Are We All Mutualists? on Feed 44

C4SS Feed 44 presents Kevin Carson‘s “Are We All Mutualists?” read and edited by Tony Dreher.

I consider a system avowedly based on occupancy-and-use, in which a piece of land becomes open for homesteading after some reasonable period of vacancy, to be the most desirable because it explicitly takes occupancy-based ownership as its goal and facilitates it with a minimal amount of ajudication or other complications. Nevertheless, I believe that a principled Lockean system with even a relatively high time threshold and burden of proof for constructive abandonment, by opening up all vacant and unimproved land for immediate homesteading, would go a long way towards reducing the average rent of land and enable a significant share of the population to live free from rent altogether. The combined effect would increase the difficulty of acquiring large contiguous tracts of land, and greatly reduce the “compound interest” effect of land rent growing on itself. In so doing, even a strictly Lockean regime would make the engrossment of a majority of the land by absentee landlords much less likely than at present.

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