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By digging a hole through his property? Of course he can! That's the whole point of private ownership. He who owns the oil will just have to find another way to get to it.

True, it is his oil, and he has right to profit from it, but not by sacrificing the rights of others. The courts that try to force an agreement in such a case is counterproductive - instead of protecting rights, it is violating them.

It has been said before, but I will repeat it once more - there is no "right to access your property." You can see already from this example, that it is in contradiction with other rights, which have been proven to be "legitimate." (true)

Mineral rights means not only the right to own the minerals, but also the right to access them. In fact, that's the entire purpose of mineral rights and the entire reason people purchase mineral rights - ownership of the Nazi variant (controls on everything, but the deed is in your name) is not ownership.

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Mineral rights means not only the right to own the minerals, but also the right to access them. In fact, that's the entire purpose of mineral rights and the entire reason people purchase mineral rights - ownership of the Nazi variant (controls on everything, but the deed is in your name) is not ownership.

In the few sentences you wrote, you have made quite a number of errors.

First of all, noone can have a right which overrides someone else's right to something else.

Second, when last I looked, this thread discussed on how things should be, not how things are.

Third, the Nazi variant of "ownership" is - the state controls everything, but the deed is in your name. What we are talking about here is private property.

Fourth, no individual has the right to control the property of another without this being agreed upon (voluntarily!), which means that the owner of the mineral has more than just deed to property - he has claim to it.

Fifth, the "right" to access property cannot and should not exist in the form that was defined here.

As for your reply to AndrewSteinberg, read a post made by GoodOrigamiMan in reply to Brian.

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1. I was assuming that the purchase of mineral rights from the owner of the surface rights, or the other way around, was done with enough forethought to plan for access to the minerals. I don't mean that you have the right to trample over others in order to access most easily whatever you own. I meant that the purpose of purchasing mineral rights from the owner of surface rights, or the other way around, is on one side for the purpose of accessing the minerals.

2. This tangent discusses how things are, specifically, what access rights are and what their scope is, whether they exist or whether they contradict others' property rights.

3. I meant the purpose of owning mineral rights is accessing the minerals. Purchasing mineral rights without the chance or ability ever to access the minerals serves no purpose.

4. When somebody says "I have purchased mineral rights here" I immediately jump to the conclusion that he also has contracted with the owner of the surface rights to be able to access the minerals.

5. That was not intended to be a definition of property or the right to access it. It was a whimsical exploration into the general meaning and context of mineral rights.

I see I made three errors in severe terseness, the lack of clarity, and jumping to conclusions.

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If you wake up one day and discover that irrational people have bought up all the land around you and don't want you to cross theirs, and still they don't want to buy your one parcel as well, then we will discuss that nightmare when it happens.

The freedom of man's will means that people may choose to be evil even in the best of societies.

Assume that you live in a perfectly capitalist country, which also happens to be by far the world's most prosperous and powerful one. Most of your fellow countrymen love the nation's freedom and wealth and are proud of it, but there are some among them who, much like today's American "liberals," are ashamed of and hate their country for its "greed" and "imperialism." They YEARN to prove capitalism wrong. While other people save for Ferraris and trips to the moon, they collect money to be able to pull the prank of their lives: a demonstration of "market failure."

Need I continue?

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The freedom of man's will means that people may choose to be evil even in the best of societies.

I’m doubtful of how much harm an organized group of liberals could do in a capitalist society. Sure, they could choose to demonstrate a pseudo “market failure” but I can’t imagine any scenarios where they could profit from this – in other words: it would be a big waist of their time and money.

Another thing… you cannot mine roads to keep people off of them or shoot trespassers on sight – so while everyone has the right to defend him or herself not one of the issues in this thread has suggested criminal actions. Therefore the worst that could happen in any of these scenarios would be that everyone ends up in a courtroom.

...If I was the poor sucker whose land was surrounded I am not suggesting that a court could give me the right to walk thru the other guys land – but I am noting that a courtroom is a better alternative then starving on my land. I think you could argue that if someone was being irrational and malicious by trying trapping with no choice but to violate their rights your actions would in effect not be punishable – this argument could only work once, because you would have a choice to go back to your land thru theirs. Regardless it is an extremely bizarre situation that I doubt I will ever occur as things stand today, must less a in capitalist society.

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I can’t imagine any scenarios where they could profit from this – in other words: it would be a big waist of their time and money.

You assume here that liberals want to profit. They don't; they hate profit. What they want is to keep other people from profiting.

...If I was the poor sucker whose land was surrounded I am not suggesting that a court could give me the right to walk thru the other guys land

The court certainly couldn't give you that right, since you wouldn't even be able to go to the court. You're trapped! :thumbsup:

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You assume here that liberals want to profit. They don't; they hate profit. What they want is to keep other people from profiting.

