This is my interpretation and discussion of the Concept of Property as it is applied under Capitalism, and as it is applied under Statism. The discussion of Capitalism and Property comes first, followed by the discussion of Statism and Property.
CAPITALISM and PROPERTY
Under Capitalism, all property, physical and/or intellectual, is privately owned under Capitalism. This not only includes personal, individual property, but also includes any and all property associated with businesses and/or business owners, corporations, private groups and associations, churches and private charities, etc.
The principle of property rights also includes and applies to the most basic property that a person possesses: their body, including their mind. This means that any individual has the inalienable right to use their own body and mind for whatever reason they may choose, as long as that use does not legitimately violate or infringe upon the rights of others. This also means that the state (government or ruling group), or any other group, has no business, no claim, and certainly no “right” to regulate or control any individual’s life, mind, or body.
It must be emphasized here, also, that any and all business property (such as oil fields, farm land, shopping malls, movie theaters, grocery stores, restaurants, and private schools, including the very land they sit on) is NOT “public” property. Such business properties are privately owned by an individual or group of individuals (such as a corporation), with all the applications, practices, defenses, and protections of property rights applying to them as equally as it would apply to any other typical land and/or home owner. No one – not another individual, not the “public” (the mob), not any group, nor the government – no one, for any reason (including the so-called “public good or public welfare”) – no one has a claim or “right” to any other individual’s property rights, private property, its ownership, or the use of that property by its owners.
Property Rights are as inalienable as the Rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Only if a particular property were shown and proved –through the use of proper law enforcement (police) and/or through the legal process of an objective justice system (courts) – to be used by its owner(s) to be:
(1) legitimately violating or infringing upon another person’s individual rights, including their property rights, or
(2) shown and proved to be causing physical damage or harm through such violation or infringement, or
(3) shown and proved to be harming and/or destroying another property’s objective monetary value through such violation or infringement, or
(4) involved in a breach of contract, would the victimized individual, or group of victimized individuals, or victimized business have the legal means to defend and protect their own individual rights, including their property rights, or contractual agreements, and collect proper, objective, legitimate retribution if and when possible and necessary.
I believe this is how genuine environmental issues and concerns would be resolved, rationally and objectively, under Capitalism – through the consistent rational and objective application, defense, and protection of property rights, using the objective rule of law. No state or governmental regulation or control of “environmental” issues or property would be necessary, and certainly no such government environmental agency, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), would be needed, required, or established.
Pollution, waste issues, and damage to the value of private property by the actions of other irresponsible property owners or criminals would be resolved through the objective, consistent application and defense of property rights, using the objective rule of law through a properly established justice system (courts) – as stated above.
Also, under Capitalism, many pollution and/or waste issues, in regards to private property, would be dealt with through the development and application of entrepreneurial business methods, products, and services – all motivated by the individual, self-interests of the businessman and the profit motive, and the self-interests of the property owner. Under Capitalism, an atmosphere of mutual benefit develops between the property owner and the businessman offering products and services to maintain property value, including eliminating pollution and waste. No governmental regulation or control of pollution and waste issues is necessary under the system of laissez-faire Capitalism.
Remember, there are no taxes of any sort, including no property taxes, under Capitalism. Therefore, the individual can better direct their entire financial resources to better serve their personal, individual self-interests and needs, which would include maintaining the value and usable condition of their property. Also, under Capitalism, the application of the objective rule of law, along with a proper, objective justice system (courts) would help recognize, preserve, defend, and protect property rights, and help protect against damage, harm, and violation of private property, including against its proper objective value.
