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What, If Anything, Is Us?


What is community success? Do we know what community success is? Should we have community success? How do we reward community? How do we support community? Should we support community? Does community exist? Everyone may say community is important, but how do the words connect to reality? Is the markletplace part of the community? Can everything be privately owned? If not, what belongs to community such that it cannot be privately owned? Should anything be privately owned? What are the boundaries between public and private ownership?
 
Who shall own the:
Roads
Bridges
Schools
Marketplaces
Trains
Factories
Farms
TV stations
Radio stations
Newspapers
Libraries
Rivers. Who owns the water in the rivers if the rivers are public? Can the rivers be public but the water in the river be private? Who owns the rains? If the rain is public, and the rain ends up in the rivers, how can the water in the river suddenly be private when it was public in the air moments before?
Mines. Who owns the mines? How can one person who did not put the ore in the ground put a fence around it keeping others out?
Air. If I cannot own the air, how can I own the land under the air? If I own the land, how far up do I own the air? Ten feet? 100 feet? Do I own the land only because I can fence it? Why can’t I own the air if I claim it belongs to me? Maybe you should pay me a fee for your use of my air every time you breathe. I will rent it to you cheaply.
 
Who should own the workplace? Can one person with money own the workplace and have the power to tell the jobless to go away? If the workplace is a private space, why do so many people go there for a few hours, are told what to do, then they go away as if they are temporary visitors? If the workplace is part of the community, and each of us must have a workplace to survive, then is the workplace like the air in the sky and the water in the river?
 
Should one person be permitted to own anything that exists in limited supply? If I can own the farm, why not you instead of me? Why am I permitted to own it? Because I have more money than you do? How did I get the money? I inherited it, or earned it? If I inherited i, what right is that? That’s a right by birth, but only kings have a right to riches by birth. I thought we got rid of the aristocracy. If I got the land because I have money, how did I get money that you don’t have? Am I better than you? Was it because I was industrious and you were not, or was it because I figured out “how to work the system” to my own personal, private advantage? If I figured out how to “beat the system” and was in the right place at the right time, and knew the right people, does that make you a lesser person because you are not so ambitious, opportunistic, and manipulative? Who is to claim to be the better person to deserve wealth while others go hungry?
 
Poverty is an injustice. Everyone is told this.
No one in school tells us that wealth is an injustice, also.
 
Every human injustice is a moral crisis.
The central moral problem for the modern world is to define who we are. Who we are not only as individuals, but also who we are as a community.To define community is to know what belongs to us. In the modern world, there is no us. Everything is for sale to the highest bidder.
 
The greatest public good cannot possibly arise out of a collection of individuals privately owning everything while seeking personal gain.
 

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