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Owning Land?

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Jon Southall

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Spiral Architect,

In response to your long post:

You seem to think what I am suggesting is an attack on property owners. It isn't. If you look at what I reason constitutes property - everything man was the cause of - this is not under attack whatsoever. We just disagree on whether location value of the unimproved land value is the landowner's property.

No one is saying force should be used to tell anyone how to use land. My view is that every man by his nature requires land in order to live, and therefore following his right to life, he ought to be able to live in any location without paying for permission to do so.

This does not mean he has a right to violate your property rights (to property as I define it, as Rand via Galt defined it). He can't hold, use, keep or dispose of your property unless voluntary consent has been granted.

Because no man can own the unearned, unimproved land is a special case of what can't be owned. It can't be inherited or sold without implying someone has earned it; the fact is no one ever has and no one ever can.

When a title of ownership of what can't be owned, one which interferes with freedom, is used to redistribute wealth, it sets up the title holder as a parasite who gets rich off of a title,not any values he has produced.

DreamWeaver wrote above his father had to buy unimproved land. He didn't state what for. What his father paid was economic rent. Now if sold on a market the land should go to the highest bidder, to whom it has most value. The monies paid are enriching those who are trading nothing but a title. They have not earned it.

If the government taxes this unearned income, it is not depriving the one who receives the economic rent from the fruits of his labours; he produced nothing in exchange for it in the first place. It's not a violation of his rights as it does not concern his property.

If the proceeds were used to fund the government, we could abolish all other forms of tax. No income taxes, no sales taxes and so on. This would be far more just a system.

OK, thank you to all honest contributers to this post. It's been interesting. So long.


You called them parasites, so yes I assume an attack.  Moral condemnation does suggest that. 


Otherwise I do not even understand what you're driving at.  You are driving at a reason to want unused property declared not property and I have to believe it is more that simply taxing it.  So that is why I'm drilling into this but not giving an inch on the condemnation.  


For what it's worth my response was honest and I hoped it clarified a rights driven approach to your review of this subject. 

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If you look at what I reason constitutes property - everything man was the cause of - this is not under attack whatsoever.


So that something useful can be learned from some portion of this thread, this is what a syllogism-in-the-sky, devoid of any real referent whatsoever, looks like.

A perfectly valid point- that Rand's concept of ownership does not apply to unoccupied land (as she herself pointed out, with regard to the property rights of Native Americans)- was applied to a contradictory context (in which land has been shaped and used after all), severed from its logical base (morality) and stretched into a supposedly universal principle (while pretending that this principle holds no implications for anything broader).


This principle rests on the premise that SUBSTANCE is more fundamental to an entity's nature than ARRANGEMENT is; that a wooden house has more in common with a tree than with a skyscraper, and consequently that man can cause nothing (since we will never be able to create something from nothing).

Applied to the OP, itself, this means that Jon has said nothing whatsoever because his fingers haven't caused anything at all; the circuitry of his computer has (and we should properly address our indignation to the manufacturer of the keys of his keyboard).


It's false because arrangement must be recognized as the more fundamental trait, and substance as derivative (at least epistemologically, if not ontologically).

The dishonesty it was suggested with is apparent from the flat refusal to make any number of derivative inductions from it; this is not observed in those who are taking their own ideas seriously.

Such refusals render any further discussion of it moot, in my opinion, except by way of autopsy.


If you ever need to remember what rationalization looks like, you have a perfect specimen right here.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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but he called the argument a straw man.


So what?  We know what his argument is premised on and how it relates to reality.  If he's not willing to see that then it's neither you nor I who'll go on believing a falsehood (and suffering the consequences of it).

If he could provide some actual difference between his ideas and our portrayal of them then that would be different.  However, since he has not been able to do so in eleven pages- who cares?

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