I didn't assume, my point is that they wouldn’t be able to keep it up for long; they will run out of money and be thereafter impotent.

The court certainly couldn't give you that right, since you wouldn't even be able to go to the court. You're trapped! ;)

My point was - if you did trespass you’d be arrested and end up in a court anyways. :thumbsup:

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...If I was the poor sucker whose land was surrounded I am not suggesting that a court could give me the right to walk thru the other guys land – but I am noting that a courtroom is a better alternative then starving on my land.  I think you could argue that if someone was being irrational and malicious by trying trapping with no choice but to violate their rights your actions would in effect not be punishable – this argument could only work once, because you would have a choice to go back to your land thru theirs.  Regardless it is an extremely bizarre situation that I doubt I will ever occur as things stand today, must less a in capitalist society.

Actually these types of situations occur quite frequently. Not to the extreme where somebody is "trapped" in their home surrounded by someone's property who will not let them pass, but let me give an example. Let's suppose you purchase land in a mountainous area and desire to build your dream home on it. Due to geographical restrictions, the only way to build a road to your property from the main road is to build it along the edge of property that somebody else owns. The other landowner is reluctant to allow you to do this, even though he doesn't live on this property or even use it for anything. You offer him more than fair compensation to build the road, it actually adds value to his property if you build the road on it, but he still refuses. Is your land doomed to stagnation until you can afford a helicopter or have enough money to build a tunnel? Why must you suffer because of someone else's irrationality? Right of way agreements that are organized through courts are common resolutions to these types of problems.

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I don't think someone has the right to drill through another man's property because of an inconsistency in bureaucracy. However, if he has actually signed a contract where it is stated that he will allow drilling, then the issue is settled even without courts.

But please! This should be written on a contract. One can't be expected to buy a piece of land "understanding" anything about what someone might want to do on his property one day, unless the contract says so. Things like this are prearranged, and if they are not and the owner of the surface land doesn't allow the drilling, it's a tough luck for the oil company. There is no "we forgot to tell you" after the contract has been signed.

As for putting words in your mouth: what you suggested earlier - the courts forcing an agreement between two parties, is a sacrifice. It means that the rights of one man - the owner of the surface land - are to be sacrificed. For the sake of whom, I thought, was irrelevant, so I suggested the almighty "common good." If you meant someone else, I apologize. To an Objectivist, a sacrifice is one of the greatest "sins." Sacrificing oneself for the sake others, or others for the sake of oneself is all the same and we see a lot of both lately. Usually it is those who preach the former, that practice the latter or a little of both (by sacrificing others for the sake of someone else).

I agree that prearranged contracts would circumvent all these problems. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred a contract exists and everything is fine. But there are those isolated cases where there are problems. Let's put this gas situation into context here though. Somebody will own the surface of a huge tract of land out in the middle of nowhere (when drilling a well, its is designated by a 40 or 80 acre spacing unit, every single mineral owner within that spacing unit gets a royalty on any oil or gas profit from the well), they don't live on the property, they don't even use the property for anything, its just there doing nothing. I'm not talking about somebody who has a half an acre in a subdivision and you go in there with a tractor and dig up their back yard and put a huge pump or oil derrick there. This is land that is of no value until the oil or gas is discovered.

The surface owner is offered a large annual compensation for the use of the surface so that he can actually turn a profit from his previously useless land by doing absolutely nothing. He refuses, leaving all the mineral owners that own the land below high and dry. There is no contract that pre-ordains what to do if this situation arises.

What do you do? Why would you automatically default to his rights over the rights of the mineral owner(s)? If it taken to court and the court forces him to take (his now larger) annual profit for his previously useless land, what exactly is being sacrificed? The only thing that I see being "sacrificed" here is the surface owner's irrationality. This situation I describe is not an exaggeration, it occurs all the time.

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Actually these types of situations occur quite frequently.

Just because they are easy to imagine doesn’t mean they occur "quite frequently."

Right of way agreements that are organized through courts are common resolutions to these types of problems.

Awesome! I am so happy that I can get a court to force my neighbor build a road thru his property! :thumbsup:

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I didn't assume, my point is that they wouldn’t be able to keep it up for long; they will run out of money and be thereafter impotent.

It's enough for each of them to do it once. Once they bought the land, it's theirs. And they needn't buy much land; it's enough to buy a 1-inch-wide strip along each side of your home, extending say 200 feet into the ground and the same amount into the air, and the trap is ready.

Not to mention that they can sell the land when you have starved to death!

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I agree that prearranged contracts would circumvent all these problems.  Ninety-nine times out of a hundred a contract exists and everything is fine.

Do you see a similarity here between your approach to validating “a right to access” and an altruists approach to validating “a right to values”?

