Ladies and Gentlemen, Your Third Parties!

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The Green Party's Cynthia McKinney, whose campaign has remained justly obscure (ask a random person who the Green candidate is and they'll probably say "Ralph Nader" or "I don't need a free stress test, thanks"), talks about Zimbabwe with… wait for it… the Final Call.

People who don't have title to the land should not be allowed to occupy the land. The title of land can't be granted to those who have stolen the land. Land reform is the issue all over Africa. The issue is land and the land must be free to be settled by the original inhabitants who were removed from that land illegally as a result of colonialism.

Finally, a pro-tyranny, pro-murder presidential candidate! Meanwhile, Ralph Nader almost breaks campaign finance laws because Canadians are the only people left who like him.

After his speech, Mr. Nader called upon Matthew Zawisky, a 28-year-old supporter, to solicit funds. In a bit of barnstorming, Mr. Zawisky asked if an American in the audience would donate $4,600—the maximum amount a U. S. citizen can contribute to presidential campaigns under their country's law.

In exchange for the tiptop gift, Mr. Zawisky said the donor would receive a copy of Mr. Nader's book Unsafe at Any Speed.

When nobody stepped forward, Mr. Zawisky dropped his request to $2,300, then $1,000 and finally $500. As the dollar amounts fell lower and lower—and an uncomfortable silence settled in–Canadians in the crowd began to ask if they could contribute. Mr. Zawisky said donations could only come from Americans. Someone then suggested the crowd give their money to a U. S. citizen, who could then donate it.

Someone did collect the money, then handed it back. Finally, the Democratic governor of Montana quasi-endorses Bob Barr over Obama and McCain.

He said neither is perfect with the National Rifle Association scorecard—McCain has received a "C" and Obama an "F."

The governor said such voters may turn to Libertarian Bob Barr, "if you are absolutely not going to vote for McCain or Obama on guns."

Obama's currently leading in Montana polls that don't include Barr. If Barr were to get the local LP's typical 2 percent, and Obama stays around 49 percent (he's at 48.3 percent now), that's the ball game.

NEXT: Why Don't We Protect the Privacy of Jurors?

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  1. Finally, a pro-tyranny, pro-murder presidential candidate!

    Dave, we already have one.

  2. Cthulu ’08: Why settle for the Lesser Evil?

  3. “The issue is land and the land must be free to be settled by the original inhabitants who were removed from that land illegally as a result of colonialism.”

    And Cynthia McKinney then promptly deeded her house to the Cherokees.

  4. Ugh, i hate this quasi-racist notion that just because you belong to a particular group, you should be entitled to certain goods from another group, just because a single person from said group injured a person from the former group.

  5. Jerry —

    A single person? I sympathize with your notion, but to reduce this to “something someone did to another guy once upon a time” is breathtakingly ignorant of history.

  6. I fully support Ms. McKinney in her fight to return African land to it’s aboriginal owners. I will gladly donate cash to her and to this cause if she will agree to live there for the rest of her days and fight the good fight.

  7. And Cynthia McKinney then promptly deeded her house to the Cherokees.

    She lives outside of Berkley now, so it should probably be the Chumash.

  8. Oh no, no. McKinney, as a victim of white oppression herself, is exempt from her own mandates.

  9. Elemenope, my use single was sloppy here, it could have been more than one of course.

  10. Finally, a pro-tyranny, pro-murder presidential candidate!

    Not to sound like I want to defend McKinney, but why would that be so?

    What am I missing? Jim owns a land and has a title of ownership. Tommy comes and takes his land by force, kicking Jim out, probably leaving him with worthless land somewhere, and occupying the land. Isn’t this a simple case of property rights?

    I guess the difficulty is a few generations later. Do Jim’s grandkids have any right to any or some of the land? Do Tommy’s grandkids have a right to what their grandfather stole?

    I don’t know, but the answer is simple and clear. If the land was exchanged as part of a “treaty” or a proper sale (if not done under the point of a gun), the exchange is OK, no? Otherwise, Jim and/or his grandkids have a right to retrieve this land again, hopefully peacefully with Tommy’s grandkids cooperation. Otherwise, we’re back the jungle rule: “you take my stuff by force, I’ll take that stuff back by force.”

