TOTW: Squatting Vs Legal ownership

Lately I kept coming across people (on and offline) telling me about their plans of acquiring land, in some way or another, on the countryside, to create their full or scaled-down utopia. I always hear these ideas with a level of apprehension. Can't help it.

Not only it’s a no-brainer how such a claim reflects a belief -inculcated by society’s dominant ideology, that once you become the landlord you can do whatever the fuck you want on this piece of land- that is delusional in most places of the world (municipal interference is likely to happen, when not forceful police raids, against many things you’d do on « your » land). There is also the flip side of the issue of what does it means to be « doing what you want » on your land. Is it to further enforce your dominion upon non-human life? Or as some green NGOs have been doing already, to save as much land as possible from environmental onslaught, and perhaps also set forth restorative ecology projects or « forest farming »? Here's the big question of the purpose that lies beyond power.

But there’s also another problem. If a land becomes your land, so this means it becomes your exclusive right. Most likely I or others can’t use it as I see fit, no matter how eco-consciously, as this land is « your » land, your dominion. It is now part of your corporate body. How can anyone call themselves anarchist at that point is beyond me… for you see, in order to prevent me and others from doing any of that, you’ll need the State’s laws related to property to use against me in a prosecution, or as argument for justifying by eviction. All that, simply because through property, you have deprived other human beings from the freedom of using the land for them selves. Not just humans, but all these lives you do accept within your domain.

But what about the land is everyone’s? Or no one’s? Would that be too radical as perspective?

There comes the idea of anarcho-squatting. Or reclaiming space (usually abandoned for some reason) towards a breaking of property, a space liberation.

But we know that in the historical context of North America, « squatting » space has also meant something else; the reclaiming of land for private appropriation, with the colonial State as the provider and defender of this right to property. So we have a conflict between two notions. And an intense social pressure to take ownership of land legally, instead of just using it where it is easy to do so without asking any permission to Daddy State.

Is squatting anarchistic by default? Is buying land authoritarian or capitalistic by default?

Which of these approaches you think make sense to an anarchist, and how they can be best realized?

(thanks to fauvenoir for this guest TOTW)

There are 60 Comments

My partner and I somewhat recently bought the house we had already lived in for several years. We both wanted a base that was ours, and the trade off of having to work to pay a mortgage and stay in the place that is home seemed, in the logic of the capitalist world we live in, sensible. Neither of us wants to move, I can only speak for myself, but there are two places I want to die, and this is one of them, Is buying property anarchist? Certainly not. Is carving out a niche, regulated as it is, a chance to have some space that is our own? Maybe, but with many caveats.

Is squatting inherently anarchist? I honestly don't think so, and I don't mean that as a snipe at squatting. I knew some folks many years back who squatted about a block of condemned houses. As far as I can tell it was anarchic as fuck, though they were certainly not "anarchists"... Until they got evicted, around the time those shitty empty houses, or rather the property they were on, had value. Then it was just the streets again, and where I live, that was a once and done opportunity.

On the other hand, an old-head in my town who is obstensibly anarchist (at least has at times been?) Has been squatting for years and surviving. I have mad respect for their choices, which are not mine. As far as this person is an anarchist, squatting is definitely part of that. Also, this individual is a student of Lenin and Mao, which doesn't make their squatting unanarchich, but it does raise some questions about assumptions about the dichotomy of practice v. practitioner.

I hate to start the comments from a middle ground, but I think you carve out your space how you can, and in the ways that make sense to you.

Land should be wild and unowned by anyone, and occupied by anyone, even if there is a field of cultivated crops, they can be consumed daily for one's needs free of charge ( some weeding and pruning done by the visitor as payment )
If the wanderers come across the cultivator, an exchange may be arranged, whereby some marriage may occur between the clans, and an extention of family may occur, combining skills and ideas. This clan may become settled or they will wander to richer soiled areas.
If they happen to encounter another large extended clan who lack respect and are ignorant and cruel, they may have to defend themselves and if peace talks fail, they may have to escape secretly at night, and if this seems impossible, and it looks like they will all be murdered, they may unleash their hunting mastiffs which they have trained to attack humans, and they may construct a fort as many human societies do, cos mankind is just hopeless and warmongering and deceitful, and need to be taught a lesson or exiled.
A security or police force may be formed by the clan to protect all their possessions, but others, the true anarchs, will run off, sickened by the boredom and rules of domesticity, and roam the tranquil wild nihil-esque mountains, some in boats on the ocean, free and joyful, occasionally visiting the clan members who chose the warmth and security of the home base, with its luxurious hot baths, soft beds and safety.

