Kiwi Polemicist

January 9, 2010

• The myth of public property

Is it “your” rail network? The Auckland rail tracks and stations are being upgraded at present and, due to disruptions, a special timetable has been issued. On the front of this is written “Buses replacing trains while we improve your rail network”. That’s the socialist lie, here comes the libertarian truth…

If a piece of land belongs to you then you should be able to do whatever you like on that land, if that activity does not violate the personal and/or property rights of another person (that’s the ideal, but we live in a socialist state so your property rights are annihilated by the government). If the rail network – the tracks and the associated land – was “your[s]” then you would be free to walk over it, just as you are free to walk over land that you own. But you are not free to walk over the rail network, and if you do you will be fined up to $10,000 plus any amount of compensation that the judge decides you should pay [1]. This shows that it is not “your” rail network, for no sane person would fine you for walking across land that is yours.

If the rail network is not yours then who does it belong to? It belongs to the state, which controls every detail of what happens on that land. Section 50 of the Railways Act proves my point: it says that the Minister responsible may

(a) set out standards and requirements relating to the behaviour of individuals on railways or railway premises, including, without limitation, standards and requirements concerning the conduct of rail personnel, passengers, or other individuals working on or using railways or railway premises:

(b) regulate all traffic and all classes of traffic, and prohibit traffic or a class of traffic, either absolutely or conditionally, on railways:

(c) set out standards and requirements concerning the use of safety equipment by rail personnel, passengers, or other individuals working on or using railways or railway premises. [emphasis added]

This law means that the Minister may, without consulting anyone else, make a rule requiring you to hop on one foot and wear a pink gorilla suit when in a train station or riding in a train. “Your” rail network? I think not. The state has all the powers that only a landowner should have [2], therefore I conclude that the state is the de facto owner.

Here’s another example: in Australia the state requires people to pay for a permit if they’re going to take photographs in a National Park and may use those photographs commercially [3]. Do you still think that National Parks are public property, owned by all?

What’s the agenda behind this?

The agenda is the Socialist/Communist desire to disempower you by taking away your property/property rights. In the Communist Manifest Marx and Engels laid out ten steps for the transition from communism to socialism. Here’s four of those steps:

1) Abolition of property in land [outlawing private ownership of land] and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

3) Abolition of all rights of inheritance [when you die your property is stolen by the state: death taxes are a partial step towards this].

4) Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels [presumably this blog makes me a rebel in the eyes of the state, and you're reading it so you're a rebel by association].

6) Centralisation of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.

The Communist Manifest is alive and well today, and it’s policies are enacted all around us.

What’s a better way?

Don’t allow the state to own anything. Make the government your servant, not your master. Only then will you be free, and only then will the state stop lying about it being “your” rail network.

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1. Railways Act S73 & S92

2. If I visit your house you are perfectly entitled to set down conditions of entry, including a requirement that I wear a pink gorilla suit and hop on one foot. That’s part of your property rights; it’s also a great way to avoid having unwelcome guests. Every landowner has conditions of entry: do you willingly let gun-toting burglars enter your home?

3. Source

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