  11. Cthulu ’08: Why settle for the Lesser Evil?

    That is funny.

  12. I once saw a very slickly made bumper sticker:

    Republicans for Voldemort ’04

    Had me in stitches. Of course, this means that the Dems would put up Dolores Umbridge.

    There was another:

    Bush/Vader ’04

  13. Otherwise, we’re back the jungle rule: “you take my stuff by force, I’ll take that stuff back by force.”

    Just out of curiosity, what makes you think Africa has ever gotten past this concept? Additionally, what’s to prevent Jim’s grandkids from claiming the sale by treaty or other instrument is “fundamentally illegitimate due to the power imbalances of the prevailing societal institutions” or some such BS and showing up with guns to forcibly evict Tommy’s grandkids?

  14. Just out of curiosity, what makes you think Africa has ever gotten past this concept?

    For that matter, what makes you think we have?

  15. The issue is land and the land must be free to be settled by the original inhabitants who were removed from that land illegally as a result of colonialism.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the original inhabitants, as well as the removers, are all dead now.

  16. LMNOP,

    For that matter, what makes you think we have?

    Kelo makes it clear we havent.

  17. Kelo makes it clear we havent.

    Susette show up at the New London city council meeting packing yet?

  18. T-

    What are your views of Kelo and other such cases? Do the descendants of Kelo have no right to (legally) fight for and seek to get the property back?

  19. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the original inhabitants, as well as the removers, are all dead now.

    But the descendants of one of these two groups are still suffering. Let me be clear, to me this is a matter of justice. I do not advocate the forceful taking of someone’s property as long as the property is rightfully earned.

  20. Oh, and I am still not sure why the quoted paragraph makes McKinney “a pro-tyranny, pro-murder presidential candidate!” Not that she may not be one, it is just this paragraph does not make the case that McKinney is “a pro-tyranny, pro-murder presidential candidate!” If anything, it is Dave here who sounds a bit too extreme, but may be he’s being facetious.

  21. Ali, you are a moron. Every group of people that exists on EARTH right now has displaced another group to lived where they live now; would you also support kicking the descendants of the Normans out of England to return it to the Anglo-Saxons? Perhaps you would also support kicking the descendants of the Romans, Moors and Visigoths out of Spain and handing that land over to the last few descendants of the Celto-Iberians?

    There are very real problems in the world right now, and giving land back to supposed oppressed peoples in the U.S. is not one of them.

  22. Rigoberto,

    By any chance, would you be one of those who did some displacing?

    Or are you casting aspersions simply because you don’t care about this particular issue?

  23. Why the name calling, Rigoberto?

    With that said, what you say is a valid point. Obviously we can’t go back indefinitely in time. But, to me, it sounds like anyone who can show evidence of ownership (as in a contract or other government records) by him/her should be given the property back. What is so difficult about this to understand?

    Yes, I know, in Zimbabwe the indigenous may not have such records. But in case anyone of the does, then the case is clear.

    Finally, where have I implied that I am suggesting we go indefinitely in time? Also, where have I discussed the US anywhere in what I wrote above? If anyone is a moron who is incapable of comprehension is…

  24. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the original inhabitants, as well as the removers, are all dead now.

    But the descendants of one of these two groups are still suffering. Let me be clear, to me this is a matter of justice. I do not advocate the forceful taking of someone’s property as long as the property is rightfully earned.

    Well, lots of people are suffering all over. In many cases, their suffering is due far more to the corruptness and incompetence of their current government than to anything that happened 100 years ago. The real question is: how far back in time should we reach to dig up past wrongs to rectify? 50 years? 100? 500?

    Also, what do you mean by “rightfully earned”? How about by Right of Conquest? It worked for William of Normandy.

  25. Mark Twain said this better than I ever could:

    Man is the only animal that robs his helpless fellow of his country-takes possession of it and drives him out of it or destroys him. Man has done this in all the ages. There is not an acre of ground on the globe that is in possession of its rightful owner, or that has not been taken away from owner after owner, cycle after cycle, by force and bloodshed.