Yes to what you say (even if you use obvious and kinda pretentious language like "anarchs").

I can write about owning property in the way I did, and that doesn't change the fact that I feel a deep ambivalence (at best) about that choice. I am also sure it was the best choice for me in my context. Maybe I am capitulating. Certainly, to some extent, I am. I honestly don''t think things are clean or easy. When it comes to anarchist houses, most of my favorite ones are, in fact, owned by someone involved.

As to squats, squatters and the folks who don't respect property lines, have at it! This year there are bunnies who seem to have a warren in some part of "my" yard, who I welcome and wish no ill will. A few years ago my cat got eaten by coyotes who have no need for property rights. The coyotes are apparently back this year, and I trust that my non-aggression pact with the bunnies will be tempered by the coyotes eating the bunnies.

Ooooh yeeeeah, we are the indigenous coyote clan whose land you have fenced off and called your own. WE are going to pay you a visit and ask politely if we can spend a few weeks living in your spare barn while we carry out our ceremonial duties BECAUSE your house is built on an ancient burial ground which my grandfather tried to tell the founding fathers about but was ignored. We also wish to slaughter 6 cattle of yours per year to restitute the bison herds which formerly roamed these plains.
We don't value paper currency, but if you have any assets or things we desire we are happy to come to any mutual agreement.
Our society values simple sensual aesthetic pleasures and joys in our everyday relationships.
I am a lonely unmarried warrior looking for a young wife to enjoy making family with, and if you have any available persons for exchange we can come to some agreement, smoke the peace pipe, which will give you complete freedom to settle on this land and be our father.
Please don't get all moral and indignant at my proposal like the missionaries did please.

No, actually from personal experience living and thinking outside of the Western X-tian paradigm have I arrived at this unique perspective on territorial values and relationships to the living beings inhabiting it.

Excuse me, another poster here, but don't you think that if you sincerely wished to help someone find their way you would give them a link which worked? I assume the link is to a vicious right-wing extremist rant against left-wing politics, and to tell you the truth, I cannot see how this has any relevance to this LeeWay chap's politics, which seem to favor the total abandonment of materialist/territorial status symbols and the mechanisms and institutions which perpetuate their maintenance.


Hmm, thanks, there is an inner psychological topography everyone should familiarize themselves with.

First of all, congrats on a well phrased topic prompt, it makes all the difference.

Yes, squatting is not inherently anarchic. I’ve seen it done out of civic efforts of beautification of the neighborhood by engaged citizens, with approval of the local government. They appropriate these spaces as rightfully and lawfully belonging to them as part of their neighborhood and as citizens.

Also, what is squatting? Is staying overnight under a stoop squatting? Is living on a cabin on a land where it technically isn’t yours, but no one claims it or bothers you, squatting?

The establishment of intentional communities of all kinds is a popular fad yet again. Perhaps we have reached a point where economic pressures and the failure of government have heightened the desirability of such living arrangements. Leviathan has spread its slimy tentacles across every corner of the globe, and the jungles of concrete — the urban sprawl — have reached nearly everywhere. In the United States, the furthest distance to complete isolation from any road or structure is only 18 miles from one point to another. Where I am currently, this number falls to 6 miles. It gets as low as 2 miles or less in some US States. This shows how the urban setting is now essentially inescapable. There is a total of 2.43 billion acres of land in the United States, and its overseas territories. 17.5% of this land is Alaska. Out of these 2.5 billion acres of land, only 4.5% of it is wilderness today. The State of Alaska comprises 52% of the wilderness in the US. The State of New York, an exception in terms of population, but completely median in terms of geographical land mass, has less than 1%. It is the same for my home State. As a matter of fact, every State in the US besides Alaska and California (14%) have 4% or less. 31 States, including Hawaii, plus Puerto Rico, have less than 1% of the US wilderness area. Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, and Rhode Island don't have any wilderness areas at all. In lieu of this lossage, the very human, yet also wild desire to “get away from it all’ and return to the land and nature is perfectly understandable. Our personal connections to pristine nature are as tenuous as ever. Hundreds of millions of people have never spent a single night camping outdoors. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to escape the ever-present noise and high-pitched buzzing of the AC units, Internet routers, giant flat-screen TVs, PC fans, etc. We are inundated with overwhelming, panic-inducing amounts of ads and information. On top of all this, most feel forced to engage in wage-slavery, for some boss. These realities and countless others paint an increasingly bleak picture of what civilization has to offer to the individual, or any of us, today.

