Property Abandonment

Property Abandonment
From: E
Sent: Monday, May 28, 2018 11:53 PM
To: Walter Block
Subject: homesteading question

Hi Walter,

Someone asked me a question, claiming it seems silly that someone would have the right to claim a parcel of land, work it, and then abandon it – and yet it would remain theirs for eternity – presumably this would be potential wealth taken out of the stock available means for future generations or others to develop for their best use value.

I know you have dealt with this in the past I’m just having trouble finding the best source. If it isn’t too terribly inconvenient would you point me in the right direction… to the right essay(s) or books on this. Best, E

Dear E: I hope this will be helpful:

Block, 2004, 2015; Block and Nelson, 2015; Kinsella, 2003, 2009A, 2009B, 2009C, 2011; Long, 1993

Block, Walter E. 2004. “Libertarianism, Positive Obligations and Property Abandonment: Children’s Rights,” International Journal of Social Economics; Vol. 31, No. 3, pp 275-286;;

Block, Walter E. 2015. “Expiration of private property rights.” The Journal of Philosophical Economics. Vol. VIII, Issue 2, Spring;;

Block, Walter E. and Peter Lothian Nelson. 2015. Water Capitalism: The Case for Privatizing Oceans, Rivers, Lakes, and Aquifers. New York City, N.Y.: Lexington Books; Rowman and Littlefield;

Kinsella, Stephan N. 2003. “A libertarian theory of contract: title transfer, binding promises, and inalienability” Journal of Libertarian Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2, Spring, pp. 11–37;;

Kinsella, Stephan. 2009A. “A Critique of Mutualist Occupancy.” August 2;;

Kinsella, Stephan. 2009B. “Left-Libertarians on Rothbardian Abandonment.” August 22;

Left-Libertarians on Rothbardian Abandonment

Kinsella, Stephan N. 2009C. “Homesteading, Abandonment, and Unowned Land in the Civil Law.” May 22;

Kinsella, Stephan N. 2011. “The relation between the non-aggression principle and property rights: a response to Division by Zer0.” October 4;

Long, Roderick T. 1993. “Abortion, Abandonment, and Positive Rights: The Limits of Compulsory Altruism,” Social Philosophy and Policy vol. 10 no.1, Winter, pp. 166-191;


8:55 pm on June 10, 2018