When I was first thinking about living in the wild, years before I have even known the term “anarcho-primitivism”, I just wanted to buy some land, build a village and live by gardening, fishing and hunting. This was nothing more than a projection of cilivized rural life onto the wilderness. Now that I have done quite a bit of reading of authors such as Jared Diamond I see that I’d just most probably die or depend on civ either way, especially if my community was bigger than just me. Hunter-Gatherers were nomad for a reason. Quite a few reasons actually. And this made me wonder whether legally owning land is of ANY advantage at all to a HG.
Why would you WANT to own land?
Formal recognition - everyone respects you as a serious HG guy and not just another freak.
Whatever you do, it is fully legal - you can cut down trees, build huts, make big fires. It’s your land.
No one can kick you out - at least to a degree, big mining companies will find a way.
Why would you NOT WANT to own land?
Frozen Deathtrap - “What a beautiful lot with a lovely river! Let’s buy it!”… the first problem is resources. What if they are scarce on your property and surrounding land? What if you discover it “later”? What if you use up all of them? What if animal populations shift or die out temporarily? Unless you bring in supplies from civ, you are dead! It’s hard to trap that last cottontail or find these few last nuts under a rock. If you don’t move, you break the system. You start permanently damaging the environment and, God forbid, start agriculture, so that you can stick to “your” land.
Unwanted companions - lots are often sold as a chunk of some bigger land which was cut up into pieces. Now, what if someone buys a lot (too) close to you? What if they build a big house and listen to loud music all the time? Or “steal” your resources? You can’t just walk away. You bought the land for lots of money. You’re trapped. Even worse, what if a mining company buys land close to yours and starts to mine, pollute the environment, etc?
Location - that relates closely to the previous point. 95% of land offers I’ve seen are either close to a road or a town or something like this. I have yet to find a lot that is really 200km into the wild, access only (maybe) by plane, no roads, towns and alike. Someone might be ok with that. I’m not.
Boredom? Well, just. What if you get fed up with seeing those same few trees for years? It’s not easy to sell wilderness land…
Obviously… money - Now considering all the above dangers, you have to make an initial investment of at least some $20K, but maybe even as much as a few hundred thousand $$. Then, you must have enough civilized income to cover the taxes.
The point I’m trying to make here is that if you buy land, you are putting YEARS of your work into a small piece of land, not even in your ideal location, but instead where it was available to buy and you risk that one day your resources may run out, someone might come over and destroy your anprim utopia, or you might simply get bored. And you still need more money for taxes.
On the other hand, if you just use unmanaged forest on crown land or something, far deeper into the wilderness than any sane person would ever go, if you overhunt or overfish… well, no problem at all. You just move on and all the resources replenish with time. Yes, some might say that you have nothing and therefore are noone, but… to be honest… property is a concept which only makes sense in resource rich agricultural land… and as an anprim, you shouldn’t care much.
That works if you wanna be HG. If not, well, that does not apply, but you WANT to be HG, otherwise the all to-well-known problems of sedentary lifestyle kick in. To solve that, instead of land, I’m now puttin’ my $$ into designing and building a low-powered floatplane, which could serve as my portable home, flying nearly for free.
So, “Owning the Land”: a blessing or a curse for HG? Share your views and experiences.