Essay on Property and Common Elements First Draft

Think of our planet as a Condominium Building. You are a unit owner and absolutely everything outside of your unit is considered a Common Element, which is property owned by all unit owners. Like in a condominium building changing the common elements requires following a set of rules and procedures.

One of the challenges faced by humankind today is property. Although the land and the sea and all elements of the earth are part of the universe and mankind in reality has very little claim to them, private property has been defined legally by mankind to favor the powerful and the few.

Elements of the earth that are of monetary value to mankind are usually well defined and owned. But there is an imbalance when it comes to the elements of the earth that are of no monetary value to humankind, for instance, and among the millions of common elements, sea water at large or the air we breathe.
So if there is to be a capitalist system and/or commerce in place then it should be one where all elements in our planet are owned by the people, not just those elements in the universe that are of subjective monetary value. We as a society must enact laws that give the people ownership of all the elements of the planet we live in.

Subjective monetary value is what our society has defined to be of monetary value. I call it subjective because the Common Elements are for the most part not governed or defined by property laws in our society today. So for instance a fish swimming in the middle of the ocean has been given no value and/or ownership by our society.

One of the reasons we have so many environmental problems in our planet is because many of the elements in our world are considered to be of no monetary value and they are not really owned by anyone; for example, a piece of paper or plastic that gets discarded into your garbage; the air you breathe or the fish in the middle of the ocean.

When the petrol under the ground belongs to the people of a land, not a government and/or corporation, the petrol company will have to pay to purchase the petrol or gas under the ground from the people. They will have to pay for any waste generated by that petrol if the air or elements are affected by the processing of the petrol for manufacturing. The consumer too will have to pay for altering common elements. For instance, the gas you put in your car creates CO2 and your car is expelling it into the air but the air belongs to the people, so it is a common element, so you the consumer will have to pay for that right, which is the right to contaminate the air and/or environment.

The same applies to say, Lake Michigan. When there is ownership of the lake and its resources by the people, companies will have to pay the people to exploit the lake and/or dump waste into the lake. The usage of the lake, appropriation of its resources and emissions of waste into the lake will have to be controlled by the people, not the government, not any corporation.

The same applies to the fish in say, the middle of the ocean. The fish company goes and fishes the fish and they sell it to you. The consumer must pay to buy the fish in order to eat it. The consumer arguably pays for the fish and the service of having the fish brought to his/her table or whereabouts. But the price of that fish is false because the fish was stolen from the sea without due payment. Well, the payment might be the work that the fisherman did to fish it, you might say; or the license to fish that the fisherman purchased. But how about the raw material, which in this case I consider it to be the fish? Who is paying for the fish, who owns that fish? No one, you might say, the fish is out there free for anyone to go and get it. This argument is false because if that fish were gold on a hill or someone’s backyard, then you would not have the right to fish it because somebody would already own it. But it is not the same, you might say, how can anyone compare gold to fish in the ocean? Well, why not? I propose that we make that fish in the ocean a common element belonging to the people, in the same way that the gold mine was taken by the powerful and appropriated by them and kept from the common person. There came a time in our history where certain men decided to appropriate land and resources they deemed valuable to them. In the same fashion and under the same principle the people of this planet have every right to appropriate absolutely every single element of this planet and make it a common element to all inhabitants of this planet. This is not to say that private property ought to be abolished but that private property must be held always in relation to common property. In other words, private property should not exist without common property first and should have never existed.

The common elements of our planet are everything in this planet and if our society wants to put the principles of private property into place then our society has to also allow and give ownership of the common elements to our society as well.
Copyright 2011 Jorge Luis Carbajosa

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