  26. Rigoberto-

    Oh, and lets say your property is taken from you by force, and ll evidence of your ownership of the property destroyed, as a libertarian (an assumption I make based on the fact that you’re here on H&R –I could be wrong), what? That’s it? You have no rights whatsoever to even try to regain your property? About all that crap about the second amendment and the right to self defense?

    Do you approve of the Kelo decision by the way?

  27. Of course, after watching those stupid fucking adorable meerkats on that stupid fucking adorable show, it occurs to me that it might not just be man that steals land.

  28. Warty- I thought humans evolve and progress, no? Otherwise, how do you, or Mark Twain, explain the feet that was achieved by humans (on average) in going from these savages that humans used to be in prehistoric times to civilizations with laws and rights, etc?

  29. “Cthulu ’08: Why settle for the Lesser Evil?”

    Incidentally, I’m wearing a Cthulhu shirt right now that’s a parody of a Coca-Cola logo, with the Coke wave being tentacles and Cthulhu in the Coca-Cola font.

  30. OK, the people who type faster than me (and maybe don’t review their comments before posting) said some of the same things I did.

    Ali– your criterion of having documentation is very reasonable, and I can’t find anything in it to disagree with right now. That said, it makes McKinney’s statement basically an oxymoron. Which is hardly surprising, considering the source.

  31. Chuck-

    The real question is: how far back in time should we reach to dig up past wrongs to rectify? 50 years? 100? 500?

    I am not sure if there should be a time limit. But regardless, is it reasonable to suggest that anyone with a title document (i.e., proof of ownership) in his or his ancestors’ names has a right to the property?

    Another question is, what about governments (especially colonial ones) who hold information regarding land ownership prior to the land grab? Should they be pressured to release such information? It has happened before after WWII, why not in other cases as well?

  32. Ali —

    Mark Twain was pessimistic in general about the procession of human society, and also skeptical of the notion that the trappings of civilization are on-balance a positive advance.

    Occasionally I find myself sympathizing.

  33. Not to sound like I want to defend McKinney, but why would that be so?

    Perhaps because there was no such thing as title to land until the Europeans introduced the concept. So when she says:

    People who don’t have title to the land should not be allowed to occupy the land.

    she is (a) right on the money and (b) not calling for expropriation based on race or ancestry.

    When she says:

    The issue is land and the land must be free to be settled by the original inhabitants who were removed from that land illegally as a result of colonialism.

    She commits a category error (the settlement of African land by Europeans was not per se illegal – she can’t point to anything that we would recognize as a law or legal title that was violated by that settlement, and thus states a non sequitur that directly contradicts her earlier statement.

    Which is the long way around of saying she is an ignorant twat.

    But the descendants of one of these two groups are still suffering.

    In Zimbabwe, the descendants of both those groups are suffering, because the white owners have pretty much been driven off, to no benefit to the other “original” “owners”. Its not like that land was given back to the tribe or clan that occupied pre-colonization; it was given to politically connected thugs.

    That is what McKinney is advocating – perhaps the only way to make Africa worse off than it is already.

  34. Pretension, Ali. We’re the same half-evolved shrieking cousins of chimpanzees that we were 10,000 years ago. We behave exactly as you would expect.

    Since we’re talking about Zimbabwe, here’s some topical Mark Twain:

    What is the secret of his [Cecil Rhodes’s] formidable supremacy? One says it is his prodigious wealth–a wealth whose drippings in salaries and and in other ways support multitudes and make them his interested and loyal vassels; another says it is his personal magnetism and his persuasive tongue, and that these hypnotize and make happy slaves of all that drift within the circle of their influence; another says it is his majestic ideas, his vast schemes for the territorial aggrandizement of England, his patriotic and unselfish ambition to spread her beneficent protection and her just rule over the pagan wastes of Africa and make luminous the African darkness with the glory of her name; and another says he wants the earth, wants it for his own, and that the secret belief that he will get it and let his friends in on the ground floor is *the* secret that rivets so many eyse on him and keeps him in the zenith…

