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"Let them march all they want, as long as they pay their taxes."  --Alexander Haig

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Author Topic: Free State LandOwner Registry  (Read 568 times)

Alex Libman

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Free State LandOwner Registry
« on: October 10, 2009, 04:45 AM NHFT »

This is a redirect thread to another forum:

I don't know if this has been proposed in the past -- I'd be shocked if it wasn't -- and I'm probably not the best person to propose such an idea since I haven't moved to New Hampshire yet (and I have my doubts on whether I ever will), but here it goes:

Whenever I think about the long-term viability of the Free State Project, what interests me the most isn't how many people are moving, but what fraction of land do they own in hot-spot libertarian towns, and whether there can eventually be sizable enclaves of land in New Hampshire where all owners are libertarians.  By the latter I simply mean individuals that agree with FSP's statement of intent -- "the creation of a society in which the maximum role of civil government is the protection of life, liberty, and property" -- regardless of whether they are a FSP member, a NH native, or a billionaire investing in NH real-estate from abroad.  ;)

Wouldn't it be nice if you could zoom into the map of New Hampshire (on Google Earth, for example) and see red outlines around the properties of fellow libertarians?  Having access to this data would naturally encourage more libertarians to buy more land, and to buy it in greater proximity to each-other!  There are a lot of libertarians who wouldn't move to New Hampshire (at least not yet), and wouldn't even donate money for a political cause, but would be willing to allocate large sums of money into a business venture in NH that, in addition to returning profits, also promises to eventually improve the business environment where this venture takes place.  I most certainly would be willing to pay more for food and other products from libertarian-owned farms and other businesses that own land in New Hampshire!  If we eventually succeed in buying up enough adjacent land, an iron grip on local politics and even municipal secession could become a real possibility!

I think something like this could change the perceived psychology of the project, from political / civil disobedience activism (which would not suffer in any way because of this) to capitalism and entrepreneurship.  When I think about my future after I move to New Hampshire based on its current culture, I imagine it being an endeavor of self-sacrifice that, given my temperament, will probably involve a lot of protesting, sitting in prison, and losing the shirt off my back for tax resistance.  If there is an organized land-buying effort, however, it would then make more sense for me to keep myself out of prison and focus my energies on making money instead, which would make FSP a far more attractive endeavor.  Furthermore, since NH is already pretty libertarian and since libertarians tend to be disproportionately likely to own businesses and be able to afford large tracts of land, the numbers of how many square miles of land we control might eventually look a lot more impressive than simply the head-count of the people who've moved.

Needless to say, providing the geographic boundary coordinates and any other details of any or all land that you own would be completely optional.  In fact, this could be done as a project that is completely separate from Free State Project Inc, though some cooperation with them for referring new members would certainly be beneficial.

This idea also relates to an Anarcho-Capitalist concept that some FSP members would find interesting: polycentric authentication of property rights.  Like it or not, there's just no such thing as a natural "right to privacy" when it comes to finding out who owns a given piece of land - how can you prove that you've owned it first if someone else tries to "homestead" it, or how do you know who to hold responsible when a given piece of land emits pollution that affects adjacent property owners?

In a government-free society this would be done through an "open source" registry of information about various land claims: when this piece of land was first claimed to be homesteaded, what evidence exists that the criteria for homesteading is met, when the ownership of a piece of land was transferred, etc - as well as any challenges / requests for clarification to the above claims.  There can be multiple competing registries for this purpose, but that would be sort of like having two copies of Wikipedia - any copy can synchronize with the others, but any discrepancies would need to be resolved through arbitration.  Registries like this can contain a lot of additional data, like the owner's rules for accessing said property, road tolls, etc.  The same concept can theoretically also be applied to things like underground tunneling / flyover altitude rights, ownership of segments of the sea, free-roaming animals (based on a biometric checksum), vehicles, and even objects in space, but smaller objects don't require such registries since they can be presumed to belong to the owner of the land where they are kept.

(Thread locked, please reply on the FSP forum.)
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