Someone called me an anarcho-communist due to some comments I made in a Facebook discussion. Ouch. So I'm going to make some notes about the commons, to use for future reference.

As I understand rationing of the Mimbres aquifer in southern New Mexico, wells must not draw more than certain limits. To exceed these limits, an entity must apply for an exemption and pay a fee. There is a public discussion period, but if the public outroar is limited, the entity may now suck larger quantities of the water out for his cattle or pecan trees.

I may not be 100% accurate in the above description, but I believe it's close enough to make my point. By the unholy alliance of the State and capitalists, the common water supply has been usurped. Money goes to the state, which enables the environmentally destructive ranchers and tree farmers (this is desert for christsakes) to make more money, which makes them able to pay more fees for more water, ad nauseam. Meanwhile the water table drops a few feet per year, and everybody on both sides of the border has to dig their wells deeper.

As for the axiom of private property, admit it's an axiom and quit pretending there's something inherently true or noble about it. It only came to be when large-scale agriculture subsumed the hunter-gatherer peoples or drove them away to less and less suitable areas, something witnessed more recently in the US when so-called "treaties" left the nomadic Americans with smaller and smaller plots of land to the point where their preferred mode of life became impossible, so, not being predisposed to farming, these once-proud peoples languished in misery. And in many cases, if memory serves, since the goddamned lazy Indians wouldn't farm the good, rich acreage we left them, we took it away with more "treaties" and swapped it for desert.

So, admit that property rights are and always have been based on violence. A true voluntaryist should have some soul-searching to do at this point. Go ahead and maintain the myth of land ownership, but realize that you have destroyed the nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle in so doing, and that the peoples disenfranchised by your little game may someday rise and take back their land. Scoffing heard. If Americans, as Robert Pirsig asserts, have subconsciously internalized the Native American philosophy, it could yet happen as a new generation of multi-ethnic Indians arises out of the ashes of the American Dream.

Which brings me back to my eternal rant about paved-over cities with few or no public bathrooms. In a state of nature there is always a place to relieve oneself. If you usurp nature for your own ends, it behooves you to maintain some semblance of the commons you have stolen. Shit and piss are useful resources, particularly after composting, and collecting it would be profitable if cities could allocate the necessary resources to replace the current destructive and wasteful infrastructure with something saner based on Joseph Jenkins's research.

And while we're at it, how about some allowance for nomadism as well? Multi-use paths at least every mile in populated areas, every ten miles of wilderness, both N-S and E-W. Europe has built land bridges over its highways, a good step in that direction.

One final thought, for now: if your only contribution to a conversation is name-calling or snark, you have, in my opinion, conceded the argument. If you can't handle a challenge to your precepts, you might as well stay out of adult discussions.

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last updated 2013-01-25 11:20:07. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com