    I admire him, I frankly confess it; and when his time comes I shall buy a piece of the rope as a keepsake… The great bulk of the savages must go. The white man wants their lands, and all must go excepting such percentage of them as he will need to do his work for him on terms determined by himself. Since history has removed the element of guesswork from this matter and made it certainty, the humanest way of diminishing the black population should be adopted, not the old, cruel ways of the past. Mr. Rhodes and his gangs have been following the old ways. They have been chartered to rob and slay, and they lawfully do it, but not in a compassionate and Christian spirit. They rob the Mashonas and the Matabeles of a portion of their territories in the hallowed old style of “purchase” for a song, and then they force a quarrel and take the rest by strong hand. They rob the natives of their cattle under the pretext that all the cattle in the country belonged to the king whom they have tricked and assassinated. They issue “regulations” requiring the incensed and harrassed natives to work for the white settlers, and neglect their own affairs to do it. This is slavery, and it is several times worse than was the American slavery which used to pain England so much; for when the Rhodesian slave is sick, superannuated, or otherwise disabled, he must support himself or starve–his master is under no obligation to support him.

    The reduction of the population by Rhodesian methods to the desired limit is a return to the old-time slow-misery and lingering-death system of a discredited time and a crude “civilization.” We humanely reduce an overplus of dogs by the swift method of chloroform; the Boer humanely reduced an overplus of blacks by swift suffocation; the nameless but right-hearted Australian pioneer humanely reduced his overplus of aboriginal neighbors by a sweetened swift death concealed in a poisoned pudding. All these are admirable, and worthy of praise; you and I would rather suffer either of these deaths thirty times over on thirty successive days than linger out one of the Rhodesian twenty-year deaths, with its daily burden of insult, humiliation, and forced labor for a man whose entire race the victim hates. Rhodesia is a happy name for that land of piracy and pillage, and puts the right stain upon it.

    from Following the Equator

  35. Ali, I am a strong supporter of property rights. However, what Cynthia McKinney is suggesting is not possible. The Indians who’s land was stolen are all dead, and the people took the land are dead. Taking land from someone now and giving it to a Native American would be equally unjustifiable as the original act itself, because the current owner isn’t guilty of theft, and the new benefactor only has the virtue of being a member of the same tribe. As someone posted earlier, it is actually a very racist proposition.

  36. That said, it makes McKinney’s statement basically an oxymoron. Which is hardly surprising, considering the source.

    Yeah, definitely. She’s an idiot. I was initially objecting to Dave’s comment that she’s “a pro-tyranny, pro-murder presidential candidate!”

    What also sometimes irritates me is some libertarians cheering for property rights, but when it comes to indigenous peoples’ property rights. And I am not talking about land transfer due to treaties, and may be not even in war between two waring nations, these are different stories. In the latter case, two nations (or their governments) sought wars. They deserve the outcome of the war whatever it is. But for one nation to attack, occupy, and grab land from peoples who have never done harm, or warred against, or meant any ill for the more powerful country is what I am interested in here.

  37. Ali, if you take land from someone’s descendant and give it to someone else’s descendant, and neither of these descandants had anything to do with stealing land from anyone, you’re harming the person who you take it from. The person whose ancestor lost the land may have been better off had they kept it, but you cannot determine that for a fact.

    Therefore, if you return land, you are actively harming the person who you take it from, which is an initiation of force.

    So you have active harm on one hard, or the nebulous “righting of a wrong” in the other case. I’d prefer to avoid the active harm.

    It’s a very difficult issue. And that’s why it is virtually always resolved with force and violence, even today.

  38. If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.

  39. Heh. “free stress test.”

    Finally, some payback for that “Libertarian Lyndon LaRouche” mix-up.

  40. Taking land from someone now and giving it to a Native American would be equally unjustifiable as the original act itself, because the current owner isn’t guilty of theft, and the new benefactor only has the virtue of being a member of the same tribe. As someone posted earlier, it is actually a very racist proposition.

