Threadable-adjacent reading discussion on land ownership
I've had my eye on my dad's copy of this book for ages, so I'm glad you motivated me to finally borrow it. Nick Hayes has an incredible style of tackling this important subject.
I've had a bit of experience with trespass law when I was younger, as a squatter in London. The thing most landlords didn't realise (and most police, it seemed) was that trespass is just a civil offence. It only became the criminal offence of aggravated trespass if you are obstructing 'lawful activities', which is why squatters only occupy buildings that are unused. I believe this right only lasted as long as it did because so many fought to defend it. By the time I was squatting in the early 2010s, the movement had shrunk significantly. There was some resistance to the law change in 2012, making it easier to get rid of squatters from property, but public support seemed to lean towards landlords at that time.
The recent controversial decision to remove the historic right to camp on dartmoor has much greater public opposition and, I hope, has the potential to inspire a new trespass movement.
I'm going to dive in and read the rest of the book now. The pictures really are lovely. Are they woodcuts/lino cuts?
I love that you’re questioning something that has been taken for granted as true. Thank you for tge writing and the research. This was illuminating. I agree with your points. It has been the tool for wealth-building by the powerful, colonization, and theft (though if there was no private property is theft even possible?). Greed is a wrecking ball. Do you think this history is the root of “the American dream”?
It's ok, all quiet places are connected and I am walking out into one now...