And lets not lose focus on what were talking about here… your position, as I understand it, is that your right to access property justifies the disposal of someone else’s property. Meaning if I own property surrounded by someone else’s land I have a right to go thru their land in order to access my land. As you are putting it, is it or is it not putting your right to access in conflict with my right to my land?

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It's enough for each of them to do it once. Once they bought the land, it's theirs. And they needn't buy much land; it's enough to buy a 1-inch-wide strip along each side of your home, extending say 200 feet into the ground and the same amount into the air, and the trap is ready.

All I need is the side facing the road – and since all that land is owned by me up until to land owned by the roadman I have very little to fear. Anyways you can be my guest trying to enforce property rights for a 1-inch-strip. I forget what they are called but any residential area would probably have the private equivalent of “zoning” – I hate to say this but as it stands now we can not even paint our house a different color without permission from some bungalow association, so good luck trapping me in Pasadena. Actually, come to think of it, 3 fourths of our property already has a 1-inch-wide strip that I can’t cross – its called a fence. :D

Not to mention that they can sell the land when you have starved to death!
I’ve already mentioned that nobody is going to starve over this and why. <_<
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Actually these types of situations occur quite frequently.  Not to the extreme where somebody is "trapped" in their home surrounded by someone's property who will not let them pass, but let me give an example.  Let's suppose you purchase land in a mountainous area and desire to build your dream home on it.  Due to geographical restrictions, the only way to build a road to your property from the main road is to build it along the edge of property that somebody else owns.  The other landowner is reluctant to allow you to do this, even though he doesn't live on this property or even use it for anything.  You offer him more than fair compensation to build the road, it actually adds value to his property if you build the road on it, but he still refuses.  Is your land doomed to stagnation until you can afford a helicopter or have enough money to build a tunnel?  Why must you suffer because of someone else's irrationality?  Right of way agreements that are organized through courts are common resolutions to these types of problems.

The context is, I believe, you already own the mountain home, and then somebody buys the property at the foot of the mountain and prohibits you to cross it, effectively cutting you off from your home, or cutting you off from the world. Buying the propert after knowing the conditions isn't the question. Some other person coming along and blocking or entrapping you is. If you already know you will not be able to access the property before you buy the property, then you ought not to have any claim to access it in violation of others' rights once you purchase it.

Who was there first? is a major part of the question. Because the one who gets there second, in questions like these, is the one who attempts to initiate force against and violate the rights of the one who was there first, either by blocking/entrapping, or by trespassing.

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Awesome! I am so happy that I can get a court to force my neighbor build a road thru his property!  <_<

I doubt that you could. In order to get a court order for a right of way there has to be some pretty extreme extenuating circumstances. I'm not talking about direct property seizure here, I'm talking about reasonable disagreements between neighboring property owners. I'm on your side about property rights, I'm just trying to point out examples where two parties property rights are in legitimate conflict. What has to be presupposed about court arbitration is that the court is objective and fair. We all know that this is not always the case, but that is another discussion altogether.

When cases go to court the court looks at the situation and makes a decision that is reasonable and fair for both parties involved. It could be the case that the judge says, "No, it is unreasonable for you to demand a road cutting across this man's property. I cannot allow it."

But he can also say, "A road along the edge of the property is not unreasonable. There is simply no other place to construct a road, so that his man can access his property. Special considerations will be taken when constructing the road to make sure that the environment is disturbed as little as possible. You will be paid an annual fee of $2.00 per square ft of your property that this road takes up. Hopefully at some point in the future you will realize the benefit of having such a road built on your property should you choose to develop it, or sell the land to someone else who does. Please submit a contract for this right of way for me to approve."

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Some other person coming along and blocking or entrapping you is. If you already know you will not be able to access the property before you buy the property, then you ought not to have any claim to access it in violation of others' rights once you purchase it.

Transportation, specifically a road, is a service not a right. If that service was there when you moved in then removed no ‘rights’ have been violated. It would be no different from moving next to a store before it closes.

When the time comes that you are surrounded by four unreasonable liberals you must act according – but deriving from that situation that you need a right to access your property means that you’re going to be treating everyone like they are unreasonable liberals.

Roads are an extremely important service but we have no right to a road as we have no right to a car, food, or clean water. We have a right to produce these things, to keep what we produce, and partake in free trade. The paranoia surrounding the thought that roads could be privatized and all public property abolished comes from the premise that somehow we need public property, that somehow we must have a right to something we haven’t earned in order to survive - that last bit of protection from absolute justice.

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I think we are all missing something here. If someone really was as malicious as to trap someone to a few acres of land by buying all the land around his and then denying him the right of passage, isn't he then comitting a violation of the right to live? Isn't he actually comitting murder? And wouldn't the poor trapped man have the right to violate the malicious person's property rights in a pure act of self-defense? I think that the right to life takes priority over the right to own property, and if someone violates another man's right to life with his property, his liberty and his property should be taken away!

