DEBATE OF '98- responsibilities of forest land owners

mcour at mcour at
Wed Apr 22 11:15:55 EST 1998

In article <353DAC32.5497A38 at>,
  Joseph Zorzin <redoak at> wrote:
> There's nothing primeval about property rights-
> as if they were little kingdoms and the title holder was The Lord of the
> Manor. Just like there's nothing primeval about corporations which
> didn't' exist as we know them until the second half the nineteenth
> century. It was the obligations to the rest of society that was
> primeval.

I would not argue that there is anything "primeval" about property rights.
However, property rights are granted by the US Constitution and should only be
infringed upon in the manner setforth therein (just compensation).  Our
founders saw fit to demand that if the rest of society wants to exert it's
interests by public use of private property, then they have to pay for it.
If you don't like it, take the high road and try and change the constitution.

In places where there is no written guarantee that "private property shall not
be taken for public use except by just compensation" tings might be
justifiably viewed differently.  But for Americans to demand the private
property rights guaranteed by the constitution is not "worship" of property
rights any more than demanding free speech or trial by jury is worship of
those rights.

However, if you think it's acceptable to take away the property rights
guaranteed by the Constitution (without amending the Constitution in the
prescribed manner) because it serves the public interest, then don't complain
when "serving the public interest" is justification for someone else to take
away your right to free speech or jury trial.

Michael Courtney

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