Assaulting Property Right

An interesting claim made by anarcho-communists is that the state is necessary to maintain private property and if the state were abolished private property would go with it (which they see as a positive thing). The opposite is true, the state is the biggest infringer of private property:

Environmentalists and mining companies are fighting over the fate of the remote Klappan Valley in northern British Columbia. The different sides struggle for government approval of their particular plans, but almost no one fully acknowledges the property rights of the first owners of the valley, the indigenous Tahltan people.


By Canadian law, the Tahltan do not strictly own the valley. This is because their claim to it predates the existence of the Canadian state — and the government officials who conquered or negotiated treaties with most of the rest of Canada’s indigenous people never came into most of what is now British Columbia (BC).

We see this time and time again, property rights are usurped by the state to the benefit of itself and its cronies. The case of the Tahltan people is a perfect example of this. Mining companies want to extract resources on the land that has been inhabited by the Tahltan since before European settlers arrived. As the rightful owners of the land who use its natural resources to survive the Tahltan have a vested interest in preserving the land. They also have an interest in selling mining rights. Needless to say they are willing to let mining happen on their property so long as there is a balance between mineral extraction and land preservation.

The mining companies have little interest in preserving the land as it’s not theirs so they turned to the Canadian government. Even though the Canadian government didn’t come into existence until well after the Tahltan settled the land the government claims complete authority over the territory. Because of this claimed authority the mining companies know that they can take minerals from the Tahltan land without having to concern themselves with extracting said minerals in a manner that the Tahltan agree with. In this case the property rights of the Tahltan are being overthrown by the Canadian government for the benefit of mining companies.

This is what the state does. Anarcho-communists are incorrect when they claim the state is required to maintain property rights. As an entity that exists solely off of expropriating wealth from individuals the state is the biggest infractor against property rights. In fact the state is willing to go so far as to use violence against property owners:

The Tahltan did not believe their elected government had the right to give away their property, so they set up a blockade on the only road into the Klappan Valley. They let in tourists and anybody else they felt would not harm their turf, but they blocked out all mining equipment.

On, September 16, 2005, at the behest of Fortune Minerals, the Mounties rolled in and arrested 15 of the protestors, 9 of whom were elders.

Even though the Tahltan were acting in a nonviolent manner, they were simply refusing to allow mining equipment to enter their property, the state moved in with armed thugs to arrest the protesters so that the mining companies could enter and extract the resources sold to them by the Canadian government. This was merely a repeat of history though, the state has always existed by violating the property rights of others and, in fact, must violate the property rights of others in order to exist.