American Origins Of
Private Property

By Ted Lang
Our nation was founded by courageous individuals that undertook a global pilgrimage seeking escape from ruthless government-sponsored religious oppression.  When fleeing one European state and seeking shelter in another, they became increasingly convinced that the best protection from government and religious persecution would be in The New World.
Government-mandated religions, and vice versa, created the abominable partnership of church and state.  There has always been this alliance fostering the horrific persecution of those not willing to be dominated by either.  But there is a world of difference between domination and tolerance, and the creation of a "New World" free from religious/government oppression.  A beneficent guiding influence of a general religious belief, a guiding influence devoid of force and unquestioning obedience, is indeed a preferred state of the state.
George Washington put it this way: "Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
It is clear that our nation's beginnings were heavily founded in religion.  It is also a known fact that when the religion of the New World progressed to the Puritanical influence, it resulted in the grave injustices of the Salem witch trials.  Abuses in religion justify the abolition thereof in precisely the same way that bad government justifies the abolition of all government.
The heavy influence of religion in the founding of our nation and the English liberal [libertarian] influence upon human rights, led naturally the quest to discover God's purpose in creating man.  The classical liberal influence famously articulated by Englishman John Locke summarized God's purpose in creating humanity to enable the enjoyment and participation by all individuals in all that could be experienced in His creation.  It was the responsibility of individuals to temper their behavior such that they did not infringe upon the rights of others to enjoy the same.  To affect this concept, Locke offered the three inalienable rights of man: life, liberty and property.
The Founders incorporated these three concepts into the Declaration of Independence, which not only identified inalienable rights, but nullified the "divine right" of kings and monarchs to rule, as well as defining government as an artificial creation of the people.  The artificial entity of government could be terminated anytime the people decided the government was no longer the servant and was becoming the master.
Clearly, no human being can experience anything here and now on Earth in death; therefore, liberty and property follow naturally from the inalienable right to life.  But life can be made miserable by the restraints put upon it by those using force to restrain the human freedoms and choices of individuals.  History has defined the greatest threat to personal freedom as one's own government.
Government is governed by politics, the practice by which non-contributory, non-producing members of society fool the citizens into believing that what they, the politicians, contribute is more than just a meaningless void.  Politics fills that void, the latter best defined by the total absence of honesty, integrity, creativity and hard work, which will never result in a meaningful or useful product or service.
Liberty is defined, therefore, as either the total control and restraint the people put upon government and politics, and the resultant enjoyment of everything in God's creation.  This must be tempered by each individual's respect for the rights of others, or simply the constant application of the Golden Rule.  If one were to live by the Golden Rule, as well as to be true to God's Ten Commandments, there would be little trouble between both individuals and nations.  
This brings us finally to the rights of individuals concerning private property.  Although the concept is merely described as "property," the focus is, of course, upon private real estate.  For most individuals store all their property, real and chattel, within the premises they own.  If the state, meaning government, can seize the real estate property of an individual, then by default, they can, therefore, seize all property.
The Founders did not use Locke's term "property;" instead, the used the phrase, "pursuit of happiness."  Since none of these gentlemen are living, the use of the phrase defining Locke's third inalienable right is subject to varied interpretation.  The interpretation attributable to this effort is that property, more specifically, real property, is the underlying basis of individual freedom.  As life is God-given, so is the God-given liberty to enjoy all that is his creation.  The greatest threat to liberty is the political state.  The purpose of real property is to give enterprising, hardworking men and women, the ability to enjoy life and liberty.  In other words, private property is that which human beings input themselves in terms of legal conversion in order to enjoy both life and liberty.  Without real property, both life and liberty cannot be sustained.
Legal conversion refers to what individuals actually do with their private real property to sustain life and liberty.  Some citizens acquire acreage, cultivate the land or engage in animal husbandry, and convert their land into farms to produce crops, raise sheep, cattle, or to grow wheat, and so on.  Others converted their real estate holdings to shops, stores, blacksmith forges, inns and taverns.  Private property was the key to American agriculture, industry and retail leadership throughout the world.
Modern day American politicians have ruined America's greatness.  Through damaging political arrangements with the politicians of other competing nations, politicians here have created income tax structures and environmental restraints motivating large corporations to move jobs and plants outside of America and overseas where lower labor costs, less environmental restrictions and lower taxes provide their political corporate financial supporters tax, labor and regulatory advantages.  This produces more profits for the ruling corporate profiteers and more payoffs [campaign contributions] for the politicians.  Everybody makes out, except America and the American people.
Virtually the last vestige of an America that once was is private property, and now American politicians are once again salivating and tripping over their tongues to figure out how best to steal this last remnant of the American Dream; and the answer is eminent domain.
The grand and mighty Supreme Court of the United States of America {All rise!] has adjudicated in its warped and twisted Marxist decision that private property no long exists.  Instead of enforcing the rule of law, they have decided to tell Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, the Continental Congress all to go to hell, as they enforce Principle 1 of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels' vision of the perfect and most advanced countries in their Kelo v City of New London:
1.       Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose.
Isn't this, the first and foremost principle of communism, what the Kelo decision sets forth?  By deciding that a group of politically motivated individuals in a large self-serving group, either a political party that controls government, or an element of government itself, now can better decide on how to utilize property they didn't pay for, for property they don't hold deed or title to, and land they didn't "work" or maintain, is the ultimate in tyranny that can only equate to the tyranny of a Caribbean or Central/South American "banana republic."  This is America's "Supreme" Court?
It started with concepts of "urban renewal" wherein it was felt by politicians that government, meaning politicians, is best suited to determine what is blighted, what property is to be seized and which contractor is best suited to do the work in light of the gift of seized and owner-undercompensated land deserving of "re-development."
Where eminent domain ­ the power of government to take private real estate property ­ had previously been exercised only for the greater common good [communism] now, with the issues of "urban blight" AND the issue of creating greater tax revenues for local governments, government condemnation proceedings against private real property owners transferring private property to money-making projects to politician-selected private contractors, developers and new and richer private owners who will increase tax revenues, a Pandora's Box of political abuse has been launched by five black-cloaked communists.
Eminent domain seizures by government to seize property from a citizen with less means in order to transfer it to the rich and to wealthy corporations to assist them in "earning" greater profits to pay "higher" taxes, is criminal extortion and theft.  It is the corrupt politicians' means for stealing something that doesn't belong to them.  But instead of using a gun, a club, a knife or blunt instrument, the politicians are again using their favorite weapon against the people: law.  And as usual, it is not law based upon justice, fairness or equity.  It is instead the law of the political jungle.
 ©2006 THEODORE E. LANG All rights reserved  
Ted Lang is a political analyst and freelance writer.



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