Indigenous Property Rights And Third World Labor Conditions

By JG Vibes

Across the developing world there is very little opportunity for the average person, living conditions are absolutely horrible and violence is an unfortunate part of everyday life.

This situation rightly causes a great deal of discomfort among those of us in the west who are more fortunate due to the random occurrence of our birth on a different landmass, where opportunity happens to be more plentiful.  Living in this space age world of imagination turned reality is enough to make anyone realize that our species has the ability to create peace and abundance on this planet, right now, in this generation.

That is, we would have this ability, if the natural phenomena of spontaneous order was not being stifled by the politicians, dictators and bureaucrats who insist on treating the world like their little ant farm.

Things are far from perfect here in the west, we still experience our fair share of oppression and poverty, but to watch the Stone Age existence that our brothers and sisters in the developing world are needlessly forced to endure shows us a whole other level of struggle.  It is often suggested in mainstream circles that these horrid conditions exist because there is not enough government intervention in the marketplace, when in reality it is not difficult to see that the complete opposite is true.

To truly understand why this situation exists, and how things have gotten to where they are today, it is necessary to examine the causal factors to see why these unfavorable conditions continue to thrive.  It is often said that the people who are caught up in this mess have entered into their agreements to work in sweatshops voluntarily, and are better off than they were before they started working there.  It sounds appalling to even mention, but it is sadly true.  Which begs the question, why were they living in such dire straits to begin with?  Why aren’t these people running their own companies and employing one another?  Why don’t they have the ability to opt out, and just live on their own property where they could farm as their ancestors probably did?  Surely this would be a better existence than long hours and low pay, but unfortunately the indigenous do not have this opportunity because their property rights have been violated generation after generation, by local and foreign governments alike.

The developing countries that are currently riddled with poverty were once abundant in natural resources, as they still are today.  The people whose ancestors homesteaded this land, tilled the soil, planted the crops and hunted the grounds, they are the ones who have the rightful claim to the property, and all of the resources that it possesses.  Unfortunately, there is not really a place on this earth that is truly civilized in their respect property rights, and the developing world is even farther behind.  This means that in the past and present, instead of trading and negotiating over land and natural resources, people, primarily those in power have had the ability to use force, fraud and coercion as the primary means of achieving said land and resources.

This ability to use falsely legitimized force to root people from their ancestral homelands, and then to use further force to control their actions are without a doubt the primary causal factors behind the dreadful labor conditions in the third world.  This is not just an abstract theory, the proof of this can be seen in every government action taken in developing countries.  It can be seen in the military aid that is given to third world dictators to suppress their people, in the tough trade laws that make it impossible for anyone to become self-sufficient and in the massive involuntary evacuations that have created massive refugee populations.

To sum up the labor situation in the developing world, local governments sell or give away land that they do not rightly own to larger governments.  Those larger governments then become the sole holders of property in the area, and begin to set up their own factories.  Since most of the usable land has been stolen by these groups, the factories that spring up in the area will have an unnatural advantage that will result in the establishment of a monopoly.  This leaves the people who had their land stolen with only 2 options, work for the monopoly and have a terrible life, or live on a reservation style wasteland and live a horrible life.  This is an absolutely sickening predicament that has no place in a civilized world, but it is so important to reiterate, that this is not a natural situation, this is not the result of freedom, or of a free market.  Quite the opposite, this situation has come about as a result of state violence and a primitive disrespect for property rights.

To clarify this point, lets imagine a world that actually was free, where homesteaded property rights were accepted and where people were free to do whatever they wished so long as they did not hurt anyone else.  Say that a group of indigenous people had a right to land that was rich in oil or mineral resources, they would have limitless options, compared to what they experience today.  They would have the ability to sell parts of the land, or just sell the resources, they would even have the ability to rip up every offer that was tossed their way and keep the land to themselves for sentimental and preservational reasons.

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