

Primary Land Rights, by The Humanoid