Media Submission from
YOUR LAND IS THEIR LAND
by Bob Woolham, President
Association of Rural Property Owners
The environmental and left wing position on where and how land ownership “fits” is that property rights is a social definition. In fact, it’s more likely to be a legal concept driven by political necessity mixed with economic, cultural and religious values.
It seems to me “rights” have a lot to do with relationships between individuals or groups of individuals and how law, order and good government can best serve mankind. For example, many of the ten commandments, a guideline template for “people” interaction, relate to property rights. And individual title to property or the prospect of acquiring “owned” assets of any kind is, and always has been, a powerful human motivator.
Much of the debate about land ownership centres on a reduction of individual rights on the one hand and a corresponding increase in state control through bureaucratic decrees on the other. Unfortunately, subscribers of either alternative seldom explain how property rights and private ownership of assets in general contribute to, or detract from, society at large.
One of the new phrases emerging from this debate is “usufructuary rights”. Translation. The legal right to use and enjoy the benefits and profits of property belonging to another. Is this what governments and special interest groups hope to extort from rural property owners via layer upon duplicated layer of land use prohibitions?