Originally Posted By: Schlack
Thanks for engaging on this level, i repeat the proviso that this is a thought experiment, meant purely to explore how a libertarian orientated socienty might work. wil all the health warnings a Hypo should have.


Interesting response, so the sea should be divided up and owned. I can see in theory how this might be done but this does raise a host of new queries.

No. If you refer back to what I wrote you will see that I said the commercial fishing rights for sections of the EU waters would be sold. Please remember that your request was for a libertarian solution to “a sustainable fish industry that people can make a living from”. It is the commercial fishing rights that would be owned, and then only in EU waters.

Doesnt this go against the entire notion of the freedom of the seas? which i believe is an extremely strong tradition. I cant see fishhermen either supporting or it it came to fruition, respecting it. This would be asking fishermen to pay for something that they already have for free. How is such opposition to be overcome?

If I understand the concept correctly, freedom of the seas has to do more with transit than with fishing, and has nothing to do with fishing in waters internationally recognized as the sovereign territory of geo-political entities. Freedom of transit would still be recognized in a libertarian influenced system. As to overcoming a fisherman’s objections, currently it might ultimately be by Rule .303, but in a libertarian influenced system it would be through routine trespassing laws enforced by the government policing entities (coast guard?) and courts. A note to those posters in opposition to a more freedom-based world who are still attempting to misdirect others concerning libertarian oriented systems: I made it quite clear in a previous post that taxes would only be reduced as spending is reduced through the elimination of government programs, and I have not discussed the other forms for financing government provided services.;-)

who then would decide upon the divisions? doesnt this process automatically favour the stronger, richer and squeeze out the "normal joe" fisherman into the crappier fishing grounds.

Who currently owns, or at least, who currently holds sovereignty over the EU waters? As a de facto ‘owner’, the state would probably divide the waters into equal units such as hectares. The sections would be bid on by the fishermen based on their knowledge of each section’s value based on its productivity (historical abundance of fish). Since the ‘owner’ of the waters is the state, as owner, the state could limit the initial number of units that could go to any one fisherman/company and require that the owner not sell, lease, or allow the commercial taking of fish by others in his section for a specified period of time (think if it as a contractual covenant). Of course, after that, what each owner does with his fishing rights is up to him.

Who would benifit from the monies created from this water sale?

The money could be put into a fund to defray the costs of protecting the property rights of the fishermen. It should in some way be tagged for use related to its source.

Does the process of division and sale not create a huge opportunity for corruption and graft on an even greater scale than exists today? I mean look at the size of the seas involved - the quantities of monies this would generate would be staggering.

Man is always subject to corruption and graft. Are you suggesting that the current master/slave system supported by many in this forum is in any way not completely corrupt and graft-ridden? I do not see the usefulness of this question, as I have repeated written that there is no utopia, the human critter is sloppy, often morally fuzzy, and perfection is not being sought.

It would involve the state selling off the sea which is something the fishermen already "own" in common.

Nothing is owned if it is “commonly owned” in the sense you ar using it. And we are not discussing selling off the sea, only the commercial fishing rights in EU waters that have been geographically sectioned off.

Who indeed would police it? and how would this policing be funded. look at the area to be policed, by no means an easy or cheap task. I dont think we could rely upon the essential goodness of people to respect property rights can we? oh sure the big winners of the water sale would be able to fund a navy force, but even that would be far too small for the scale of sea. Oh and this would have the knock on effect of creating a huge temptation on the part of Big Fish to use their private navy to expand their sea patches (arrrr matey)

If you mean who should protect the property rights of the fishermen, who polices farms? Communities? Business districts? It is a legitimate function of government to protect an individual’s rights. I think user fees paid by the fishermen would be a good way to fund such policing, as would user fees of dock owners, fish-packing houses, and others who benefit commercially from such services, but as I wrote in an earlier post, taxes would not be reduced until government was reduced, and a transition to a more libertarian-oriented system would be gradual and in increments, if done at all. That said, even if a few changes are made without fully embracing liberty, we would be the better for it (arrgggh!:-))

hmmmmm, the farmer analogy is interesting, shall we take a look at what beef farmers are doing in the ex-rainforest areas of south america, maximising the use of the land, overgrazing it, furthering the process of desertification begun by deforestation. They are in danger now of destroying the land that provides for them. Are they engaging in " treating it in an environmentally safe manner, he will regulate his harvest so that reproducing stock are left for the next season."? or with their maximised profits move on to another peice of available land.
why would fishermen act any differently unless forced?

I don’t think any kind of analogy can be drawn between beef farmers in South America operating in a currently collectivist-oriented system and EU waters fishermen operating in a libertarian-oriented system. The former strips land of its natural state so as to introduce and fatten an external product, beef, while the latter would have to maintain the natural state of his section of EU waters in order to continue to harvest a product that is already there, and would remain there only so long as he does not negatively alter its natural state.

This also brings up the policing aspect. there will be those who overfish and deplete stock in their patch. the temptation will always be there to stray intentionally or otherwise into anothers patch and destroy any good work that might have been done conservation wise.

Already addressed, above. Bear in mind, Schlack, that all the bad things you mention in your post are already taking place under the current collectivist-oriented system. I have no problem placing trust in others to respect the rights they themselves would want respected – and if they let me down, remedies are available.
Yours in musing,
Issodhos
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"When all has been said that can be said, and all has been done that can be done, there will be poetry";-) -- Issodhos