The most popular argument against Bundy’s claim to property is put to rest by the homesteading principle
By John Vibes
(INTELLIHUB) — Many media commentators have made the claim in recent weeks the Bundy family in Nevada was guilty of grazing their cattle on “public land”. However, it is not true that this disputed land is publicly owned.
In fact, the land in question was unjustly claimed by the US government when The Bureau of Land Management staked claim to the area decades ago. This land is either unowned, or it is owned by the people who have made use of it.
Land ownership should be decided according to direct homesteading, if you are living in, or making use of a particular piece of land or property, then that belongs to you. Claiming large areas of land by planting flags or drawing lines on a map is not a legitimate way to homestead property.
However, drawing lines on a map is exactly what the government has done to claim property that has been legitimately homesteaded for many generations. This is exactly how the BLM is justifying their claim to the Bundy family’s land, but it is an illegitimate claim.
The homestead principle is the principle by which one gains ownership of an unowned natural resource by performing an act of original appropriation. Appropriation could be enacted by putting an unowned resource to active use (as with using it to produce a product), joining it with previously acquired property or by marking it as owned (as with livestock branding).
It is interesting how people coming from a mainstream (left/right) political mindset usually lack any kind of clear principles when it comes to property rights.
For example, people from a liberal perspective understandably get upset about families getting thrown from their land so the XL keystone oil pipeline can be built. While those coming from a conservative standpoint don’t seem to care and tend to degrade the people who are fighting for their property rights.
On the other hand, when a property rights battle like the one at Bundy Ranch happens, these two groups switch sides, ignoring the principles at work. The conservative leaning people then get understandably angry about the transgression, but those coming from a liberal standpoint don’t seem to care, and tend to degrade the people who are fighting for their property rights.
In both instances the same violation of property rights is occurring, but unfortunately, no one in the mainstream dialogue seems to notice their common enemy or their common goals.
Many of the major points involved with this issue in terms of property rights has been explained in a recent video by Stefan Molyneux, which can be seen below:
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons)