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Author Topic: Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism  (Read 10725 times)
StevenN
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Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« on: September 02, 2003, 12:00:51 pm »

OK, here a question that has been posed to me by anti-libertarians. It seems to be the only argument that I've had to really struggle with.

We say that owning property is just if it is justly acquired. So, if the land from the native Americans was not justly acquired, how is owning that land "just"? Or if a settler bought land from a tribe that unjust acquired it from another tribe, then how is that land justly owned. Goes back to the time when some shepherd killed another for his property, and therefore all property is unjustly acquired.

Your thoughts and links are most welcome!
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lloydbob1
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Re:Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2003, 12:52:58 pm »

All of the Red  Americans that stole land from each other and had land stolen from them by Europeans and White Native Americans are DEAD!
As a practical matter, we have to put a lid on it and move forward.
A more topical subject is what happened to Billions of dollars of Indian oil, gas, coal, timber, etc.- royalties that the department of the interior can not account for?
Lloyd
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jhfenton
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Re:Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2003, 01:32:12 pm »

As a practical matter, we have to put a lid on it and move forward.

Exactly. There's a reason for statutes of limitations and the law of adverse possession. We can't go back to the beginning of time to determine the first human to claim each square inch of property. Disputes, including ownership of land, must be resolved within a reasonable amount of time or we stick with the status quo.
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BillG
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Re:Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2003, 09:11:22 pm »

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We say that owning property is just if it is justly acquired.

BillG: This is not the only question that is problematic for "royal" libertarians! The more pertinent question today is who owns the rent created by the monopolization of a god-given, natural resource like land! Today - The individual landowner pockets the appreciated land value which is created by increasing populations and public infrastructure investments...so the priviledge exert a "tax" on the fruits of one's labor - is this just?

I say NO! The appreciated value should go back to the rightful owners - those that created it...society in the form of a citizens dividend which never touches gov't coffers.

"Royal" libertarians:
http://geolib.pair.com/essays/sullivan.dan/royallib.html

see "economics according to George" for more:

http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=6;action=display;threadid=2984
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Re:Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2003, 09:20:56 pm »

Land which was stolen from the native american tribes should be eventually returned,   The statute of limitations does not apply since the tribes never voluntarily agreed to it.

  Seems to me conquered peoples very seldom voluntarily agree to give up their lands.  Nothing was "stolen" here.  From the beginning, there were certain groups on pieces of land that were conquered or driven off by others.  In case you haven't noticed, conquered peoples have very little recourse in what happens to their possessions.  
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BillG
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Re:Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2003, 09:32:05 pm »

Don't we also have a fundamental issue that the original inhabitants had no concept of the ownership of land thru the granting of titles - as we know it today? It would kind of be like someone coming along and stealing all of our air - if we were given it back how would we re-apportion it?

I just want to know if I will get enough back to be able to live for at least a few more years to see the Free State Project achieve it's goals!
« Last Edit: September 02, 2003, 10:05:46 pm by BillG (not Gates) » Logged
BillG
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Re:Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2003, 10:11:10 pm »

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who owns the rent created by the monopolization of a god-given, natural resource like land!

American Indians are embroiled in a $137 billion lawsuit with the US Government over land royalties. The saga, which has been going on for seven years, rests on a judge's decision, which is expected shortly

Here is a pertinent link:

http://www.progress.org/2003/land45.htm
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Johnny Liberty
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Re:Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2003, 10:58:07 pm »

This is one of the primary problems I have with privitization of National and State parklands. Why should land taken by force from a variey of tribes with a variety of land tenure systems be sold or auctioned off? So the privileged (by wealth and/or skin color) can benefit from the crimes of a hundred or so years ago? This seems unjust to me. It would merely be a continuation of the theft of native lands for the benefit of the white settlers.

I am not suggesting that tracing the just aquisition and transfer of former native Americans' lands is not problematic, only that it is a real problem of justice that cannot be dismissed by pretending it happened at some mythical dawn of history, rather than the 17th through 19th centuries, the recent dawn of the USA.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2003, 11:59:50 pm by Johnny Liberty » Logged
RhythmStar
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Re:Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2003, 07:51:20 pm »

Other alternatives are available to those who would rather own property outright instead of leasing from the Indian tribes.  They can build cities in the oceans or colonize space.  The earth can become one large park with a mass human migration to space.  

My hope is that enough of the biosphere remains when the Planetary Diaspora happens that the Earth Park will be worth visiting.

RS
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Re:Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2003, 09:34:53 pm »

and what event happens in 2015?  what is 'good prgress'?
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BillG
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Re:Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2003, 07:57:30 pm »

Thought this might be of interest...

Subject: Validity of title???
=     =     =     =     =     =     =     =     =     =     =     =    
New Home Problems

A New Orleans lawyer sought an FHA loan for a client. He was told the loan would be granted if he could prove satisfactory title to a parcel of property being offered as collateral. The title to the property dated back to 1803, which took the Lawyer three months to track down. After sending the information to the FHA, he received the following reply (actual letter):

"Upon review of your letter adjoining your client's loan application, we note that the request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While we compliment the able manner in which you have prepared and presented the application, we must point out that you have only cleared title to the proposed collateral property back to 1803. Before final approval can be accorded, it will be necessary to clear the title back to its origin."

