The other day I was thinking, I’m going to invest some money in land, since it has a stable value, or at least, has lasting ‘value’. But then I realized that this has mainly (for the time being) financial value, because the land itself is completely exhausted, exhausted by farmers and their agricultural buddies, who have increased production enormously. It will take years before the land can be productive of its own again, without artificial manipulations..
Then, the thought occurred to me, why don’t I just buy a hectare of sea? Okay, in some parts the fish has gone, but there’s still value, a lot of fish swimming around, and you can live off it in other ways, like growing seaweed or algae, or whatever.
But…, strangely enough, you can’t buy a hectare of sea. The sea is not for sale. Yes, you can get a permit to do something there. A wind farm, or fishing. A permit from the national government, which manages the sea within the territorial waters. On behalf of all of us, that is. But you don’t get the sea itself.*
Ok, there is something to be said for that, but then, why can you buy land? Why does a country hand over the control and management of its land, which is necessary for the survival of its inhabitants, sold to commercial traders and investors? Who are basically focused on exploiting that land, as well as exploiting the people working related to that land, who in fact should actually be living from the land ? Are relying on the output of it? That’s strange, right?
And worse, as soon as national problems need to be solved, a road built for example, the country has to buy back its own land, its soil…. The inhabitants have to pay to be able to manage the land under their feet. And nowadays with nitrogen problems it is even worse, we have to pay the farmers to stop exploiting and ruining the land. Farmers that now keep pushing the price upwards via their agricultural organizations by spreading fake news, which uninformed members of parliament cannot refute etc.
It gets even crazier: What about the electricity grid? The energy supply system was owned by the state, by the people, but we sold it to private companies. That is, the right to sell energy. The network, the carrier under the system, has not bee sold that is , via all kinds of constructions still owned by the state. And what about railways? Exactly, privatized, that is, the right to drive trains. But not the rail-system, the land with the network still belongs to the country. So then how can farmers have both , both the land, the carrier, and the rights to exploit it? Surely that is inequality of law , double standards ?
Now back to the sea: so if farmers can apparently own land, why can’t I own the sea? Which in fact is also just land, only with water above it instead of air. Moreover, the land that now has air above it will soon be land with water above it, when it is submerged by sea level rise. At least here in the Netherlands. And then you will suddenly own a hectare of sea….
So why not already on sale now…?
Well . Actually I’m not in favor of that of course, you already understood that. It is actually too crazy for words, that somebody owns private land. Once, a long time ago, through powerplay and military force, it came into somebody’s private hands. Probably. Therefor, current owners, farmers, and anyone else with land, including residents, would actually have no right at all to that possession of land, the carrier of life. They could have the use of it, after permit (society agreement) , but not the possession. Just as well as we also still have a form of ground lease, under houses.
No, the best would be just to expropriate all land in the Netherlands, and grant leasehold, (on behalf of all of us!), for limited terms, so that we can manage ourselves as a country if necessary.
And then I don’t need a hectare of sea either….
*Well, in fact it can be done, buying ‘sea’, but via a detour: The Netherlands has claimed land from the sea, first building a dyke, and then start pumping until the land ‘surfaces’ . On that moment the country has added (sea-)land to its territory. And then sold parts to mainly farmers, privatizing it….
Another example is the Uros in Peru, lake Titicaca: they live on water… having built islands from reed. In fact they have ‘conquered a few hectare of , well not sea, but of a lake. Not volunteerly though, they were hunted by Inca’s and escaped them this way. And in fact ‘own’ since then a part of open water, and found a way to permanently live on it. At least they can claim to own it, based on he fact that they ‘occupy’ it, as was in most cases the reason for claiming dry land as well: Occupy and defend…
PS : By the way, what about space, that is, the universe above our heads? That’s wild west territory. Private companies can use that however they want. They launch satellites by the life, supposedly to give everyone access to the Internet, but meanwhile they soon control communications and as a private organization can monitor everyone, exploit space without anything or anyone having control over it. Not to mention other options. Like aggressive attacks from space. It eludes everything. It does not belong to us, but so it is not privately owned either. It is back to the early Middle Ages, and so the battle for that space has yet to erupt, just as it used to be between estates, city-states, counties and whatnot. That also took hundreds of years to settle down. ( and became ‘countries’ in name, but the land in that process did not belong to the inhabitants, but to ‘owners’…) Is it the same in space? And potentially at sea as well?