[diggers350] Re: Land ownership

mcstone.ancientmod. mcstone.ancientmod. at breathemail.net
Sat Aug 7 14:38:50 BST 1999

Hi Stephen,
Well you get the award for the most civilized and coolest definition of
civilization. Id
vote for you and your idealism, but somehow I dont think youll be standing
in any election that isnt already stitched up.

For the record I dont confuse public ownership with state-controlled land
but I find it difficult to recognise a distinction in police state britain
and I find it impossible to imagine how your utopia could come about.

The problem is your liberal use of the word 'we' and the association of the
whole idea with force.

Now for the history lesson. Since man first stood on two legs he has banded
together as tribes, there are all sorts of reasons for this but one common
thing with all tribes is a hierachical social structure.  The strong
dominate the weak. Its sad but the natural order of things.

Why should your revolution be any different from any of the others? One
brand of tyranny is always ultimately replaced by another. Id fully like to
see the social structure of this country turned on it's head but I cant see
it. When it does appear to happen it is an illusion (witness the three
english civil wars that resulted in the restoration of the monarchy).

So much for revolution, but land rights that is worth fighting for. I will
continue to draw a distinction between these ideals because I remain
unconvinced that there is any such thing as a genuine socially just
revolution, stick to land
rights where you are right on, revolutionaries just build castles in the


----- Original Message -----
From: Stephen Bint <digger at barrysworld.co.uk>
To: diggers350 <diggers350 at egroups.com>
Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 1999 7:14 PM
Subject: [diggers350] Re: Land ownership

> Dear Hengist,
> I am sorry I did not reply straight away. I have not had
> access to email.
> >the assumption that private land ownership is somehow
> >the beast we should be excising could well be wrong.
> You say land ownership is not the beast, but it is a
> beast. The other main beast is tyranny, or a lack of ways of
> organizing against tyranny. That is where the nukes come
> from.
> I think the solution for tyranny would be someone inventing
> a system of democracy that would work for ten people on an
> island. Ownership of the island's resources would be one of
> the things a democratic system would be used to determine.
> I think they would vote to share the resources.
> >Public land ownership is often a far worse thing.
> You associate publicly-owned land with state-controlled
> land, but it doesn't have to be state-controlled.
> You could have a system that leaves the boundaries where
> they are and leases every plot at regular intervals. All
> plots would be registered at a local office, which makes it
> easy to find out when a plot next comes up for lease. The
> leases could be sold at auction.
> We could share the money out by a traditional formula, based
> on our income from the lease auctions. Once we know how much
> was made everywhere, we give everyone in our area a share
> out of the income from the local land auction house. If we
> have any left over, it is sent to the nearest area with a
> shortage.
> So it needn't be controlled by a central authority. We could
> have a traditional way, a set of instructions we always
> follow to the letter.
> After all, this money comes free out of the earth. We could
> have been sharing it all along. Your regular dividend has
> been withheld from you since you were born, because a few
> hundred years ago, a bunch of greedy, violent men put up
> fences and claimed to own this land forever. I am 33, so if
> an equal share of the earth's rent amounts to ten pounds a
> week, I have had £17160 withheld from me so far.
> I expect it amounts to more than ten pounds a week, because
> people spend more than that on land. It would be worth at
> least as much as the rent we all pay between us, divided by
> the number of people; about a fifth of an average rent
> (I estimate four fifths of rent is for the building) to each
> household.
> Not just you, but your children too are born into a world
> where they owe money to people who do nothing in return for
> it. The landlords paid someone else for it, not us. If they
> had paid us a big lump sum, it might be okay for them to get
> rent off us for a while after that, depending on the amount.
> But they didn't pay us, they paid someone else. We never got
> anything out of it and we never will until we are paying
> eachother for the right to monopolize land.
> I think we are all responsible for letting the system take
> the piss out of us, so we shouldn't let landowners be the
> only ones who pay for the transition to a fair system. So I
> am not hostile to landowners. If I was a Bolshevik I
> wouldn't fit in. I just know we have to abolish private land
> ownership because it is the reason people live in shanty
> towns.
> >Ps if anybody has any definition of civilization I'd like
> >to hear it.
> Civilization is a group of people who are prepared to be
> reasonable.
> -----------------------------------------------------
> Land Ownership looked like a bad idea when it was
> introduced. It had to be introduced by force.
> These extracts are from a pamphlet written at a
> time when the greedy squires were fencing off England,
> destroying villages and evicting the English people
> into the street. It was addressed to lords of manors
> all over England.
> Poor oppressed People
> 1649
> ...the earth was not made purposely for you, to be Lords of
> it,
> and we to be your Slaves, Servants, and Beggers;
> but it was made to be a common Livelihood to all,
> without respect of persons...
> ...your buying and selling of Land, and the Fruits of it,
> one to another, is The Cursed Thing, and was brought in by
> War;
> which hath, and still does establish murder, and theft,
> In the hands of some branches of Mankinde over others,
> which is the greatest outward burden,
> and unrighteous power, that the Creation groans under:
> For the power of inclosing Land, and owning Propriety,
> was brought into the Creation by your Ancestors by the
> Sword;
> which first did murther their fellow Creatures, Men,
> and after plunder or steal away their Land,
> and left this Land successively to you, their Children.
> And therefore, though you did not kill or theeve,
> yet you hold that Cursed Thing in your hand,
> by the power of the Sword...
> See the whole pamphlet:
> http://www.geocities.com/capitolhill/senate/6036/poor.htm
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