    That, of course, I agree with wholeheartedly. As I say above, I am talking about owners or descendants of owners who have proof of ownership, as hard as that may be, as R C Dean mentions above. But, while such documents may not exist, I think, in some cases, there is historical evidence (writings by nongovernmental individuals, or in government records) that could be used to correct some of the “wrongdoing” or, if you prefer, “what-humans-are-good-at-doing” as Mark Twain would see it.

  41. Wow, that interview is comedy gold all the way through.

    “Those who don’t vote don’t vote for a reason. That is because they feel that the system marginalizes, alienates and disfranchises them.”

  42. It’s a very difficult issue. And that’s why it is virtually always resolved with force and violence, even today.

    Episiarch-

    Agreed. Let me then be more specific. As long as there is proof of ownership, descendants of the victim can be given the land back of the descendants of the aggressor still hold the taken land. If the aggressor or descendants sold the property to an innocent buyer, who paid for the land etc, then tough luck to the descendants of the victim. Though it would be nice if some sort of voluntary reparations are given by the descendants of the aggressor to the descendants of the victim.

  43. second line: “of” —> “if”. sorry. 🙂

  44. I still see that as a gross misappropriation of force. If a document existed that showed that some Chumash Indians had a tepee on the land where the current CBS building is on Wilshire blvd, what actually qualifies them to “get it back”? You would still have to initiate force against the current owner, who purchased it legally, in modern times, and is the rightful and just owner of said property.

    I also have to imagine that you would get in to some pretty sticky legal battles over the “ownership” of artifacts, fossils and remains that are dug up in modern archaeological digs.

  45. P.S. I didin’t think people still took the idea of race based reparations seriously.

  46. The problem with your idea, Ali, is that you still punish people collectively for the sins of their fathers. If you were descended from a murderer, should you have to pay reparations to the family members of the people he murdered?

    And it doesn’t matter anyway. He who has the most guns gains control of the land.

    There’s a huge part of the world that thinks Israel should give all of Israel “back” to the Palestinians or whomever. Well, who is going to make them? They have nukes. Therefore, the land is theirs until somebody can figure out a way to force them off it.

  47. Ali,

    I think you need to read some Mises. His point was that at a certain time, we have to draw a line and FROM THAT POINT ON, property rights are protected. The zimbabweans that McKinney is defending were from before that line. The white colonists that Mugabe took the land from were from after that line, although, as in the case with Cuba, after a certain amount of time you just have to draw a new line.

    When the Castro government finally falls, I think the cubans in Miami are going to be SOL for getting their property back. It sucks, but other people have been living on it for too long to turn it back, IMO.

    As a general rule, completely arbitrary, I would apply a 99 year time limit. That doesnt apply to Cuba, yet, and it may already be too late there.

  48. Ali,

    Yeah, definitely. She’s an idiot. I was initially objecting to Dave’s comment that she’s “a pro-tyranny, pro-murder presidential candidate!”

    She is supporting Mugabe. How is that not “pro-tyranny, pro-murder”?

  49. P.S. I didin’t think people still took the idea of race based reparations seriously.

    I have no idea whether your referring to me here, but that is something I do not support.

    regarding the CBS example, see my comment to Spisiarch above. I agree with you.

    I also have to imagine that you would get in to some pretty sticky legal battles over the “ownership” of artifacts, fossils and remains that are dug up in modern archaeological digs.

    Being “sticky” is not a good reason for not pursuing justice.

  50. Ali,

    What are your views of Kelo and other such cases? Do the descendants of Kelo have no right to (legally) fight for and seek to get the property back?

    Legally? I dunno, I think SCOTUS shut down any legal attempt to recover the property. Do they have a moral claim on it? Sure. Are they justified in using violence to aid in recovery? I dunno. Morally, I’m inclined to say yes. Practically, they’d get crushed like bugs.

    I think Epi nailed this one at 11:06. It’s a messy issue that doesn’t have any clean solutions. But what McKinney is advocating for has helped turn Zimbabwe into a nightmarish outpost of hell for most citizens. I can’t see how that serves any cause of justice.

