13 votes

What is your ideology worth to me?

Hello, I am Smudge Pot.

Like many of you, I was born on this planet through no fault or choice of my own.

I am one of those "white indians" you hear about. I'm like 90whatever % white but that small % of native I am is very large.

The author Sherman Alexie makes fun of people like me. Part breeds. But it doesn't matter what you are or what your lineage is, if you are born here, on this soil, that means you are what we call am American.

Never mind that this means two continents and that's why we call South Americans Americans too. That distinction comes in a hemispherical sense: North and South, we are all Americans by virtue of the fact that the continents we dwell upon happen to be contiguously connected but I digress.

I am intrigued, as a part blood Native American by this fact that your Constitution recognizes certain rights and among these are the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But there is this issue of property law.

We are up against a problem here.

See in your paradigm (and I'm taking the part of Native American here) property is property. You can own it to the exclusion of all others. And now all the land is"owned" by you directly through purchase or via BIA or the federal principality. In short, everybody owns everything and our values hold that in order to have anything you have to create something that people want to buy or at the least, you buy or rent a place to simply BE.

Let us consider this from your perspective: you were literally brought into this world, you are in fact DERIVED from a conjugal act and if you got conjugated on this part of this continent we CONFER upon you certain "rights" and among these are the rights to whatever but guess what?





Which means you came into this world and you are reading this now because somebody considred you to be something less than garbage.

OK so they covered your butt as far as getting born, they had to eat food and keep metabolizing enough to deposit your sorry ass on this planet.

And now here you are and you got rights. To bla di bla bla bla but your first task is to find someplace to BE.

See this whole planet is owned. And you have the right to be "here" in an esoteric sense but now you have to pay for it.


Otherwise they chase you off and call you vagrant.

So, highly intelligent capitalists, tell me how individuality or how ownership is ennobled by the fact that kids keep getting born with all rights but yet have no place to physically be?

Does our right to existence come with real estate? How about clean air? How about pure water to drink? How about the opportunity to meet the animals?



that the future does not matter.

All you have is a right to be here and try and you get no guarantee of oxygen or trees or flowers and you get no right to pandas and cats and dogs and tasty deer and elf and you don't get to meet bear and you don't get to swim in lakes and you don't get to canoe down rivers because why?

Because the people that owned this land before you made a decision and it want' for your benefit: they just decided to EAT IT ALL.





You are born with the right to exist but to have someplace to EXIST IN?

That you have to pay for.

You can BE but you have no right to BE ANY PLACE.

For that you have to pay. And you have to pay somebody else. And they own it and they own all the land and the animals and they do as they please.

And you get to pay them for the privilege of not killing you and rendering you homeless which is an actual crime in many places, in other words,

you are born and if you don't pay somebody to have a place to be in or you go to jail.


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One of the key...

...results of this revolution will be ultra-strong, ultra-light spacecraft which will send the cost of space travel and development plummeting -- and then you will see vast frontiers open up for growth. This technology will also allow super-efficient assembly and disassembly with almost zero waste (essentially just water as a byproduct) and minimal energy inputs. We're actually closer to this taking off than many realize -- more a matter of people accelerating the effort through a proper systems engineering approach than discovering any exotic scientific principle. I think the future will likely be very bright -- if humans can manage the risks that come with it.

As far as human value, would naturalists/utilitarians find value in billions of people freed up from menial labor to produce art, music, philosophy, science, skill development, athletics, exploration, etc.?

Travel where?

And why?

I believe in exploration for its own sake, but I hold no illusions that it is feasible to find an Earth twin and actually send large numbers of people to it. It seems to me highly unlikely. Sci fi is great but just because something makes good fiction doesn't mean its actually feasible. If we can't even avoid wrecking our planet, why assume we can travel to, settle and wreck other planets?

Wouldn't even...

...have to be in the gravity wells of other planets. Those huge wheel-like habitations with lush, Earth-like interiors, self-generated gravity, etc. could be constructed almost anywhere -- and with the APM revolution this could actually transition from realm of sci-fi to reality. Mars, of course, is a great candidate for pioneering settlements and then terraforming over time into a second Earth. Sure, either of these locations would not appeal to everyone. But plenty would be up for a new life, a chance to begin again; especially if the promise of escaping a persecution on Earth, such as drove the Pilgrims to the New World, was a possibility, that would be of interest to many as well.

And this APM revolution holds much promise for actually stopping and somewhat reversing whatever ecological damage has been done by the Industrial Revolution. One of the exciting aspects to me is that the need for global supply chains of materials and parts, etc. needed to make things will largely disappear. Efficient local use of local resources for almost all of our needs and wants would transform the whole geopolitical landscape, remove a lot of the tensions that build up between nations with the current model.

