People take great pride in the things they own. How many times do we hear 'it's mine' as a neighbor gleefully shows us their paid off car or home? For decades, part of what was known as "The American Dream" was to own a piece of land and the house that sat on it. To be beholden to none and self-sufficient. It's a great dream and one that many people have worked very hard to provide for themselves and their families.
Unfortunately, it's entirely false.
Home and land ownership, at least in the United States and other 'developed' countries in the West, is a complete myth. It's a myth that has been carefully cultivated and sculpted to deceive in order to keep people captured within the system, but it's a myth nonetheless. And the thing that scares those who perpetuate the myth the most right now is that people are waking up to the lies they've been told.
Let me explain...
The concept of 'owning' something is actually pretty simple: it means that I have something that I have either paid for or have been given that cannot be taken away from me without fraud or force. If I go to the jewelry store and buy a diamond ring, I own it; it's mine. Sure, you can knock me over the head and steal it from me or you can trick me into giving it to you, but that doesn't change the ownership, just the possession. You possess the diamond ring, but you don't legitimately own it because it wasn't an honest gift, trade, or sale.
Now let's look at property ownership. Let's say I take my hard earned money and go and buy an acre of land and build a house on it. I pay for both the land and the house in full and no part of it is financed. Would you say I own my property? Most would and it would be a logical answer. But I would posit that I do notown my land and, am instead, purchasing the right to use it for an indefinite amount of time. At some point, someone may decide that they have the right to come and take the land that I paid for in full away from me and there is, sadly, not much I can do about it. The aggressor I'm speaking of is, of course, the government and the tool they use to justify the force (and some might say outright fraud) is taxes.
See, paying for my property doesn't really mean I can keep it forever. It means only that I can use it as long as I meet certain 'demands' set forth by my local, state, and federal government. If I violate those demands my land, the land I paid for, can be taken away. It's kind of like the mafia saying you can keep your store as long as you pay them protection money. Except the government has bigger guns and can put you in jail.
So, in the end, I can't really say I own my property. If I am paying someone for the right to continue to use something then I don't own it, they do. So really, taken to its logical conclusion, even when you pay for your land in full, the government still owns it. You're just buying permission to use it.
Taxes are used almost daily to take away property from peaceful people. These people aren't criminals or thugs, but may be those who've fallen on hard times and find that they simply can't meet the financial demands of the state anymore. It doesn't matter if those people have 'owned' their home or business for 50 years, it can be taken away from them with the simple stroke of a pen from a judge.
Of course, this ownership myth runs deeply througout the rest of our lives as well. It extends to our labor, our money, and even our time. There's really no part of our lives that the government hasn't exerted some measure of ownership over by fiat. You might ask 'how can they do that?'. It's simple. It's the same way the mafia 'can' do it: they are more powerful than you.
How can the do it? They out gun you. Why do they do it? Because they can.
How can we call ourselves a free society when private citizens right to ownership is so restricted? If you think about it, how much do you really own? By that, I mean how much do you possess that cannot be taken away from you if the government desires. Precious little, right? Is that in line with what you believe a free society should look like? Is it reasonable? Is it fair?
In the end, it's time for us to start rethinking the way we interact with and react to government claims of supremcy in our lives. As long as we continually allow them to assert more and more ownership over both ourselves and our property, the easier it will be to control us. And that's what it really comes down to: control. If you control my assets, my labor, my property, my healthcare, you control me.
Personally, that is not the kind of society I want to live in and I bet it's not the kind you want to live in either. The question, then, is what are we going to do about it?