Today we remember the most horrific genocide ever perpetrated, the most virulent epidemiological event in the history of mankind, and the radical transformation of an entire continent.
We named the day for the man who started it all, Christopher Columbus. Columbus and his crew brought a plethora of diseases with them on their long, perilous journey across the ocean, diseases of the body, as well as diseases of the mind, notable among them, syphilis, influenza, and the concept of private property.
Unfortunately, penicillin only cured one of them. The flu, and private property plague us to this day. The flu sickens millions, and kills thousands, in this country alone, every year, but private property has done far worse. The concept of private property has destroyed more than 95% of the natural habitat in North America, and it impoverishes billions of people all over the world, who starve, sicken and die in squalid, dangerous and abhorrent conditions. Whether you own it or not, we all pay a high price for the concept of private property, and in some way, it enslaves us all.
I realize that this seems like kind of a bummer of a holiday, but not everyone thinks about it this way. For bankers and government workers, Columbus Day is a very important holiday. That’s why bankers and government workers get the day off. To them, Columbus Day represents the epitome of what is possible when banks and governments work together. Only when banks and government work together, is private property even possible. Without banks and government, private property amounts to nothing more than an enormous pile of meaningless paper.
Private property has no basis in reality. It is a contrivance, an artificial, arbitrary system rooted in violence and oppression, and only through violence and oppression can the system of private property continue. That’s why we have a sheriff’s department, and that’s what sheriffs do: They evict people, and they arrest trespassers. You can’t have private property without lots of well armed, and well paid thugs, and lots of violence. Private property is a complex system of greed and thuggery, that, if stripped of it’s longstanding illusion of legitimacy, could only be described as organized crime.
Here in Humboldt County, however, we talk about property rights like they were sacred, and as though there were some principled reason to support them. There isn’t. Property Rights! Is just the rallying cry of greedy land owners complaining that government doesn’t kiss their ass enough. Calling them “rights” doesn’t make it any less wrong.
I could understand people being pissed off about human rights violations. I see plenty of those around here. I can certainly understand why patriotic Americans would be outraged by the civil rights violations I see, especially on the streets of Garberville. Believe it or not, all people have the right to peaceably assemble in all public places, including sidewalks, malls and shopping centers. Everyone has the right to carry a sign, to engage you in conversation, and to ask for your help, even persistently. Those are clearly established civil rights, that this country was founded on, and that veterans fought and died for. Make damn sure you respect them, and that your neighbors respect them too, before you come whining to me about your goddamned property rights.
When you think of “property rights” it should remind you that in addition to the high-minded ideals, like democracy, the separation of church and state, and inalienable human rights, for which the Founding Fathers are so rightly famous, their thinking was ultimately, firmly rooted in the same disease that afflicted Christopher Columbus, namely, the system of institutionalized violence known as private property.
We learn a lot about civil rights, human rights, and the Bill of Rights, in public school, but they mostly gloss over the implications of property rights, until you get to college, and take economics. That way, by the time you learn that property rights ain’t right, you’re already too far in debt, and too deeply invested in the system to oppose it, and/or you’ve already returned from some bloody hell-hole where you saw what happens to those who do oppose it. The fact remains that the concept of private property may be the most deeply flawed and most destructive ideas ever forged by the human mind, and we all suffer enormously for it.
This Columbus Day, let’s recognize Columbus’ legacy for what it is, a disease, a terrible disease, and by all indications, a terminal disease, and that the concept of private property forms the nucleus of this pathogen. The “CPR” in HumCPR might as well stand for Columbus’ People Rule, and it’s time we brought their reign to an end.