FAQ: The Homesteading Principle

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1) How much is the minimal amount of labour that needs to be “mixed with the land” in order for it to qualify as “homesteaded”? If I cut down a tree can I claim the entire forest for my logging company?

2) How much land is it permissible to take at any one time?

3) How high-up does this “homesteading” apply? Could you charge airlines for flying over your property? And do you own everything down to the core of the planet?

4) How long must land be apparently unused before somebody else is allowed to “homestead” it? Or is it that person’s for all eternity, even if that means it is completely wasted land that others need in order to survive?

5) If roads are to be privatized then the currently public roads must move into private hands. How would a person “homestead” an already-existing road?

6) Does this apply to all publicly-owned property? Could a person “homestead” NASA HQ, and if so, how? How would someone “homestead” the Large Hadron Collider? How about publicly-owned satellites?

7) Does discovering a star/planet/asteroid/etc. qualify as “homesteading” it?

8) What happens to the graves in publicly-owned graveyards when somebody “homesteads” them and wants to use the land for other purposes?

9) How will we defend ourselves when the wrong people “homestead” the enormous stockpiles of nuclear weapons?

10) If person A grows a tree on the border of their property, and an acorn falls into the garden of their neighbour, person B, and starts growing into a tree, is that a violation of the NAP and does that entitle person B to blow person A’s fucking head off?

11) Do beavers, ants and other structure-building creatures “homestead” and, if so, how can they be expected to navigate the minefield of an “an”cap legal system?

12) What happens to future generations when all the land has been “homesteaded” and is in private hands? Would they have any alternative to wage slavery?

13) Would the “homesteading principle” lead to a reckless and irresponsible drive to build anything wherever people can in order to claim land before it all goes? Couldn’t this just lead to ecological devastation that we can ill afford?

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One thought on “FAQ: The Homesteading Principle

  1. ***************************
    ! Attention ! :
    Before you begin to read this comment, I would just like to point out that I’m not going to act like I know all of the answers. There are a few elements between both Anarcho-Capitalistic (the ones presented by this list) and Anarcho-Communist (personal property, distributing the ownership of the means of production, etc.) philosophies that are a little shaky or unsound, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the both ideologies are completely bunk. All I ask is that this comment be treated with respect, and the debate remain civil within the comment section. Thank you~

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    1) How much is the minimal amount of labor that needs to be “mixed with the land” in order for it to qualify as “homesteaded”? If I cut down a tree can I claim the entire forest for my logging company?

    – That’s a good question, and one that is still greatly debated. Personally, I would say that you only own as much as you have homesteaded or traded for (i.e. the log you cut down), while the rest would be natural, “unowned” property. The only exception I would make for this would be with preservation; if some company or individual were to set up a fence around property that has not been homesteaded (meaning that there is no-one’s property within their barriers), and say that their sole intent is to preserve said property, then it would be “homesteaded” in that sense.

    2) How much land is it permissible to take at any one time?

    – As much as you homestead/buy from someone who has already homesteaded the land. Same applies to “non-production” oriented properties, such as food, gadgets, and other properties that An-Coms would consider “personal” property.

    3) How high-up does this “homesteading” apply? Could you charge airlines for flying over your property? And do you own everything down to the core of the planet?

    – You can’t homestead air or the sky because you can not work the whole atmosphere. Ergo, no person or group of persons can say that they own the sky/air above their land. Now, if an airliner/individual were to do something that damaged your property directly, then you could bring up such a claim in a court of law. Again, as with the trees, you only own as much as you have homesteaded/ traded your labor or fruits of your labor for homestead. I don’t own the Earth beneath my feet -down to the core- because I didn’t homestead that, or pay someone else to work the core for me.

    4) How long must land be apparently unused before somebody else is allowed to “homestead” it? Or is it that person’s for all eternity, even if that means it is completely wasted land that others need in order to survive?

    – It’s not a matter of usage which’s the question, but of actual ownership. Land can only become “abandoned” and turn back into unowned, “natural” property if the original owner renounces ownership of the property, or dies/disappears and has no legitimate descendants/contracts to show a sustained claim to the property. Also, “wasted land” is a subjective term which should not be used in an objective tense.

