On Wild Horses and Wild Ideas

On a neighborhood website in the area in which I live, one of my neighbors referred to wild horses as “our horses,” maintaining that “like federal land (ie, our national parks), wild mustangs are owned by all of us. The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management are responsible for managing millions of acres and thousands of wild horses, for us.”

I responded to this assertion as follows: “‘Ownership’ is defined in terms of control. What decision-making authority do I have over national parks, wild horses, or any other forms of property that are, in fact, owned by the government? If I own these things can I sell them? How much are you willing to pay me for my share of Yellowstone? Can I build a vacation home at Yosemite? Can I even go onto these lands at any time of my choosing, or must I get the permission of government officials to do so, and to pay them a fee for doing so? Can I bring ‘my’ wild horses to my home? Do I ‘own’ my home, or do local government officials get to decide what I can/cannot do on my land?  ‘Collective ownership’ is a myth, one of the many lies upon which political systems depend for their authority over the rest of us. It is time for all of us to examine this myth, and to understand how it is helping to destroy the world in which we live.”

I might have added that such an inquiry into the nature of collectivist thinking could provide us with insights into the conflict-ridden and contradictory babblings of presidential candidates now competing for control of the machinery by which we are to participate in the violent control of “our” lives and “our” property, and to tax “our” wealth for the privilege of living in a “free” society! That might have been too much of a burden to place on the mind of my neighbor.


6:16 am on October 17, 2015