Sunday, 18 March 2018

Faux Libertarianism in a nut shell

The core false assumption underpinning Faux Libertarianism is the assumption that 'land ownership' and 'governments' are two completely separate and unrelated concepts, or even that 'land ownership' is an older concept that pre-existed 'governments'.

It is quite clear to anybody with a vague grasp of history that land ownership in any meaningful sense is impossible outside:
(1) an organised society,
(2) which is at peace within its own borders (has a dispute resolution system with popular support or at least grudging acceptance that it enforces), and
(3) which is at peace with neighbouring societies/states (whether by mutual agreement or because it is capable of defending its external borders).

Historically, the whole point of 'governments' was to enable 'land ownership', alternatively 'government' was something that people invented once they realised that food cultivation was better than hunting and collecting/nomadic lifestyles i.e. that staying in one place and 'land ownership' were something worth protecting. Either way, the two things are synonymous and symbiotic.

Take away any of (1) to (3) and land ownership is impossible. The starting position is of course that the land is just there, and was there long before humankind evolved. Nobody 'owned' it. Land ownership only happened once items (1) to (3) were in place, and where we are right now, we would call something that exhibits all three characteristics a 'government'.

The Faux Libs will come up with all sorts of supposed counter examples which superficially might not fit the pattern, but they refuse to address the underlying prerequisites.

One Faux Lib tactic is to sub-divide each of (1) to (3) into ever smaller slices, pointing out (for example) that you can't compare governments in modern developed countries with a few thousand Vikings settling on Iceland. You have to judge them by the standards of the time.

Here endeth.

7 comments:

Demetrius said...

You might add that it needs reliable and accessible archives and records maintained by literate people.

jack ketch said...

It also helps (although not strictly necessary) if that society has universal, standard forms of measurement; accurate forms of area measurement. Saying something is '40 X 20 ells' is only good if everyone knows exactly how long an ell is.

And as far as I can recall ALL ancient societies (usually Kingdoms or theocracies) made a BIG crime or sin out of moving boundary stones. Moving your neighbours boundary stone was often the worse kind of theft, quite literally taking the food out of his family's mouth. Even those 'primitive' tribes who have/had collective land ownership, still marked out or 'bounded' that area of their collective ownership ie the OOdaFookaree tribe considered all the land between the river and the big oak tree as THEIRS, and all the winkywanky birds therein.

One only has to listen to the whinging of British fisherfolk, who seem to have forgotten how they got their arses kicked in the 'Cod War', to hear the same 'ugg' sentiments even today.

Ben Jamin' said...

Perhaps we need to do away with the who notion of land as property, therefore ownership?

Might help clarify what the LVT actually is, and why it would be a prerequisite even in an anarchy if it wanted to be peaceful and prosperous.

Mark Wadsworth said...

D, well no, literacy is not that important, see JK's example of "the OOdaFookaree tribe [which] considered all the land between the river and the big oak tree as THEIRS". Don't judge historic literacy by modern standards, verbal or traditional records are still records.

JK, British fishermen didn't lose the Cod War, British politicians decided it wouldn't look good to actually win it and so threw in the towel.

Systems of measurement only became important once there were slightly more people demanding land than there was valuable land within that society's borders. Until then, trees and rivers and so on worked just fine. Provided the whole tribe was prepared to fight against other tribes who crossed the river or passed the particular tree (test 4).

Hence and why so many national borders are marked by impassable and valueless land, such as mountain ranges. Easy to identify, not worth fighting over and easy to defend. Just look at a map and ask why Chile or Norway look like they do, or why most really small countries are in mountainous regions.

BJ, that is of course what I am leading up to, but let's start with basics.

Lola said...

Faux libs are not the same as anarcho-libs. The latter seem to base their land ownership thingy on 'homesteading'. They then add 'property rights'. Property in the widest sense. And that sorts out the rest of it.

But you are correct, There are lots of fake-libertarians out there.

jack ketch said...

ask why Chile or Norway look like they do

Blame Slartibartfast.

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, true. FLs accept the world the way it is, but do not understand why it is as it is. AL's imagine some form of society that cannot exist. Nonetheless, AL is just an extreme form of the fantasy (explanation of the) world which the FLs think they inhabit.

JK, look at the map, the borders are that way, and they are that way for a reason. Whether that's Andorra or Nepal. No Slartibartfast involved.