BUT :) whether humanity can harness higher wisdom to realize these benefits, while mitigating the obvious risks that come along with these capabilities, remains to be seen. If a society isn't focused on Love, I don't care what magical new technologies they have -- strife, chaos will ensue and continue to amplify the hell on earth we all suffer under.

lol...in case you've read C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy... I'm not trying to sound like a Weston here. :) I don't have some fanciful notion of humanity somehow really achieving its destiny through its own strength, clutching and clawing after the tree of life while refusing to let go of the fruit of the Fall, which still stains their hands and lips. Without a higher reality to enable transcendence, there will be no dodging the nihilistic death which stands ready to ultimately swallow everyone and everything we know.

Here's Dr. Eric Drexler's TED talk on this radical abundance...


+1 appreciation points.

I continue to find your insight profound.

Ultimately, you present a choice. Will an individual CHOOSE to figure out how to expand the pie and appreciate life and that which is life reaffirming?

Or will one claim a right to others' output and labor to gain "a place to be"?

While you present an objective question, I will speak subjectively for a moment from my personal opinion, for better or worse. Life itself and that which is life affirming is the objective. "Quality of life" which the Op, Smudge, seems to speak to is subjective. One's view of marginal cost/utility differs from another's.

For example: Smugde wants "a place to be" for himself and presumably others. While that's very nice, and I might be inclined to oblige him (or not), I value being left alone more highly. Who is right?

As difficult as it is...

more life can be supported with intelligent cooperation than all against all. That's why the intelligent cooperate to lock up the people who can't play by these rules. Most of us do better by conforming to the law, of cooperation than we would in a world of competing gangs (the pre-property world of tribes - killing each other regularly despite abundance all around them.)

No matter how unfair it often feels, no matter how small the pie is for you if you make some wrong decisions. And boy, it feels 10x as bad if you think you ought to have more because of your brilliance (in effect, granting that you ought to have more because of your intelligence.)

But these are just practical realities. There's no guarantee in the long run that market competition will provide the best lot in life to most people. It's possible the world will just become so crowded that only a minority can live well at all. Things could revert to a zero sum game if the economic value of a marginal individual falls to zero or below subsistence. If that happens, then the interest of most people will be in successfully stealing from others or in joining the winning political group.

This all presupposes that the natural world is all there is and morality is to serve the interests of humans.

I had to force myself to 'buy-in' to capitalism

I had to talk myself into it. I was 30 before I 'bought in' to the system.

The argument I made to myself:

1. Capitalism is the current system.

2. I cannot change the current system.

3. In order to live comfortably and own land, I must accept the current system.

To make a long story short, it worked. I prospered quickly.

I only see wealth as a tool. In and of itself it is meaningless. Hopefully a better system than capitalism will one day be discovered.

Don't worry Smudge, the natural world is much more persistent than the human race ;)

Very collectivist perspective.

Let's take this one:
"So, highly intelligent capitalists, tell me how individuality or how ownership is ennobled by the fact that kids keep getting born with all rights but yet have no place to physically be?"

I'm going to speak figuratively but directly here:

Explain to me how it is my problem?

I take care of myself.
You take care of yourself.
Someone else takes care of themselves.

I.e. your "place to be" is your problem and not mine. Assuming that your "place to be" is somehow my problem is quite collectivist.

It may sound harsh to a philosophers ears, but it's consistent with the NAP, it's not collectivist, and it starts everyone else with the same place: you have to take care of your own affairs yourself.

Don't even start with the "woe is me". My grandparents worked 3 jobs at one time and my dad lived on the street as a kid. They got help from no one except occasionally from a generous extended family member. And you know what? They wouldn't have taken it from strangers. And further: they don't talk about it.

I will when asked and presented with some elitist, collectivist question.

I like yer style.

Now it's on the table. There is this collectivist undertone in this thinking, it's unavoidable. To make it worse I am suggesting that there a A problem and it's the kind that will and is becoming all of our problem.

How long can a republic or a democracy or any society survive with an increasing and structural class of disenfranchised people? It's a recipe for unhappiness and eventual misery and at some point those who have nothing will simply take from those who do. We do it now is this psuedo-legal manner but it's frankly not going to be sufficient forever. If nothing else this is merely a factor of population growth and automation. We have a growing population of people with nothing to do, no useful or rewarding economic pursuit.

This is an issue our constitution wasn't even remotely designed to address. In a way our constitution presumes infinite resources, limitless room for growth and expasion. Well it seems we've hit the Pacific ocean and there's no more land.

