The function of private property has not changed: It confers economic power on the few; and in parallel, it necessitates the coercion of the many to serve those economic rights in order for most people to survive.
If property is part of our essential identity, then destroying property looks a lot like destroying life; and we do use the same word: ‘violence’, to describe destruction of either thing.
What the “property as investment” people never seem to learn is that you don’t need to earn money if you have a good life…
Because investors? They’re only chasing after some future dollar that will never buy them a home.
And so we come to the thorny issue of landownership and property rights in a small farm future, which I discuss in Chapter 13 of my book.
Enclosure — the transformation of common resources into private property — was a fundamental feature of the rise of capitalism in early modern England. It involved not only new ways of using the land, but also, as both cause and effect, new ways of thinking about it.
Politically and intellectually, it seems like the idea of the commons is gaining traction – probably because the state and the market, its major rivals, have acquired something of an image problem in recent times. Politically, ‘the state’ has become associated with the unresponsive, centrally planned economies of communist regimes, and ‘the market’ with the flagrant inequalities and value-scouring short-termism of contemporary capitalism and/or neoliberalism.
It goes without saying that in a democracy everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions. The trouble starts when people think they are also entitled to their own facts.
A recent article on Resilience.org proclaimed that ‘the commons is the future’, so let me state my thesis plainly at the outset: no it isn’t…
There is often a potential for sharing and mutual accommodation that is being ignored.
What is more relevant to me than the fiction of property is the precise nature of the social agreements that define and underlie property.
“How come there’s no public dimension to natural resource law, and the public who uses these areas and actually owns most of them doesn’t have a say in what goes on?”
"Freedom is the natural faculty to do whatever one wishes that is not prevented by force or law. Slavery is an institution according to the law of nations whereby one person becomes private property (dominium) of another, contrary to nature."’