November 20, 2017

Cult of Climate Change: Bad news capitalist pigs! You will have to give up your land for the greater good!

Just like every other front of Leftism, climate change leads to Marxism. Pirates Cove explains

But, no, remember, this is all about science” (via Watts Up With That?)

Can property survive the great climate transition?

There is ample activity aimed at making this happen, including through designing and building ecocities, and calls such as that of the Transition Towns movement, which suggests substantial changes to our ways of life might be both necessary and inevitable.

In all of this, very little has been said about the elephant in the urban living room – property. Property systems are the codification of our relationship to place and the way in which many of us make a claim to place, including a roof over our heads.

If our cities are to become more resilient and sustainable, our systems of property need to come along for the ride.

Ah the ride? The ride to the Socialist Utopia of Collectivism

Western systems of property law assume property is delineated and static: the property holder has invested (often substantial) financial resources to secure a claim to that neatly identified parcel of land and/or buildings. Further, the property owner expects to make a nice economic return on their parcel.

Unfortunately, the future doesn’t look neatly delineated or static. Many researchers and practitioners tell us the future might not look like anything we’ve ever seen. Some say we are reaching a tipping point, after which the rules we have constructed will no longer apply or be of use. (snip)

Living in colonised landscapes tells us it might be time to rethink which way around the “ownership” dynamic works in property relationships.

That is, if we are to think about and create property systems that are as dynamic as the landscapes we occupy, we might need to start thinking about ourselves as belonging to and answerable to the land, not the other way around.

So, what would this mean to us, you know, the people? William Teach edifies us

Follow this to the logical conclusion: the government would have all claim to property, and people would be allowed to live in places that government dictates. Because science.

And, of course, we must never, ever, under any circumstances, question the science, which is settled, so, no one dare question the settled science, which is, you know settled! Settled as in you better never, ever say anything like this

Yes, such speech as you see above must stop, because the science, you see, is, well , settled! So what can we expect if the definition of property changes the way Progressives seek? Well, consider this from TransitionNetwork.org

Transition is an approach rooted in values and principles.  These are described slightly differently in different parts of the movement, but broadly:

We respect resource limits and create resilience – The urgent need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, greatly reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and make wise use of precious resources is at the forefront of everything we do.

We promote inclusivity and social justice – The most disadvantaged and powerless people in our societies are likely to be worst affected by rising fuel and food prices, resource shortages and extreme weather events. We want to increase the chances of all groups in society to live well, healthily and with sustainable livelihoods.

We adopt subsidiarity (self-organisation and decision-making at the appropriate level) – The intention of the Transition model is not to centralise or control decision making, but rather to work with everyone so that it is practiced at the most appropriate, practical and empowering level

We pay attention to balance – In responding to urgent, global challenges, individuals and groups can end up feeling stressed, closed or driven rather than open, connected and creative. We create space for reflection, celebration and rest to balance the times when we’re busily getting things done. We explore different ways of working which engage our heads, hands and hearts and enable us to develop collaborative and trusting relationships.

We are part of an experimental, learning network – Transition is a real-life, real-time global social experiment. Being part of a network means we can create change more quickly and more effectively, drawing on each other’s experiences and insights. We want to acknowledge and learn from failure as well as success – if we’re going to be bold and find new ways of living and working, we won’t always get it right first time. We will be open about our processes and will actively seek and respond positively to feedback.

We freely share ideas and power – Transition is a grassroots movement, where ideas can be taken up rapidly, widely and effectively because each community takes ownership of the process themselves. Transition looks different in different places and we want to encourage rather than unhelpfully constrain that diversity.

We collaborate and look for synergies – The Transition approach is to work together as a community, unleashing our collective genius to have a greater impact together than we can as individuals. We will look for opportunities to build creative and powerful partnerships across and beyond the Transition movement and develop a collaborative culture, finding links between projects, creating open decision-making processes and designing events and activities that help people make connections.

Sound like a bad sales pitch? Yep! ut what choice do we have really. The science, remember, is settled! So, Capitalism is out. Private property? Please! The new word is sustainable comrades!