Regarding a true capitalistic approach to property in the United States, if established under a true laissez-faire capitalist social-political system, all lands, properties, and facilities now mandated to, regulated by, and under the jurisdiction and control of any and all Local, State, or Federal governments and government agencies, would be converted to and/or turned over to private property interests, holdings, and usage without any type of government jurisdiction, regulation, mandate, oversight, or control. This would include such “public” lands, properties, and facilities, such as:
- all federal and national forest lands, “public” natural monuments and national monuments, and areas,
- all wildlife preserves, all wilderness areas, and all government established wetlands,
- all lands, properties, and facilities held by the BLM, the EPA, the Forestry Department, Coastal Commissions,
- all “public” government Federal interstate freeways and other roadways, other “public” State and Local roadways, all “public” railways, all “public” river and waterway systems,
- all “public” government education institutions and schools, all “public” education programs and facilities,
- all preserved “public” oriented and held buildings, structures, properties, and facilities considered as “historical,” “cultural,” or “character” interests,
- all “public” libraries, “public” history and natural museums, “public” theaters or amphitheaters, “public” monuments and structures, “public” art works,
- all “public” hospitals and health facilities, state run university hospitals, public daycare facilities, etc.
When a statist-oriented country, and even a mixed-economy country, makes the social and economic transition over to a true laissez-faire capitalistic-oriented country, ANY and ALL previously held “public” and government lands, properties, and facilities would be converted to and/or turned over to private property interests, holdings, and usage without any type of government jurisdiction, regulation, mandate, oversight, or control reserved or connected to such private property from that transition point on into the future.
Under Capitalism, the necessary military, police, and justice system needs and use of land would be arranged and/or negotiated with private property owners, or perhaps established through the use of easement or right-of-way arrangements with private property owners.
Regarding land and/or property that no private individual, group, or business may wish to own, perhaps a capitalist-oriented, constitutionally-limited government would hold that area of land and/or property in a temporary, limited-legislative Trust situation until there is such private interest in that land and/or property, and it is then converted over to private ownership to an interested private party, be it an individual, group, or business.
Final Note: There are NO property taxes (as there is no taxation under Capitalism), in any form or manner, under a true, proper political-social system of Laissez-faire Capitalism.
STATISM and PROPERTY
Under Statism, all property, physical and/or intellectual – both personal and business property – is regulated and/or controlled to some extent (partially or totally) by the state (government or ruling group). Individual rights, including property rights, and derivative freedoms are not recognized, preserved, defended, nor protected (again partially or totally) by any type of statist government or group.
Statism (collectivism, socialism, communism, Marxism, nationalism, environmentalism, etc.) also assumes – through its fundamental principle that an individual’s life belongs to the state (government or ruling group) – that the government, or ruling group, holds ownership to any individual’s physical body, including their mind (actually, of all individuals). Therefore, the state (government or ruling group) can then rationalize and justify any regulation, control, force, and/or abuse of an individual’s life, body, mind, actions, work, and property. This is how Statism – in all its various forms – accomplishes its ability to control what people can or cannot do with their lives, what people can or cannot do with their bodies, what people can or cannot do with their minds, what people can and cannot do with their work, and what people can or cannot do with their property. This is how a statist government accomplishes mandating and forcing what food we eat, what careers we choose, what medicines and drugs we use, we products we buy, where we can live, what lifestyles we follow, what we can and cannot do with our property, etc.
Public Property, in my view, is a statist concept (collectivist, Marxist, socialist, communist, nationalist, environmentalist). Public property implies ownership by the public, but the truth is that the state (government or ruling group) has control over the property and regulates that property’s use. “Public property” is owned by no one; it is only held and controlled by the state (government or ruling group), and the state allows only certain limited use, enforced by the statist corrupted police and law enforcement systems, including the statist corrupted justice system.
Eminent Domain, in my view, is another statist concept (collectivist, Marxist, socialist, communist, nationalist, environmentalist). Such an idea implies that the state (government or ruling group) holds the primary ability to use private property over and above the owners’ legitimate property rights and individual judgment in its use.
Eminent Domain, as established law, in effect gives the state the power to use the initiation of physical force to condemn and take private property for whatever use it deems necessary for whatever reason, for public use or otherwise, including condemning property to confiscate it and then hand it over to another private interest supported by the government (see Kelo vs. New London, CT). But even if a statist concept is made law, such as Eminent Domain, it is still a statist concept by definition, legal or otherwise. It is still based on the idea that an individual’s life and property belong to the state.
The Common Good is also another statist concept (collectivist, Marxist, socialist, communist, nationalist, environmentalist). I include it here because of the use of “common good” in justifying the establishment, implementation, and enforcement of Eminent Domain and Public Property by the state (government or ruling group), and in justifying the initiation and use of physical force through corrupt courts and police systems, to take away property from innocent property owners, and violating and infringing upon their property rights (which includes the individual’s use of that property).
Any and All Types of Property Taxes are applications of statist concepts, and are violations and infringements upon property rights. The government redistribution of income, profit, savings, wealth (man-made material goods), and property through forced taxation, fees, and confiscation is also a statist concept and application, and is very immoral and evil – as it fundamentally violates the individual’s right to his/her life and work, violates the individual’s right to his/her liberty (one’s ability to act freely with one’s life, work, and property), violates the individual’s right to his/her property, and violates the individual’s right to his/her pursuits of happiness.
EXAMPLES of statist (government) regulated, mandated, and controlled property in the United States, and paid for with “public” funding, meaning funding provided by government forced taxation and property confiscation:
- All National or State Forest lands, National or State Monuments, Natural Monuments, “wildlife preserves,” “endangered species preserves,” “wilderness areas,” and/or wetlands that are mandated, regulated, and controlled by Local, State, or Federal governments and government agencies.
- All rivers and waterways mandated, regulated, and controlled by Local, State, or Federal governments and government agencies.
- In the U.S.A., all lands mandated to, regulated by, and under the jurisdiction and control of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Forestry Department, Coastal Commissions, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and any other government established agency or program (other than for purposes and uses of the police, military, or justice system and courts).
- All lands, properties, and facilities of any Departments of Transportation, any “public” government utilities, or other “public” government entities that are mandated to, regulated by, and under the jurisdiction and control of Local, State, or Federal governments and government agencies.
- All lands, properties, and facilities of “public” government education institutions, schools, and programs mandated to, regulated by, and under the jurisdiction and control of Local, State, or Federal governments and government agencies.
- All buildings, structures, properties, and facilities of “historical,” “cultural,” or “character” interests that are mandated to, regulated by, and under the jurisdiction and control of Local, State, or Federal governments and government agencies oriented towards preserving “historic,” “cultural,” or “character” interests.
- All other “public use” lands, properties, and facilities such as: government established public libraries, public history and natural museums, public theaters or amphitheaters, public monuments and structures, public art works, public hospitals and health facilities, state run university hospitals, public daycare facilities, etc. – all mandated to, regulated by, and under the jurisdiction and control of Local, State, or Federal governments and government agencies (other than for the purposes and uses of police, military, or justice system and courts).
No matter how good the intention there is for the establishment of some kind of “public” land or facility (except for the purposes and uses of police, military, or the justice system and courts), paying for such lands and facilities through forced taxation, fees, and confiscation of private income, profit, savings, wealth (man-made material goods), and property – even if such action is established legally through legislation and law – is still a violation and infringement of individual rights and property rights, no matter how you describe it, justify it, or slice it. As has been said so many times over and over before, legalized theft is still theft – no matter how much “social” sugar you coat it with.
Finally, in the end, once such “public” lands and facilities get established (like any statist government program or policy), the self-preservation and survival of such government agencies, entities, and programs become the only purpose, reason, and focus for their existence, at the expense of any good or value to the “general public.” Any benefit to the “general public” becomes secondary, and/or unimportant. In the end, the only “good” or “value” considered is that which preserves the statist government, including any and all of its agencies, entities, and programs, and including its force and power over the citizenry and economy. Such is the nature of Statism.