Get your preps together! Learn historic food storage and preservation methods and the science that makes them work now, start saving money and the future


Why is the anti-collectivist response - and I ask this in all sincerity - automatically ruled out as a valid philosophical response to the question.

In a nutshell I think the anti-collectivist response would go something like this:

What's it to you?
Take care of you.
I'll take care of me.

I know it's blunt. I'm literally curious why this kind of a response is viewed as less philosophically valid of a response than a collectivists "what are WE going to do?" type of response.

Is it not the case that at a collective level, the response to the collectivist question is, indeed, of no matter to you individually? If not, how does it matter to you individually.

Again, I ask out of sincerity. Trying to refine the anti-collectivist response.

Have you ever driven thru

Have you ever driven thru Nevada? or a lot of other states too? You can drive for miles without seeing any sign of human life except for the road and a sign or two.

Agent Smith is right...


An individualist...

...with property is just a blank slate. Now they must choose whether its purpose is for the Self which values treasure that rusts and decays, or for the Servant they could be, which values treasure of loving and serving others. But in the end, it's your call -- no one should or even could force you to love.

Please don't assume.

I am very generous in my personal giving. I volunteer. I give. I'll give a buck to a vagrant who I know is doing meth, because hey everyone has to eat.

But please don't assume. And please don't confuse one's PERSONAL choice for themselves to be magnanimous to others with ones right to NOT have to be responsible legally or otherwise for strangers.

In one's personal life and personal choices, one is quite free to be generous and magnanimous. One should also be quite free NOT to be as well.


... not meaning 'you' personally. :) Just a generic 'you'. I should have been clearer. God knows I'm preaching to myself here. And I agree totally on the voluntary nature of the generosity -- however that doesn't mean that there are no consequences for not obeying the higher natural law. Consequences both external and internal to each of us.

Agree, but..

The higher law is free will. Without free will one cannot CHOOSE to do right (or wrong.)

One might BELIEVE (as I do and I think you do) that the yet higher nature and potential reward might go do those that CHOOSE to do right.

But CHOOSING through free will to do right is a much more laudable act than being FORCED to do right.

If one is FORCED to worry about others' "places to be", it is not freedom and defeats the higher law of free will and deprives people of their ability to choose.


We're on the same page there. :)

No one is to be forced to embrace or to withdraw from participation in love, but as they voluntarily move in either direction, they will learn what the effects are either way. Kind of like being free to either pursue health or opt to be a couch potato -- free choice, but with differing effects. And some of those effects can actually either increase or decrease our freedom (poor health will make us less free to act than good health).

Really good points, Smudge

I've always found American Indian perspective on land ownership (and many other things, actually) interesting and hard to argue with.

I understand the logic that if someone developes a piece of land (builds a home on it, plants crops, etc.) that no one else is using, he has a right to hold it and sell it to someone else based on improvements he's made.

What I don't understand is federal and state govt. holding and fencing off the great majority of land in this country, causing scarcity and keeping real estate prices out of the reach of many people. If the entire world population can comfortably habitate the state of TX (which, supposedly it could), what's the deal with govt. land hoarding?

P.S. Sorry I won't get a chance to try that tasty elf. ;-)

Ugh I hate to say this but the federal parks are awesome.

I totally get your argument. And how it's administered, if it's OUR LAND why can't we make use of it?

But the federal parks at least (not so sure about BLM land) preserve nature and plant and animal species for future generations. And this could be it's whole own post: do we have the right to decide for the future generations what animals and plants they will or will not have?

Does the future have rights? Or are we free to plunder and despoil and leave them with nothing?

Well that's exactly what we're doing.

So we feel abortion is deprivation of rights to the unborn and we defend them at that level. Why isn't defending their...not just RIGHT but actual physiological NEED for clean air and clean water? And all the plants we derive medicines from to keep us healthy? And all the animals for joy and companionship and for eating yum yum yum?

Get your preps together! Learn historic food storage and preservation methods and the science that makes them work now, start saving money and the future

I'm into preservation

In some cases. I agree that redwood forests should be protected, and some other areas of great natural beauty. In many cases though, govt. held land isn't well maintained at all, such as southern CA forests that are 50% dead from bark beatle. The dead trees are not removed so forest fires rage out of control and destroy far more acreage than would have if privately owned (the argument is that if you own it, you take better care of it. "Public land" isn't really owned by anyone, so it tends to be neglected).

Below is a link to some maps that show part of govt. owned land in the US, but it doesn't include all. Western states really stand out: over 90% of Alaska, close to 50% of CA, etc. The New American used to put out maps of US land held by govt. at all levels and it was shocking. Unfortunately, I can't find any of those maps in a google search. http://associationforsovereignhomerulewithin.org/1000-points...