A few weeks ago I came home buzzing from a meeting in a chapel opposite Bondi Beach. That meeting will be remembered as the birth of a non-profit community organization set up “to establish and implement community land trusts as a viable affordable housing option in New South Wales.” Interest in community land trusts is snowballing in Australia, which gives me hope for shareable and resilient cities.

As we go forward with building alternative structures like land trusts, we have a major challenge before us: the broad-scale refit of our existing urban areas into more sustainable forms and systems.

Community Land Trusts he says? How would that work?

Community land trusts (CLTs) started in the United States in the 1970s as a civil rights movement. The model builds on Henry George’s land value tax model and is explicitly inspired by practices of common land ownership in indigenous America, pre-colonial Africa, and India’s Bhoodan Movement, which encouraged wealthy landowners to voluntarily share their property with lower castes, who would then manage the gift as a commons.

Since 1987, the number of CLTs in North America has tripled—and today, there are roughly 200 non-profit organizations holding title to land and sometimes buildings, ideally forever. CLT property holders then hold title to anything from the ground up – whether crops, individual condos, houses, or entire buildings. Property holders can be homeowners, renters, cooperatives, businesses, charities, affordable rental hosing providers, or other community organizations.

To balance the interests, rights, and responsibilities of the individual household, the broader community and the public at large, a ground lease between the CLT and the property holder then spells out use, inheritance, maintenance, resale and other conditions of the property. CLTs stipulate there be no speculation, no absenteeism.

So, the “landowner” would not really “own” the land, house, etc. Here let Julian Brave NoiseCat explain

We live in a world dominated by the principle of private property. Once indigenous people were dispossessed of their lands, the land was surveyed, subdivided and sold to the highest bidder. From high above, continents now appear as an endless property patchwork of green and yellow farms, beige suburban homes and metallic gray city blocks stretching from sea to shining sea.

The central logic of this regime is productivity, and indeed it has been monstrously productive. In tandem with the industrial revolution, the fruits of billions of acres of dispossessed and parceled indigenous land across the Americas, Africa, Asia, Ireland and Australia enabled two English-speaking empires – first the British and then the American – to rise to global dominance. The latter remains the most productive economy in the world.

Property also embodies and upholds a set of values and relationships to land. It propagates a utopian vision called the American Dream, wherein hard work, land and a home are platform for boundless opportunity – or at least escape – from capital domination. It separates humanity from all other animals and cements man’s mastery over the natural world and all living things.

While property has transformed the world, its flaws have never been more apparent. Open land on the frontier, if it ever actually existed for the common man’s taking, is long gone. Homeownership no longer provides the economic security it once did, and appears out of reach for younger generations. The richest 1% holds more wealth than the rest of the world combined. At the same time, environmental degradation and climate change proceed at a terrifying pace.

See! Capitalism is bad, evil, and imperialistic! 

Another, more cutting-edge possibility is to heed the diverse indigenous voices displaced and drowned out by imperialism. From Standing Rock to Queensland, colonized and indigenous people are demanding new relationships to water that sustains the life and land which provides for the people.

This approach entails returning lands and resources to indigenous control and rethinking our relationship to the environment by recognizing and protecting indigenous values and the rights of nature through the law.

So, there we have it. We must cede control of our land, and homes and begin to live as the State dictates we live because sustainability. Sure Capitalism has led to more prosperity, liberty, living conditions and yes, cleaner environments, but we must never argue because the science is, well you know.

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So, who is up for handing over control of our land, then eventually the right to even own land? Who is ready to be told where we must live? Who is ready to be told, by the State, how big a home, and a family is “sustainable”? Who is prepared to be told what we may eat, how much we can weigh, and what type of vehicle, if any we may own? Who is ready to be herded into large cities, to live in our sustainable homes? What? You do not trust the State to control all of these decisions for everyone? You want to sacrifice sustainability and the common good for your individual liberty? Maybe you should be sent to a re-education, ah, I mean a sustainability awareness program facility comrades!

Also posted at The DaleyGator

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