The old idea was that we need to confront the bourgeoisie and the State head-on through class warfare via popular revolution. After centuries of failures, this outlook has been exchanged for one that says we can and must start doing communism now. This is often justified by obscure Easter eggs offered up from the writings of Karl Marx. Anarchy, class warfare, communization, and revolution are all seen by communisateurs as synonymous concepts. The Tiqqunistic text Call by an anonymous author describes “the process of instituting communism” as “only tak[ing] the form” of “acts of communization” [original emphasis], such as “making common such-and-such space” (2009, 22). The text also describes “this constellation of occupied spaces where, despite many limits, it is possible to experiment with forms of collective assembly outside of control, we have known an increase in power.” (2009, 17)

This optimistic talk of occupying spaces, becoming free of control, the talk of increasing power, of acceleration, is surely bothersome especially coming from neo-Marxoids like the communisateurs, but similar suggestions have also been made by anarchists, including Peter Lamborn Wilson (aka Hakim Bey). Similar claims about communes are made in T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism, first published in 1991. Much of the ideas of the communisateurs seem informed by, if not lifted from, these older writings of Wilson. And much like the communisateurs have asked us today (more than a quarter century later), Wilson also queried us the same way back in 1991:

“Are we who live in the present doomed never to experience autonomy, never to stand for one moment on a bit of land ruled only by freedom? Are we reduced either to nostalgia for the past or nostalgia for the future? Must we wait until the entire world is freed of political control before even one of us can claim to know freedom?

...a certain kind of 'free enclave' is not only possible in our time but also existent"...(38)

"What of the anarchist dream, the Stateless state, the Commune, the autonomous zone with duration, a free society, a free culture? Are we to abandon that hope in return for some existentialist acte gratuit? The point is not to change consciousness but to change the world.” (39)

Wilson, like the communisateurs, sees this as “the seed of the new society taking shape within the shell of the old” (41):

“I do suggest that the TAZ is the only possible ‘time’ and ‘place’...for the sheer pleasure of creative play, and as an actual contribution to the forces which allow the TAZ to cohere and manifest.” ... “A world in which the TAZ succeeded in putting down roots might resemble the world envisioned by ‘P.M.’ in his fantasy novel bolo'bolo. Perhaps the TAZ is a ‘proto-bolo.’” (52)

Both anarchists of Wilsons ilk, and the communisateurs of today, seem unfocused or uninterested in what many across the communist left (specifically its more traditional groups) have deemed “defensive struggles”, which is a term meant to refer to the increasingly extreme austerity measures imposed on the general populous by the ruling class (attacks made by the bourgeoisie). When I talk about defense, I usually mean the defense of nature rather than the economy. We have seen these attacks come in the form of tax hikes against everyday working families, instead of tax hikes for corporations and the wealthy captains of industry. Another example of these attacks by the bourgeoisie was the use of public revenue in the US to shore up companies and ensure the economic bailout of corporations following the 2008 US stock market crash. But Wilson differs from Marxist class warfare advocates in that he advocates camouflage and social concealment; “a tactic of disappearance” (1991, 50). Wilson believes the commune should blend in to its surroundings as best it can, hide, and not be outwardly confrontational, or stir up trouble with the neighbors. It’s more anarchist in this regard, but even with statements like “TAZ is a nomad camp” (43), the bolo’boloism of T. A. Z. and Wilson doesn’t quite cross into true nomadism, advocating something more similar to hermitry.

