Cherokee, North Carolina, 1977.
Great subject for your blog, probably one of the most important and contentious questions there is: can you actually own anything? I’m particularly interested in the group of questions that cluster around this one from things I’ve been thinking about to projects I have in mind. I don’t really have time to outline them in detail, but here is a list of three issues that come to mind: -1—If God created the earth, does God own the earth and loan it to man? There is much in the Chumash (Torah) to suggest this; yet, there is also the sense of God giving specific pieces of land/items to the Hebrews, hence the sense of settlers in Israel. How do you reconcile this apparent contradiction? -2—What are the political implications of ownership of what used to be thought of as commons? This goes back to the eighteenth (seventeenth?) century enclosure movement to what some scholars are call the “second enclosure movement,” which has to do with the privatization of commons like the internet and virtual space, the encroachments which have generated the environmental movement, and medical care. -3—Culturally, what does it mean to “own,” and based on that definition can one own a language? A ritual system?
Anyway, these were my immediate thoughts. Keep the good question coming.
Meant to include a fourth one: Belonging. what is the relationship between ownership and belonging. Have you read the really fine book by bell hooks, Belonging: A Culture of Place? It's a really fine piece of work and addresses a range of the issues that might come up with your question.
Notify me of follow-up comments via email.