  51. Justice for who?

    On another note, you guys are correct about Cuba. Because property is government controlled, a lot of people lost their homes, and it wasn’t just the “rich”. My family had a very small home on Republica street in Camaguey, Cuba. That home was taken from them, but guess what? I don’t expect to get it back when castro and his communist minions die. If i want to get it back, I’ll purchase it from the current owner at market value, because he didn’t do anything wrong, and doesn’t deserve to be pushed out of, what could now have been his lifelong home.

  52. Strangers arguing with one another. Chimps indeed.

  53. I don’t expect to get it back when castro and his communist minions die. If i want to get it back, I’ll purchase it from the current owner at market value, because he didn’t do anything wrong, and doesn’t deserve to be pushed out of, what could now have been his lifelong home.

    I applaud your scruples, but I have to take some issue with the sentence above in bold.

    If the government were to seize land or property unfairly (and I knew about the seizure, not having lived under a rock), and I joyfully took receipt of the property from the government knowing how it has been taken, how did I not do anything wrong?

  54. Strangers arguing with one another. Chimps indeed.

    AAAAH AAAH Barack Hussein Obama! AAAH AAAAH AAAAH AAAH immigrants! *flings turd*

    Yep, that’s the internet. The only difference is that most of you can’t rip people’s arms off like a chimp can. (I can.)

  55. Epi-

    The problem with your idea, Ali, is that you still punish people collectively for the sins of their fathers. If you were descended from a murderer, should you have to pay reparations to the family members of the people he murdered?

    How has the descendant of a murderer benefited from the murder? I don’t see the analogy here. It is a different thing altogether.

  56. I joyfully took receipt of the property from the government knowing how it has been taken, how did I not do anything wrong?

    You did. Your grandson who owns it now didn’t.

  57. She is supporting Mugabe. How is that not “pro-tyranny, pro-murder”?

    The quoted paragraph does not make that case. Her support of Mugabe does, but not the excerpt that Dave cites.

    Regarding the Mises suggestion, thank. I read Rothbard (though I seem to recall it is a lecture and not from a book -probably somewhere on the LvM website) that argues along the lines I am arguing here. Prpperty rights don’t get negated with time unless there is no proof of ownership in the first place.

    To give an example, Jews who were driven from Egypt with Moses thousands of years ago, while it is a sad story and wicked on behalf of teh Egyptians, there is not much that can be done to their descendants now. Jews who left Egypt in the 50s and still have proof of ownership of property in Egypt should be given the right to get their property back. That is, if they make me the Great Benevolent Leader of Egypt. My guess is that that won’t happen. But that’s my position anyways.

  58. Past injustices are not unimportant, but it’s far more productive to work to insure justice today (and into the future) than to dwell excessively on the injustices of the past.

  59. How has the descendant of a murderer benefited from the murder? I don’t see the analogy here. It is a different thing altogether.

    Benefit is meaningless. You can’t punish people for the actions of their ancestors.

  60. Ali, I can agree with everything you just said. 50 years is still in the lifetime of the people who’s homes were seized (like my family’s). But I think anything out of the lifetime of the person directly affected is just moot.

  61. I should have worded that better. My grandfather is still alive, so he could get his own house back, but why should I be entitled to get it if he weren’t around?

  62. Ali,

    The quoted paragraph does not make that case.

    Sure it does, you just have to read between the lines.

    The issue is land and the land must be free to be settled by the original inhabitants who were removed from that land illegally as a result of colonialism.

    In the context of Zimbabwe, that is pro-Mugabe. Now, if it was someone other that McKinney saying it, I might accept arguments otherwise. But starting from the McKinney baseline, its very clearly pro-tyranny and pro-murder.

  63. If the government were to seize land or property unfairly (and I knew about the seizure, not having lived under a rock), and I joyfully took receipt of the property from the government knowing how it has been taken, how did I not do anything wrong?

    That could be true. But did the buyer have any other option in this case? I side with Rigoberto here and applaud his attitude.

    Where I disagree with Rigoberto on is that he sems not want to honor property rights of peoples whose properties, or their ancestors’ properties, (with proven historical ownership) are still held by the aggressor or the aggressor’s descendants.

  64. Ali, I can agree with everything you just said. 50 years is still in the lifetime of the people who’s homes were seized (like my family’s). But I think anything out of the lifetime of the person directly affected is just moot.