I haven't deeply researched this issue. Govt. land ownership came to mind though, regarding having enough space for each person to own his own piece of land. I'm interested in preserving wildlife and the environment too. But if there's not enough land available for everyone to buy some at a price he can afford, he either won't have any or some of the public lands need to be opened up for development. Just one possible solution to the problem stated in the OP.

Can I add walled cities

To this discussion?

"The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with me." Lev 25:23

"the house that is in the walled city shall be established for ever to him that bought it throughout his generations: it shall not go out in the jubile." Lev 25:30


Hear, O Israel: YHUH our God YHUH one. And thou shalt love YHUH thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Interesting in another reply i ask where this law is codified

Yeah Levitical law actually has an answer for this issue. So the law of God is He owns the land.

The best native codification is held as "we belong to the land, it does not belong to us".

Get your preps together! Learn historic food storage and preservation methods and the science that makes them work now, start saving money and the future

I'm 1/4 Choctaw and 1/16 Cherokee

Grandpa on Mom's side was full blood. Great Grandpa on Dad's side was 1/2.

I don't have a card and don't want one. I look like a white fellow, but it's far from the case.

Hence why I have mixed feelings about Andrew Jackson.

Yanno I just love hearing that.

When I started doing the "indian thing" here it was kind of a rough start but I just really felt in my heart that we need to embrace this in all it's difficulty and sorrow and misunderstanding. But it's reality and it's part of who we are as a people and as individuals.

WE ALL HAVE A DOG IN THIS FIGHT. And a fight it was. 500 years worth of bloody murder and theft.

Anyways it has really taken some time to kinda get this idea across that I'm not "an indian" I don't have a home on a reservation, who exactly were my ancestors and what tribe exactly I might have been a product of is almost impossible to pin down, we don't exist as a people or as a political unit anymore. But it's been a theme throughout my life and all my life I have been under the tutilage of the elders. Of many tribes. And that is who I am. It's just there.

But I saw the walls that continue among peoples and I knew that we are the bridge. Literally and physically, we are the bridge, we are the peoples coming together and while Jackson was busy murdering us, other white men (primarily) were taking our woman to wife and protecting us and hiding us out. And that my friend is a story that unites all of us part breeds. Ours is the story of redemption in this ugly mess.

My word of teaching is we find others who's past was kept secret and this story we've kept in the closet for all these years and we shouldn't think of ourselves as PART ANYTHING anymore but as WHOLE PEOPLE whith a great gift of teaching and sharing to impart but perhaps most important of all,

if we can forgive ourselves and teach people to forgive...if we can somehow heal this wound can you imagine the power we could unleash? Can you imagine this movement backed with the MORAL AUTHORITY OF THE ELDERS? Can you imagine us with that level of spiritual reassurance?

How's that for a vision aho?

Get your preps together! Learn historic food storage and preservation methods and the science that makes them work now, start saving money and the future

I just finished

watching a documentary about North Korea they are really screwed up and I didn't see any Capitalism there.

It seems to me the problems started when Corporations became persons.

Competition scares the hell out of the 1%

A society that doesn't need the state, threatens the state (gangsters). What are Gangsters, thugs, bad guys, not nice and they appear in every country and nationality.

Prepare & Share the Message of Freedom through Positive-Peaceful-Activism.

Are you saying you don't believe in land ownership?

Who decides who lives where and how, and who decides what will be done with a particular piece of land? Majority vote? I am curious as to what you propose.

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

Seems like...

...maybe a healthier way to view our relationship with land is to view ourselves as stewards rather than owners per se. That keeps the focus on there being a higher law of respecting what the Creator has given us and using it not as an end in itself, but as tools in the service of loving both Creator and neighbor. Seems like where the focus becomes 'mine, mine, mine' rather than 'Thine', there will be problems. I think people should be free to claim land as their area of stewardship as property rights, but then it is up to them to voluntarily go beyond that level and fulfill a higher purpose, including helping neighbors get on their feet. And if they don't they will breed strife and conflict in the world.

Thanks for your helping us look at things at a higher level, Smudge.

I would love to taste an elf

dwarf, not so much

(I will come back with a more serious comment later.)

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

It's a dilemma. Property

It's a dilemma. Property rights are necessary to civil society, wouldn't you say? But ownership and especially transfer of those rights, well, we haven't quite figured that out yet.

Here's where I agree wholeheartedly with you... The earth belongs to the living, and by the fact that you are alive, you have a right to pursue what you need to live, and that requires access to property.

Suppose you were born, came of age, and all property was already owned and no one was willing to sell you any property? Would you have a right to take what you needed to live? I think so.

Never trouble trouble til trouble troubles you. Fortune Cookie