A title deed to the land you "own" is not as absolute as the banks and our social perceptions make it out to be. Sure, within society, if you possess the title deed you have a monopoly to that land, so long as you pay your taxes. In the event you don't, the state can slap a lien on your property, jeopardizing your monopoly, but for all intents and purposes let's assume your taxes are up to date, and you have no mortgage. Hurrah! That little deed in your hand entitles you sole proprietorship of that property, and to do whatever you like with it so long as it doesn't encroach upon local ordinances, environmental regulations, etc. You own the land! It's yours!
Or is it?
Land deeds are illegitimate for two reasons: 1) The inherent fallacy of 'permanent land ownership,' spread by a social institution (government) which throughout history has never existed permanently, and 2) The fundamental truth that one cannot give or endow what is not theirs. This latter is the more significant argument because it involves nature, which I'll address after I debase the first point.
Land deeds are only valuable if the body granting them has power and remains in power. These two functions are necessary, because if the body granting the deed has no power, the deed entitles you to sole proprietorship of nothing; it's equivalent to little old me writing up a title-transfer document giving your house to that guy over there. If the body does not remain in power during the period which you have occupancy over that land, than the deed becomes a souvenir of an obsolete time in history, rather than an everlasting representation of power. And governments and regimes eventually will collapse, as they already have, because civilized man is constantly guarding against attack, or attacking. In this sense, time ultimately owns all property; not governments, despite what they think.
Since man didn't create the property he occupies, does it even qualify for ownership? The land was here long before man occupied it and will be here long after. How thus can man claim to own it? Plus, the land--even that covered by concrete--is a part of nature in that it's linked to our natural ecosystem. Underneath that concrete are lush soil and microbes which make this world habitable. Ever seen birds fly around the boundary of your property line? The land we're deeded upon purchase is thus simply a part of nature that we claim (read: stole) to stave off other humans from using it. But, as I said before, the deed is essentially plastic, because when governments fall--and they inevitably will--the deed entitling man to sole proprietorship of his 3.48 acres is meaningless.
It a known fact--though not readily spoken about--that the British settlers stole the land from the Native Americans. Do you think America is unique, though? Indigenous tribes all over the world have been slaughtered by civilization's imperialistic attitudes, from Aboriginal Australia to Mexico to Haiti to Argentina to Europe. Man's desire to occupy and claim land has proven to be the ether of murder and domination. Civilized man has shown that he simply cannot live alongside indigenous man without inciting some kind of conflict. Maybe it's because he sees that land as occupied, but not owned, therefore available for claim. He just has to do something about those indigenous savages...
Indigenous tribes surely create technology, though on a much simpler, less-entailed level because they don't have a penchant for large-scale production and consumption. Obviously each indigenous culture worldwide has a varying value set and traditions, but I'll use the Native Americans as an example, though there is even variation within them. According to an article written by Professor Charles Horejski from the University of Montana, and Joe Pable, Manager of the Tribal Social Services of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation: "Sharing and giving are valued more than getting and keeping. Materialism is viewed as selfishness. The individual who collects many material possessions is viewed with suspicion. Some tribes have celebrations during which an individual gives away his or her possessions. Prior to the creation of reservations, the ownership of land was a foreign concept because the Creator gave the earth to all people and therefore, individuals cannot "own" creation." Since one cannot bring objects into the next world, the value placed on those objects was represented proportionately. Dying with a lot of materials was seen as dishonorable and selfish, so giving stuff away when you were alive was honorable. Living in harmony with nature was intuitive to them because nature allowed them to live, it didn't entitle them to live. The behavioral consequences of an imperial perspective are drastic, not just to nature itself, but to these very people who live in harmony with nature; they get levied with genocide because they occupy land that could be used for economic development or selfish personal use.
So where do indigenous people get power from? Well, they're very spiritual, but not religious in the sense we think. They believe in spirits, natural processes, and acting as conduits for positive energy transmission. They adapt themselves to the natural order, rather than the other way around. Civilization adapts nature and others to what it deems appropriate, useful, or status-building, which is why worldwide indigenous tribes have been infiltrated and obliterated by people actualizing a perceived entitlement for exploitation. The ideal "exploitation" was something heavily discouraged and shamed in the Native American culture, because self-driven concepts dissociated you from your family and damaged your ability to develop close relationships. Modern civilization is focused on capturing energy for individual use--whether it be through social echelons, status, deeds, accumulation of sexual partners, toys, properties, etc.--which is antithetical to (general) indigenous cultures where harmonizing one's self and tribe or clan is the paradigm. In our vernacular we call that adaptability, but they don't even have a label for it because it's simply the standard, honorable lifestyle. Thus, conversations of power don't really seem right when talking about indigenous tribes, due to this harmony. Empowerment seems more the correct term, because they're focused on directing positive energy outward, toward others, to help serve, support, and improve their way of life. To modern man this sounds imprudent, idealistic and pacifistic, but modern man's scorecard is tallied in blood from all the battles over land, materials, and monotheistic religious ideals that in some way or another support human entitlement and domination.
Click the RSS FEED button below to receive notification of new Orwell 365 posts.