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When and why did we start staking out property?

When did it all start and why? Who was the first owner of land and what was the criteria for a person to do so?


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    Oct 26 2012: It's interesting to see how this question manages to polarize political leanings. Thanks Mats for asking it.

    It's also interesting that one 'leaning' resorts to personal affrontery to get views on ownership across, whilst others are prepared to think more widely and to welcome freedom of thought.

    Territorialsm is an ancient remnant of our psyche and if it is to persist in modern times, it has to be tempered by civilized behaviour. It is questionable that grabbing all we can at the expense of others is actually civilized behaviour. It lacks essential empathy and positive regard for others.

    Can the law of the jungle justifiably persist if we are to also call ourselves civilized?
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      Oct 26 2012: I find it interesting that those who claim to be open minded say that to cover their agenda and in reality are anything but open minded. E.G. Would those who claim to be open minded give up there property for the greater good? Not somebody else's but there own?
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        Oct 26 2012: Thanks Pat. Right on cue.

        Would you like to tell me what my agenda is? I'd love to know...
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          Oct 26 2012: Back at ya.

          The agendas is Equality. This is Mats song on a loop. The Equality trope is a built in handicap to explain no effort or production.
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        Oct 26 2012: Would you say that Equality is always a handicap? Why?

        Effort or production of what?

        Do you also have a song on a loop? (I think most people do, by the way. It's a good way of consolidating ideas - but can also lead to entrenched beliefs).
        • Oct 26 2012: "Would you say that Equality is always a handicap?"
          There is a story about that. Ironically, it was written by Kurt Vonnegut, a socialist, himself: http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html
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          Oct 26 2012: Yes because it place blame. The trouble with blame is you cannot control the target of the blame.

          E.G. The Big Evil Banks are to blame for our current mess. Consequently the best you can do is protest with the 99%'s, What change does that create?

          Now your answer is that I blame Big Evil Government, which is not entirely true, I blame us. For being ignorant. Which is only slightly better in that I can educate myself and attempt to educate. But this is a very long slow process with the sucess being few and far between more on me than others. I have educated myself through TED and the talks by Niall Ferguson, Matt Ridley, Yasheng Huang, Krisztian Pentar, and books and other sources. But getting other people to wake up is difficult. But it is better that just saying its their fault, and being handicapped.

          Effort and production of anything, at a high level as this is where the game is played best.

          No I don't have a song on a loop, I am aware of what I'm saying and I know what I know and I know what I don't know. What I say is said from a cause point it is not a meme.
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          Oct 26 2012: Why are all of those equality stories always dystopian?
        • Oct 27 2012: Greetings...

          It would appear that equality is a modern concept, and one might say myth. Find refrences to the equality of individuals that predates the enlightenment. I would be interested in such refrences.

      • Oct 26 2012: @Pat: If you want another story, that is strangely similar but very different, try http://alexpeak.com/twr/anthem/ As this new linked page indicates, I'm not the only one to have noticed a similarity between Harrison Bergernon and Anthem.

        I must caution you that this one is not as quick to read. But I do encourage you to skip the forewords and introductions -- they only spoil things, rather than add to it.
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          Oct 28 2012: Good story, same theme as Fountainhead. "the council of eugenics" quite amusing
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        Oct 26 2012: Should I automatically assume that by disfavouring equality, you favour inequality - and that inequality somehow removes blame? Surely inequality is the seed of blame in the first place?

        I need to ask all these questions in order to try and understand your viewpoint - and how inequality could possibly be advantageous.

        Maybe my misunderstanding is down to semantics. Instead of equality/inequality, should I instead be thinking in terms of sameness/difference? If so, then I agree entirely with you - sameness is something to deplore, while difference is often very healthy.
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          Oct 27 2012: No, I only object to equality. Inequality is not the point. The seed of blame comes from the blamer and from the Ellsworth Tooheys of the world.

          2 examples:

          I once knew a dory fisherman who out produced all the other fisherman. The other fisher man blamed him because he started earlier worked the nets harder. The blame was an excuse not to work harder and longer.

