Who is the True Owner of the Land?

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"Small ruling classes determine the life and death of all of society by owning and controlling the productive resources and therewith the governments. That their decisions are controlled, in turn, by impersonal market forces and the compulsive quest for capital does not alter the fact that these reactions to uncontrollable economic events are also their exclusive privilege."

--Paul Mattick, 1939
"Workers' Control"

Those who came before you, long ago, collectively owned the land. The ancient civilizations made their mark before writing arrived. The land was used for gathering, herding, and hunting, before it was used for farms. And at this time, all of the land was shared equally between all people. There were so few people, that there couldn't have been rivalry over space.

The oldest convention of property is the passing down of possessions from ancestor to offspring. Even today, we call it hereditary property rights, as something that passes from the elders to the children. If our original ancestors had a collective ownership of land, does it not follow that we, too, have a right to the land? If it was their right, then it is also ours.

This means that we have the right to labor the land, and to create wealth out of it. When we are laid off, or fired because of a recession, it's not because we can't create wealth. It's because some investor can't afford to buy champagne and caviar from investing.

"... were not the land, the water, the light, all free before governments took shape and form?"

--Lucy Parsons, ~Late 1800's
"The Principles of Anarchism"

The land can always support the workers, if they pull from it the fruits of their labors, no matter what industry it is. It can be manufacturing or agriculture, services or the public sector, every worker provides something of value. They each contribute something -- they are each responsible for all of the wealth in society. Given this, the land should always be able to support all of the workers. If there is unemployment, it's not because the workers are unproductive -- it's because investors are more concerned with profit than communities.

The land is yours, and it is yours by right. Your ancestors were never stopped by anyone from laboring on the Earth. Then you certainly have the exact same right. You are entitled to work, to labor, and to be rewarded for your labors according to your contribution. The present system, though, does not respect your right to work; they can fire you, and force you out of the land that belongs to you!

The Capitalist system is here for those who own the land, and not for those who work it. It is for those who make dividends for being idle, while those who labor make such miserable wages. The workers, organizing industry for ourselves, can create employment; we can create industry where there is recession, because we own the businesses. But our right to the land is not respected.

If you want to make your right to the land real, then we need to organize!

"In many countries, particularly in France, the priests and the bourgeoisie try to frighten the peasants by telling them that the Revolution will take their land away from them. This is an outrageous lie concocted by the enemies of the people. The Revolution would take an exactly opposite course: it would take the land from the bourgeoisie, the nobles, and the priests and give it to the landless peasants. If a piece of land belongs to a peasant who cultivates it himself, the Revolution would not touch it. On the contrary, it would guarantee free possession and liquidate all debts arising from the land. This land which once enriched the treasury and was overburdened with taxes and weighed down by mortgages would, like the peasant, be emancipated. No more taxes, no more mortgages; the land becomes free, just like the man!"

--James Guillaume, 1876
"Ideas on Social Organization," Part I


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Punkerslut (or Andy Carloff) has traveled all across the United States and has experienced American life in the urban centers, as a homeless squatter and as a blue-collar, working-class laborer. Since high school and early development, he has composed a variety of ideas on education, politics, and economy. His positions are ultra-leftist: politically an Anarchist, economically a Socialist, and culturally a Syndicalist. His writings are available through his website: www.punkerslut.com

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