Bryan,

No matter what the "special cases" might be, the general principle always stays the same. You can't force someone to give up his right to property if he doesn't want to, unless that property threatens someone's more fundamental right, namely - right to live. To force him to do so means to sacrifice his right to own property for the sake of someone else.

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GoodOrigamiMan, I'm not talking about a person's right to have or build a road on someone else's property. I'm talking about a person's right not to be forcibly barred by others from accessing his property. Buying up a ten-yard-wide loop of land completely surrounding a person's property and forbidding him to cross it is akin to buying up the same land and laying layers of death traps such as land mines on every square inch of it, and inviting him to cross freely. It's also akin to building a steel-and-concrete box completely surrounding his property from all sides and topping it with barbed wire, effectively putting him in a prison while never laying a finger on him. That, in whichever guise, is initiation of force. While no-one has a "right" or a claim on others to a car, food, or clean water, everyone does have a right not to be forcibly barred from obtaining those things: and threatening a person with death for moving outside an allotted area of land is forcibly barring that person from obtaining those necessities vital to his life.

If one puts oneself into that situation, then things are different.

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All I need is the side facing the road – and since all that land is owned by me up until to land owned by the roadman I have very little to fear.

The liberal could buy the part of the road alongside your property.

Anyways you can be my guest trying to enforce property rights for a 1-inch-strip.

[...]

I’ve already mentioned that nobody is going to starve over this and why.  :(

You mean you would violate the liberal's right to his property? Since when does your need for a good meal trump the rights of another person?

If you attempt to cross the line, the liberal could shoot you for trespassing, and--in this hypothetical society--no court could punish him for it, since all he was doing is defending his property.

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If you attempt to cross the line, the liberal could shoot you for trespassing, and--in this hypothetical society--no court could punish him for it, since all he was doing is defending his property.

Perhaps I have lost track of the circumstances here. Is a laissez-faire society being assumed here? If so, are you saying a property owner has a right to kill anyone who trespasses on his property -- even if the trespass in no one way threatens the property owner?

If a hunter, in a rural area, mistakenly crossed your property at the far corner, away from your house, would the home owner have a "right" to kill him? Or how about a child who was exploring in the woods nearby and wandered onto the property? Okay to shoot him -- and no legislator, prosecutor, or court would see anything wrong with that?

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All of this is very simple.

If the roads are someday to be privatized, presumably the government must auction them off, or some other type of sale. Well, one of the coniditions of the sale would be that the buyer of a road or a group of roads would have to also have to agree to a stipulation that his prices must be uniform (and by that I don't mean the same for everybody, neccessarily) they could be set by a variety of factors (veh. weight, tolls,annual odometer reading, etc.). The buyer would also have to agree that he doesn't have the right to deny any U.S. citizen who has reached driving age and pays the fee, however established, access to the roads.

There is ABSOLUTELY no sense in discussing what would happen if the roads in the U.S. had always been private, with no safeguards in place against abuse, and somehow someone wakes up one day with his house completely surrounded by people who won't let him on or off of his property. (Read: The Ethics of Emergencies)

But, to be sure that things run smoothly, if anyone wants to take a chance and build a house up in the hills where there are currently no roads, then the rule would have to be: Let the buyer beware. Or the buyer of this secluded property could just build his own road as well that links up to an existing road.

And, let me add that if someone here comes up with an imaginary nightmare-like problem that I have now overlooked, I GUARANTEE that I will have an adequate solution within ONE HOUR of reading the post.

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Perhaps I have lost track of the circumstances here. Is a laissez-faire society being assumed here?

Yes, and there is an extra assumption: That it is legal to buy up property around a man's home and prohibit him from crossing. (My goal is the reductio ad absurdum of this latter assumption.)

If a hunter, in a rural area, mistakenly crossed your property at the far corner, away from your house, would the home owner have a "right" to kill him? Or how about a child who was exploring in the woods nearby and wandered onto the property? Okay to shoot him -- and no legislator, prosecutor, or court would see anything wrong with that?

Of course not. But in our case we are not talking about mistaken crossing, nor about children. You are a grown-up and the bad guy has let you know very explicitly that the property is his and you must not cross it under any circumstances. He has marked it very clearly, so there is no way you can wander on it by mistake. And he has emphatically indicated that he intends to use deadly force if you trespass in spite of all these warnings.

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You mean you would violate the liberal's right to his property? Since when does your need for a good meal trump the rights of another person?

Well it looks like I have trapped myself… go figure.

All in all I think these hypothetical situations about trapping people by surrounding them with private property, are ridiculous – and the consequences of accepting the argument as valid seems to be my current situation.

There is no right to access your land thru anyone else’s land! Grr… I’m going to resort to grr intimidation now. Grrrrr! :thumbsup:

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