I often throw around the word serf as a tongue-in-cheek description of how the government views us. Sadly it’s not as tongue-in-cheek as it should be. A serf was a term used for somebody who worked land owned by a lord. While the lord reaped all of the benefits of the land the serfs were merely allowed to work said land and live there. This is basically the relationship that exists between government and people. Minnesota decided to give a great example of this fact to the citizenry by auctioning off mineral rights to private property:
Private property owners from the Ely area will make a final appeal Wednesday to the state’s top leaders to stop exploration for copper on their land, which lies in a part of the state cherished for its clean lakes and stately forests.
The state’s Executive Council, made up of the governor, the attorney general and other elected officials, is holding a special meeting to hear out citizens who have been fighting the state’s decision last April to sell 50-year mineral leases on their land.
Residents and cabin owners in what may become a new copper mining district near Ely say they were shocked that the state’s century-old minerals law seems skewed to favor mining companies over property owners. It was also their introduction to a side of the Department of Natural Resources that they had never seen — the one with a mission to promote mining.
This is very common throughout the world, while the government will “sell” you property they will keep all mineral rights over that property even after the sale. Canada is a great example of this where the government claims ownership to the mineral rights of all property sold after the early 1900s.
While the people living in Ely, Minnesota thought they owned their land they’re now realizing that they don’t. If they truly owned their land they could forcibly remove the mine speculators from their property as trespassers. Instead those speculators have permission from the government to not only search “private” property for minerals but also mine those minerals without having to grant the “owner” of the property anything but minor compensations.
How disgusting is it that you don’t even own your own property? If you find gold somewhere on your property you’d best not tell anybody as the government may gain knowledge of it and move in to take that gold from you. For a society to be truly peaceful absolute property rights must be recognized.