    Good point. Agreed.

  65. Benefit is meaningless. You can’t punish people for the actions of their ancestors.

    Well, in the case of stolen property that is transmitted to descendants by inheritance, the individualist in me says that the descendants have done nothing to earn the right of ownership of stolen property.

  66. My grandfather is still alive, so he could get his own house back, but why should I be entitled to get it if he weren’t around?

    In your case may be it doesn’t. But what if your livelihood would have ben much better if the property was retained within the family?

    The fact that it is a moot point for you, does not make it so to others who are in much more dire situation and whose lives could have been much better had the property been kept in the family through legitimate transfer of property.

  67. Rigoberto,

    50 years is still in the lifetime of the people who’s homes were seized (like my family’s). But I think anything out of the lifetime of the person directly affected is just moot.

    That is why I picked the arbitrary 99 year limit. That generally will get you to the kids or grandkids or greatgrandkids of the guy originally screwed. In your case, for example, reparations could be made, but I dont think whatever government forms post-Castro is going to be able to afford that.

    This is a tough issue to me, much tougher than things like education for children (see the threads from yesterday). Thats why I like Mises approach, sort of pragmatic libertarianism – “Might makes right – until now – now we have rule of law”.

  68. robc- But why impose a time limit. Isn’t having a proof or historical evidence of ownership sufficient?

  69. Ali, how could you even prove that? Within a 50 or 60 year time frame, it would be much easier to prove ownership and show documents; after 150, 200 years, what can you do? I don’t believe anything can or should be done.

  70. after 150, 200 years, what can you do?

    Exactly, it is a natural way to indirectly impose time limits. Just more logical than imposing arbitrary time limits.

  71. Look, it is solely about force and that’s the way it’s going to stay. If you show up with documents and you can convince the government that you have a prior claim to my land, you, using the government as a proxy, will force me from my land. If you fail to convince them, the government will intervene in any attempt by you to reclaim the land (like squatting). The government has the monopoly on force and the person who can get the government to support their case wins.

  72. Also coincidentally, I have a letter printed in USA Today talking about third parties.

    Had to brag a little. Yay for me!

  73. Epi- Are you saying that humans are capable of evolving biologically only? Not when it comes to law, civil society and human interactions and exchange? It seems to me that we humans have come a long way today. Still more evolution is needed, true, but that’s why have these discussions.

  74. So I don’t share your pessimism Epi.

  75. Aren’t we essentially talking about a statute of limitations? It’s an accepted principle of our criminal law, although there are exceptions. But we need to think long and hard on how much we want to be involved in litigating murky cases from 50, 100, 200 years ago.

  76. MRW- “we” don’t have to do anything. An individual who feels he has a case (or not) and wants to go to court for it, should have that right. I don’t think statute of limitations should apply to property rights.

  77. As the dollar amounts fell lower and lower — and an uncomfortable silence settled in–Canadians in the crowd began to ask if they could contribute.

    Ha! This is so Canadian. They might not even like Nader that much; they just felt sorry for him. Canadians will take politeness over common sense most days of the week (see the MacLean’s “hate speech” case).

    Full disclosure: I’m a Canadian ex-pat. Love the people, hate most of their policies.

  78. Past injustices are not unimportant, but it’s far more productive to work to insure justice today (and into the future) than to dwell excessively on the injustices of the past.

    Letting people know that they will not be able to retain the fruits of injustice is an excellent start to insuring justice today and tomorrow.

    The interesting question, IMO, is what the “statute of repose” should be that cuts off claims of former owners. Personally, I would say somewhere from 60 – 99 years. Remember, the Cuban expropriations were more than 60 years ago.

    I don’t think statute of limitations should apply to property rights.

    It does, though. And should. At some point,

  79. Here’s a case for you from where my dad lives in the midwest (USA):

    Tribe A (Native Am.) and Tribe B (Native Am.) have long fought and struggled over control of an area. In a great and glorious battle, Tribe A drives off Tribe B (an event celebrated to this day by Tribe A). Tribe B is forced to move to some relatively poor land several miles to the north. Years later, a much more powerful Tribe C (U.S. Army) shows up and tells Tribe A to clear off…white folks show up and build some nice houses, shopping malls etc.

