Thursday, June 19, 2008

Land Ownership Essay

I actually didn't make this for a class or anything. I just thought it would be an interesting topic to write about.

When I was a little kid, I lived near the border of two towns. Nearby, there was a fence that separated town A and town B. I thought it was a strange idea that your location could change so drastically in an instant. I would sometimes walk through the gate, back and forth, telling myself that I was in town A, then town B. It seems a bit silly now, but I was testing whether anything really changed across that border. Although the adults told me that town A and B were different places, I could find no difference.

People own land by claiming it is theirs, whether through discovery or attaining it from others. This is a strange idea to Native Americans, as they see the land as public, something that can't be owned, just borrowed for a while. When Europeans came, they asked to buy their land. The Native Americans didn't understand that they were giving away the right to use the land, so they happily sold it. Was this naive of the Native Americans or irrational for the Europeans? Who had given the Native Americans the land in the first place? They just happened upon it. That didn't make it theirs. Vast undiscovered lands are found and people instantly claim that it is theirs. There are other animals living there, but if there are no humans, then it is for the taking. Are humans the only ones capable of ownership? No, other animals have possessions. Even when there are no other forms of life, it is still a ridiculous concept. Governments claim airspace above their countries and even the United States put a flag on the moon, signifying that a whole planetoid is owned by a country a ridiculous distance away. How can people claim that these are attainable?

Lands are not things that can be owned. It's all just part of nature. When one claims property, does it include space above and below too? What limits can be made? Modern society is dependent on land ownership, yet it undoubtedly makes little sense. Is it too late to change? Yes. The world is built on flawed logic.

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