          Al Sharpton is always complaining about the repressed black man who has been taken advantage of. No doubt the blacks have been exploited. But to blame makes the black man the victim, it is a double edge sword. The truth is that black teenagers had about the same unemployment rate as whites until they instituted minimum wage which drove jobs away from the less skilled. This information along with a bunch more comes from a black economist.


          Inequality is not advantageous it is irrelevant. It is only made relevant by those who profit by creating a straw-man like Sharpton or Al Gore or George Soros or Hitler.

          What is valuable is that the individual lives on his own terms following his own purpose. Which means he must be free to succeed or free to fail. In this way the standard of living of the entire wold has been raised from the hunter gatherer level to what it is today.

          Analytical thought is thinking in terms of differences, similarities and identities. Associative thinking is in terms of association and is a lower level of thinking as it is not analytical. The lowest level of thinking is not thinking at all and is purely reactionary, which is the level of thought of animals.
        • Oct 27 2012: "Equality" in the brutal sense that communists and socialists are suggesting -- taking from the rich and giving to the poor -- is quite like chopping off Michael Phelps' fingers and toes, so that everyone has a "fair chance" of finishing first at the Olympics.

          The world can be unfair sometimes. But things are only going to get worse if the government steps in with their legislation to "fix" things. Equality makes sense only as far as the courts go -- i.e. a court should not have different rules for "nobility" or "CEO" or "union leader". When the government forces "equality" on to people, in their private affairs... we'll some countries have tried it... and those are the countries I will never ever live in. It is just a 2-3 decades from there to "all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others".
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        Oct 27 2012: Hard work should indeed be rewarded.

        But looking at this on a commercial scale, out-fishing other fishermen eventually becomes the unsustainable practice of over-fishing - leading to species extinction at worst.

        Continuing with your fishing example, who then draws the line (and takes remedial action) at the point when it is known by marine scientists that over-fishing becomes globally unsustainable?

        Would the political/economic system you advocate, sit up and listen to those experts without accusations of conspiracy? I don't think so.

        Has that same political and economic system listened to climate science? No it hasn't - and furthermore it never will as long as that system claims exclusive ownership of all natural resources on economic grounds.

        Going back to Mats' ownership question then:

        I can (and do) legitimately claim ownership of something I have manufactured myself and expect payment for it when it is sold.

        Claiming ownership of something that occurs naturally and which has no connection to me or anyone else for its own existence, is neither my birthright or mine just because I have driven a stake into a plot of land before anyone else has.

        'Ownership' of anything naturally occurring - land, sea, air and even natural resources - come under the category of stewardship. This is because altering any of those with the freedoms that ownership confers, affects everything and everybody else.

        We are simply the custodians of everything that does not originally owe its existence to human ingenuity - no matter how much money has exchanged hands.
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          Oct 27 2012: Of course there has to be some regulation as is the case with fishing. But I will also say that the U.S. is hugely over regulated. This causes business to start elsewhere. On a planetary scale regulation has zero effect. They claim that 25% or more of the pollution that is over Los Angeles, which is more regulated than anywhere else in the world, is from China.

          As indicated in the video I attached earlier what you advocate would lower the standard of living drastically. At the beginning of the last century over 80% of North Americans owned land while in South America it was a small minority who had Spanish land grants. This is a large part of the reason for the disparity between the 2 continents.

          If the land is as you say owned by everyone there would be no motivation for oil companies to figure out how to drill in 5000 ft of water and spend billions in the process. Consequently we will run of energy or pay a bigger price for it.

          The main point is that the only disposition on this that works is paying attention to what works. What you advocate DOES NOT WORK. As Nail indicates in the video civilizations operate on the edge of chaos, in history more often than not they collapse [usually from debt]. Debt is more consumption than production.

          Advocating less production for whatever reason (which includes more over regulation) results in more debt because the agencies that "regulate" do not have to answer to the market. This becomes laughable here in the U.S. and in the U.K.

          Anyway if the civilization collapses you will have your wish as it will be a resurgence of the dark ages but with more gadgets.

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