Re: left anarchy, right anarchy, and space homesteading

Michael Lorrey (
Fri, 03 Oct 1997 18:39:20 -0400

The Low Golden Willow wrote:
> On Oct 2, 8:16pm, Guru George wrote:
> } (The Low Golden Willow) wrote:
> } >Homeless and empty office buildings...
> } Some of the things you cite are difficult problems, for sure, but none of them are
> } reasons for calling property theft and theft justice.
> Why not? The anarchists would claim that any system which sanctions
> such inequities among human beings is unacceptable. That holding but
> not using resources which other people could use is theft, and
> inefficient. If you're not using the building how is someone else
> moving into it theft? How is it unjust?

Anarchists would never claim that forcing someone to give up property is
acceptable. While someone may claim to be an anarchist while espousing a
"whats mine is mine and whats yours is mine if I need it" philosophy,
they do not fit the term. Forcing someone who has invested in the
construction of a building with money earned and saved to give up
partial or whole use of that facility as they see fit is theft. That a
bunch of free loaders have latched onto an Orwellian doublespeak sound
bite as a rationalisation of their own theiving proclivities does not in
any way make them anarchists.

The only opposition a true anarchist would truly have to property
ownership would be if large property owners are using their wealth to
enforce a mercantilist economic system on a free market via political

> Mark Grant's retort that the empty office buildings are guarded by
> zoning laws was a rather more effective defense of capitalism.
> For more hard-nosed extropians... these issues are related to
> homesteading. How _will_ property in space (favored orbits, asteroids)
> be allocated? If someone sends out loyal von Neumann machines to
> 'homestead' all of Mars, should[1] we acknowledge the claim?

According to old international law that predates the socialist inspired
Moon and Space Treaties, as well as US minimg and homestead laws, any
uninhabited, unclaimed, unimproved property can be claimed so long as
the claimant "improves" the property in some way. THis may be as little
as adding a radar reflector or a transponder to a body, or as much as
strip mining or terraforming, but the first minimum step in claiming a
plot of land and improving it is simply going there and surveying and
staking the property. For this reason, the gentleman in California who
is selling property on the moon is doing so without even a minimum
improvement, and therefore has not claim to the land. He is using NASA
survey data to plot out lots, so he isn't even performing the survey
himself or by his agent. On the other hand, before he started, he filed
a claim of the moon with the US government, and since they have not
responded withing 90 days of the claim, legally he could have a real
claim on the property, given that the US as a soverign power has
previously claimed the moon.
> If you just said "yes", will you acknowledge NASA doing the same thing?

In 1969, Neil Armstrong claimed the moon "for all mankind" and set a US
flag on it, and set up several science gathering stations. In court,
this could possibly stand as an improvement. The only remaining question
is how much land is allowed per claim. Since Columbus claimed the whole
new world for Spain, and Spain had to give up Brazil under a treaty set
by the Pope, while England and other settlers were, for all legal
purposes, claim jumpers, but Spain was never able to fully enforce their
claim due to their losses to Francis Drake. On the other hand,
individuals were only allowed so many acres per claim under the
Homestead Act. I guess since Armstrong would more resemble Columbus than
Billy Joe Homestead, due to his officers commision by a sovreign power,
he could possibly be used to claim the entire moon for the US, and
considering that the US has not and will not sign the Moon Treaty, all
they need to do is have the military capacity in space when the time
comes to enforce the claim against any claim jumper from another
> If you said "no", how do you justify that? And if your response has
> anything to do with "reasonable use", you just wandered into 'left'
> territory.

Abandonment of property is a justifiable cause for condemnation. This is
the basis for so called "squatters rights", where if a property owner
does not have enough of a presence, even having an owners agent oversee
the property enough to keep squatters off the land for a given interval,
then the squatters can claim the land as abandoned. In order for the
property owner to keep the land, he or his agent must be present on
occasion to press trespass charges against squatters, as a form of self
defense against the agression of squatters. If the owner does not press
charges and allows the trespass, then there is an implied permission.
> [1] Practically, if someone actually controlled all of Mars like that,
> we might well have to acknowledge the claim. This hardly challenges the
> claim that "property is theft" -- i.e., property goes to the biggest
> muscle or gun -- though.

If property is uninhabited, then who is the land being stolen from? It
then is not theft. The claim that enclosure prevents its use by others
and therefore is stealing it from them is bogus, unless it is abandoned.
Remember, to claim the land, it must be improved, so the property rights
are there not mainly to prevent use of the raw land by others, but to
prevent others from uncompensated use of the property owners
improvements, that the owner paid for with money earned by the owners
means of production. No one can deny an individual the right to earn a
living and save moeny, can they?

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------	Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?