Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Usury : who owns the land the serf tills?

More to the point, why does the lord own the land in perpetuity? The serf pays compensation to the lord every year to maintain the right to till land that in all respects but title is treated as if owned by the serf..

Please note : This post is being written, read at your own risk.

In such a circumstance one would think that compensation for use of the land would not be limitless, but would have some type of natural limit, but such as far as I know was not how ownership of land and compensation for use of it was understood.

Not unlike the modern visible Church which prefers to attack evils it has no control over, (such as homosexual marriage), while leaving intact the evils it does have control over, (such as the annulment scandal), so likewise was it with the Scholatics who left intact the most pernicious usury, i.e. perpetual rents on land, because like the modern visible Church it's always more enjoyable to gore some else's ox while leaving ones own to gorge itself on stolen fodder.

Money lent is virtually the same in modern economics as liquid land, and those who rent the money pay for its use no differently than any other renter.

Private property exists because it is natural to man, but how it exists is a convention governed by the community in which men live.

All private property is a convention, and while it may be more obvious that intellectual property is a convention governed by civil law so likewise is it with all private property.

And just as the community can set limits on intellectual private property, so likewise can it set limits on any other type of property so that while it appears to some that the landlord can own the land in perpetuity and charge rent without limit, nevertheless, the community can set a limit on compensation owed so that eventually the land would transfer to the serf.

Similarly, money lent can likewise have a limit on compensation.

1 comment:

  1. Well said. And if, as Locke wrote, private ownership of property originates when a person contributes labor to the the property (that is to say, when a person at least arguably earns it) then how can "ownership" rest in someone who contributes no labor to the property and never has?

    I appreciate your comment that private property exists because it is natural to man, but how it exists is determined by the community. Is it beneficial to permit private ownership of property to be concentrated into few people? Is it sensible and beneficial to allow property to be owned corporately? To be inherited? By absentee owners? It it is the labor of a person that vests the privilege of ownership in the person, how is that to be measured.

    I find these questions fascinating and wish they were wrestled with more often and more seriously in our culture.