[permaculture] private property and forests

Dieter Brand diebrand at yahoo.com
Mon Nov 10 07:09:01 EST 2008

> ...The point I would like for a final time to re-iterate is that 
> private property gives the owner(s) the right (constrained 
> only by variable Govt and local laws) to do with it as they 
> like, in perpetuity and their children etc etc.
> Over and out

Nothing is really over and out until it is really over and out.  Regarding the "perpetuity" of landownership in the UK, isn't there also the little detail of inheritance tax that has effectively dissolved many of the old estates?
I haven't been able to follow this thread from the beginning, but I'm generally of the opinion that sustainable use of land requires private ownership or at least a system of tenure that enables a farmer to plan for the long term.
Anyways, landowners are far from "free to do" with their land as they like, apart from the local and Gov. laws you mentioned, there are also economic factors and, in Europe, the EU agricultural policy that determine everything a farmer can and cannot do.
Whatever evils of private ownership you can make out, surely that is nothing in comparison to the gigantic waste engendered by the collective ownership of the Soviet Union.  I'm a little out of touch with things, but if the Hampstead Heath crowd is once again getting all befuddled with socialist revolution, there are still enough survivors of the Gulag of "real" socialism that are none to keen on repeating the experience.
The trouble I see is that many of the laws governing the land are made in the cities, while the rural population has little say in the way things are done.  Here in Portugal were I live; many farmers have given up due to economic conditions.  To make things worse, new laws (most of which are due to EU regulations) are putting on the screws even further.  The result is that farmers are still leaving the land.  In this dry climate, the abandoned land like the protected areas created EU-wide “to protect nature” will burn down in regular intervals, thus devastating whole regions.
Most farmers are unlikely to be enthusiastic about some day dream of collective ownership imposed on them by people from the cities.  If you are serious about your ideas, I suggest you put hand to shovel and try to make a living out of a piece of land.  You could even join some commune if you are able to stomach the internal political infighting these things often bring about.
Dieter Brand

--- On Mon, 11/10/08, Steve Read <steveread at free.fr> wrote:

From: Steve Read <steveread at free.fr>
Subject: Re: [permaculture] private property and forests
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
Date: Monday, November 10, 2008, 7:26 AM

Hello, Rain Tenaqiya,

All over Britain thousands of acres of land held by schools has been was sold
off, particularly during the Thatcher regime as schools made a quick pound out
of the booming housing development. That an analyst writes a book, that someone
reads it, and its got an ISBN number doesn't necessarily make the proposals
in it astute. Pension schemes can be as ill-judges in their practices as anyone
else. The point I would like for a final time to re-iterate is that private
property gives the owner(s) the right (constrained only by variable Govt and
local laws) to do with it as they like, in perpetuity and their children etc

Over and out


======= At 2008-11-08, 20:26:26 you wrote: =======

>I'm reading a book called More Tree Talk by Ray Raphael, a local
(northern California) historian.  He explains how property owned by logging
corporations is logged at a faster than sustainable rate in order to produce a
profit in a capitalist society with high interest rates and multiple investment
options for capital.  He proposes that a better solution would be to have
forest land owned by schools, retirement funds, and other groups who have less
pressure to make a quick profit, but who are interested in making money over a
longer time period.  
>Nothing is perfect, but using broad labels like "private
property" isn't good for making sustainable designs.  Again, we have
to look at what our design goals are and do a needs and yields assessment for
our different options.  Getting really specific about the different elements
and sites in our designs will help us come up with better results.
>permaculture mailing list
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= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Best regards.				 
Steve Read
steveread at free.fr

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