    Who has the moral right to this land? Tribe C just played the game better and won the latest battle. Taking by force is wrong, but appears to be the way humans (all humans, not just Euro white guys) do business. There is no correcting back to some natural baseline…only preventing current and future force and injustice.

    (By the way, Tribe B got the last laugh later, when there “wasteland” turned out to have a ton of oil under it.)

  80. His point was that at a certain time, we have to draw a line and FROM THAT POINT ON, property rights are protected.

    Good. But that point must never be in the past. It’s got to be starting now, or whenever consensus can be achieved in the future.

    Mark Twain was wrong. Animals do that all the time.

  81. I also have to imagine that you would get in to some pretty sticky legal battles over the “ownership” of artifacts, fossils and remains that are dug up in modern archaeological digs.

    You realize this is already happening, right? There are a lot of countries that are trying to get back artifacts that have been in the British Museum or whatever since the nineteenth century.

  82. I am not sure if there should be a time limit. But regardless, is it reasonable to suggest that anyone with a title document (i.e., proof of ownership) in his or his ancestors’ names has a right to the property?

    Adverse possession?

    I have had land “taken” from me by these means…and to be honest i feel the “taking” was just.

    You really can’t have good property rights unless you have a good adverse possession clause.

    From what I have read adverse possession kicks in around 7 years and that works pretty good.

    I realize that this is hard to swallow for many people not intimately familiar with real property. My response to them is tough titty. Unless you want generational feuds this is the best solution.

  83. Epi- Are you saying that humans are capable of evolving biologically only? Not when it comes to law, civil society and human interactions and exchange? It seems to me that we humans have come a long way today. Still more evolution is needed, true, but that’s why have these discussions.

    The “evolution” of human law is going in the opposite direction you are advocating for. Defined property rights protect us against generational feuds and are a means of efficient exchange of goods and services. You running around claiming people own all sorts of other peoples property simply cuz their great grandpa may or may not have taken shit on it 100 years ago is going back to the ways of cave men.

  84. What are your views of Kelo and other such cases? Do the descendants of Kelo have no right to (legally) fight for and seek to get the property back?

    The property has been legally transferred. My extreme disagreement with the legal mechanism behind the transfer doesn’t incline me to embrace chaos and the resulting loss of overall wealth by overturning the concept of secure rights in private property. Rather, I would seek to overturn Kelo, or get state or local laws effectively nullifying it in that locality, to prevent future such transactions taking place.

    Seeking to correct a lack of security in private property by introducing even more such insecurity strikes me as a terribly wrong-headed approach, which is part of why Mugabe’s regime has been such an economic disaster.

  85. I realize that this is hard to swallow for many people not intimately familiar with real property. My response to them is tough titty.

    I find myself thinking this a lot. Actual parcels of land aren’t the same thing as financial instruments or the number the bank’s memory has stored for the value of an account in your name.

  86. When we talk about the farms in Zimbabwe we’re talking about people who have held legal title for generations, ran productive farms that once made that country the breadbasket of Africa, and employed thousands of men and women of all colors many of whom over multiple generations.

    The titles were voided against the country’s own laws, the land given to thugs and drug dealers, the farms now barely run at all, barely employ anybody, and the country has to import food in the face of inflation running in the thousands of percent monthly.

    This has not been an issue of “white colonialists oppressing vulnerable aboriginals” for several generations now.

    It’s simply a transparent landgrab by a kleptocracy with an army. And idiots “over there” are not the only ones exploiting it.

  87. McKinney lost is totally. Zimbabwe is in any case the original name, Rhodesia and before than South-Rhodesia the “colonial” name. It comes from the Zimbabwe ruines, who were originally Indian, not black-African people as historical research has shown. Also, in her logic, she should go back to Africa.
    It seems like the ruthless black on black and black on white violence in Zimbabwe and the high inflation and corruption in Zimbabwe is not enough for her. The Greens must be totally embarrassed by her, as “Green” issues are sure to take a backstage in her campaign.

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