Annoyed, the lawyer responded as follows (actual letter):

"Your letter regarding title in Case No. 189156 has been received. I note that you wish to have title extended further than the 194 years covered by the present application.

I was unaware that any educated person in this country, particularly those working in the property area, would not know that Louisiana was purchased, by the U.S., from France in 1803, the year of origin identified in our application. For the edification of uninformed FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership was obtained from France, which had acquired it by Right of Conquest from Spain. The land came into the possession of Spain by Right of Discovery made in the year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who had been granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by
the Spanish monarch, Isabella.

The good queen Isabella, being a pious woman and almost as careful about titles as the FHA, took the precaution of securing the blessing of the Pope before she sold her jewels to finance Columbus' expedition.

Now the Pope, as I'm sure you may know, is the emissary of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God, it is commonly accepted, created this world.  Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume that God also made that part of the world called Louisiana. God, therefore, would be the owner of origin and His origins date back, to before the beginning of time, the world as we know it AND the FHA.  I hope the hell you find God's original claim to be satisfactory.

Now, may we have our damn loan?"

The loan was approved.
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RovelleQuartz
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Re:Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2004, 08:08:43 pm »

This is where the concept of "estoppel" comes in handy
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KevinD
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Re:Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2004, 11:30:12 pm »

Land which was stolen from the native american tribes should be eventually returned,   The statute of limitations does not apply since the tribes never voluntarily agreed to it.

  Seems to me conquered peoples very seldom voluntarily agree to give up their lands.  Nothing was "stolen" here.  From the beginning, there were certain groups on pieces of land that were conquered or driven off by others.  In case you haven't noticed, conquered peoples have very little recourse in what happens to their possessions.  

  These "conquered peoples" are US Citizens I believe?  Which in the normal course of things would mean these lands would have most likely been inherited through the generations.  Add in how many dozens of treaties concerning land rights with these "conquered peoples" were broken by the US government and it becomes quite complex.  
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Tracy Saboe
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Re:Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2004, 12:24:26 am »

OK, here a question that has been posed to me by anti-libertarians. It seems to be the only argument that I've had to really struggle with.

We say that owning property is just if it is justly acquired. So, if the land from the native Americans was not justly acquired, how is owning that land "just"? Or if a settler bought land from a tribe that unjust acquired it from another tribe, then how is that land justly owned. Goes back to the time when some shepherd killed another for his property, and therefore all property is unjustly acquired.

Your thoughts and links are most welcome!

ACtually it was typically the government that stolle land from the indians. Most settlers in the west figured out peacefull ways of co-habiting with each other. Much of the coruption was with the trans contenental railroads, a mercantilistic, Lincoln/Grant, etc started corporate welfare scheme. Indeed, it was a main reason the Sioux Nation fought on the Southern Side of the civil war.

In the mean time, their was a private entrapreneur that built the northwestern railroad. All of the land he got was completely volentarily built and traded. Lands the native Americans' used he got peacefully , by trading corn, cattle, or gold.  He bragged in his autobiography that he didn't except a dime of government welfair. He ending up being the first person fined in an anti-trust case. The government didn't like the competition. I don't remember his name right off. Read Tom De'Lorenzo's new book "How Capitalism Saved America" where he talks about this person.

The Pilgrim's also found volentary, peacefull ways of working with and trading and developing friendship with the Indians.

We get taught in Government schools that the native American's didn't have any concept of property rights. That all their tribes were these communist utopias where the land was completely communal property. This simply isn't true. while most ever tribe had different definitions of what constituted property rights, and while some tribes had more refined concepts of property rights, they understood the concept. Where the conflicts arose were that our definitions were different from theirs. But typically we worked those definitions our peacefully.

It was the governments, after they were instituted that, typically did most of the thieving. The war Criminal Jackson's trail of tears. Then Grant sending general Sherman out to kill all the plains indians so the government could give political favors to the trains, etc.

So yes, you are right.

However, that being said.  Saying that we (currently) "owe" a debt to the native American's today because of this, is not right. It's not any different in principle from blacks who demand "reparations." The vast majority of people who live here in America now, immigrated here after all these atrocities. And a good half or more of American's who existed then were against them.

The best thing do to for the Native American's now, would be to get rid of those communist concentration camps (I mean reservations.) and allow the market to work now.  

Tracy Saboe
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Re:Native Americans, property rights, and libertarianism
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2004, 12:42:22 am »

I agree with the sentiments that land ownership is a dead and gone issue.  If people decide to dig up the past then we can argue over when to start.

Anyway, the real problems are the current contemplations of further invasion into Indian lands.

http://www.igs.berkeley.edu/library/htIndianGaming.htm

The CA gov goes broke and decides Indian sovereignty is an overrated and outdated concept.  Besides they don't have enough social programs to kill their economy.

Also, gambling is illegal in CA except for a few official government endorsed casinos, oh and the Lottery (which delivers odds even the most crooked casino in Vegas would be ashamed of).  Gambling is obviously a racket the CA government is into and Indian reserves are just too tough to compete with (likely because of a lot lower overhead than the state sanctioned ones).
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