    5) If roads are to be privatized then the currently public roads must move into private hands. How would a person “homestead” an already-existing road?

    – They could homestead it by repaving it, setting up stop lights/signs, etc. Other than that, the roads would become abandoned property.

    6) Does this apply to all publicly-owned property? Could a person “homestead” NASA HQ, and if so, how? How would someone “homestead” the Large Hadron Collider? How about publicly-owned satellites?

    There is no such thing as public property; only private and “natural” or unworked property. Individuals can collectivize and own something as a cooperative, but all public property is owned by the government- which committed acts of theft in order to acquire the resources to work the land/build the satellite/ etc. Therefore, public property is theft. It’s not so dissimilar to saying that medieval Lords own the peasant’s farmlands, when the Lords didn’t even work the lands (or pay someone else to) in the first place. The enclosure act is a great example of that mass-theft by the well-landed nobility class. As with the roads, all of those properties are abandoned properties until homesteaded.

    7) Does discovering a star/planet/asteroid/etc. qualify as “homesteading” it?

    – No, it does not; simply looking at something does not mix one’s labor with that object. I am looking at this word press right now, but I do not own it- nor this comment section. The owner of this website is merely permitting me to post a comment here, and view this information.

    8) What happens to the graves in publicly-owned graveyards when somebody “homesteads” them and wants to use the land for other purposes?

    – The graves have been bought by either the deceased or relatives/friends of the deceased. So, even if the grave yard was “publicly” or governmental-ly owned previously, the individual graves themselves are safe as long as there is someone who can trace back their generational ownership
    And before you bring it up, yes- any Native American who can thoroughly trace back his or her ownership of presently-occupied property can reclaim said property- but providing evidence for that is a lot easier said than done.

    9) How will we defend ourselves when the wrong people “homestead” the enormous stockpiles of nuclear weapons?

    – By banding together as a community and using any legal resource in our possession to hold said individual (or individuals) accountable for any malicious actions they commit with said nuclear weapons. Owning nuclear projectiles/devices is not inherently wrong, but suspicion for said desire to “homestead” nuclear weapons would not be misplaced.

    10) If person A grows a tree on the border of their property, and an acorn falls into the garden of their neighbor, person B, and starts growing into a tree, is that a violation of the NAP and does that entitle person B to blow person A’s fucking head off?

    – Reductio ad absurdum; in this situation, person B would be in the wrong for blowing person A’s head off. This is primarily because person A still owns himself and, by taking his life, person B would be violating the Self-Ownership principle. If person B were to be forced into a black-and-white dichotomy of kill or be killed, then such a use of force would be permissible, but that’s not the case. If person B were a sane and rational neighbor, they would go and voice their concerns to person A and an agreement could be reached either through simple agreement or legal action (a small claims court).

    11) Do beavers, ants and other structure-building creatures “homestead” and, if so, how can they be expected to navigate the minefield of an “an”cap legal system?

    – No, the can not. They are not sapient creatures.

    12) What happens to future generations when all the land has been “homesteaded” and is in private hands? Would they have any alternative to wage slavery?

    – “Wage slavery” is a loaded term; choosing to work for a wage, salary or commission is not slavery per say, but being forced to pay for a national debt that you did not consent to, and being forced to take on said wage-paying job is slavery. Now, as far as our future offspring homesteading all of the land, that would imply that every single square-inch of Earth’s surface (and interior, if you want to go that far) has had to have been worked, something I see as a near impossibility. But, for the sake of argument, if such a case like that were to ever arise, then I’m sure we will have access to extraterrestrial lands for generations to come- or at least adopt seasteading, at the least, as an alternative solution to the ever growing population.

    13) Would the “homesteading principle” lead to a reckless and irresponsible drive to build anything wherever people can in order to claim land before it all goes? Couldn’t this just lead to ecological devastation that we can ill afford?

    – Contrary to the loaded question’s assumption, people would not be able to make a mad-dash to claim as much land possible, resulting in a claim of all of the land, simply because that would cost an extremely large amount of capital. Capital that the current marketplace, anyway, can not provide. Also, I would like to say that private ownership protects the environment more than any regulation or decentralized-centralized democratic committee ever could. Refer to these for further explanation of what I mean:

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    Thank you for your time, and I hope you are at least content with my answers.

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