The communisateurs differ from Wilson in this regard in that they all want communes as a launchpad for centralized communist attack. Attack is something Wilson rarely mentions, if at all, which is a shame because I like attack as much as the next person! But what is unappetizing about the call for attack by the communisateurs and Tiqqunists is exactly that they are communisateurs — they are Marxists — they want the communes so they can have spaces to build their Party, or build whatever of their organizations, to opportunistically centralize and “increase power” (anonymous 2009, 17). This is in preparation of them launching their inevitable revolutionary war against the bourgeoisie, and following their victory, the communizers would of course seek to institute the dictatorship of the proletariat (also referred to in some circles of the Marxist far-left as the proletarian semi-State).

I am not against the breaking of legs in general, in the typical sense of moral opposition to a particular action, or beyond having my legs broken. And I’m not above, against, or beyond party-crashing tactics, either. I am an individualist, and in the sense of applying force, of many kinds, an occasional nihilist. But I would never use violence with the aim of controlling others. My attack is direct, purposeful. Violence must only be applied when and where it has to be, to the appropriate degree it has to be, without enjoyment, or with the goal of controlling others in mind. Saying this is not to ignore all the reasons violence does happen. But attack to destroy, because you must. I would use violence in self-defense, and perhaps even out of self-interest, but I differ from the communisateurs in that when I apply violence, my intentions and actions are meant to be centrifugal. They are directed away from a given pole of focus or concern. That is why Bolshevik coups are of no concern to me. Neither is direct action that aims to coerce people into dictatorships, the Party, or the Parties way of thinking. This kind of homogeneity is a hallmark of the State, Civilization, and Capital. I am not at all interested in being involved in any kind of community, network, or worknet that aims to progress in a quantitative way, to grow in numbers, or one that maintains a membership. My associations with others are never aiming to be coercive. I wear my intentions on my sleeve. Whether there are two or two-hundred people doing what I am doing and communicating with me about it, makes no difference. Although, groups bigger than three-hundred are increasingly Leviathanic. I suppose this also includes domestic living communities and villages. I prefer small groups. Under ten is perhaps best for me, and we all differ, but the point is small groupings of any size within natural limits encourage heterogeneity naturally. This is another difference between the views of Wilson and the views of the communisateurs. Wilson, displaying at least some awareness of the concept of nomadology, understands the need for not just escape, but dispersal, and generally describes his writing project as being against history, progress, and the narratives they bring with them. Wilsons T. A. Z. may be utopian, but it isn’t even in the same realm as the communization texts in terms of millenarianism.

My issue with attempting to permanently occupy spaces through any means whatsoever is that land occupation does nothing but encourage and even solicit domination over nature, domination over the other animals we share space with, domination over each other, and so on. I don’t have any interest in controlling things or others. In fact, I should not even separate myself from these things I’ve just mentioned in the ontological sense. The word land itself implies domination: I landed a job, I landed a date, I landed the top prize. To land, to be landed, to have stopped being in flux, is not dissimilar to having occupied a thing, and is often the same. This is, according to James C. Scott, the primary goal of the State: to fix populations to specific geographic boundaries. We might say in English, “I have this land. This land is mine.” Which is to say, because you stand there on it, apparently dominating over it, it is yours. I am here, so now this is mine. That’s what it means to land, to have it, to be landed. It’s like Manifest Destiny for everyone, an ideology not restricted only to whites and Christians. I am not part of this community, it is mine altogether! It belongs to me. In fact, God created it like this, just for me!

As you are hopefully beginning to see, or already seeing, we can not lay claims over spaces without first attempting to ontologically separate ourselves from nature, an impossible task. We are nature. Everything that exists, and even things beyond our awareness and perception, are also part of nature. It pains me to say it, but even technology is technically part of the natural world. I refer to this as pluralistic naturalistic holism. For billions of years before our arrival, the planet Earth was already one big commune. For the fishes, for the lizards, for the flowers, for the bees and ants — I think we have just forgotten our place in it.

Worth mentioning that Peter Lamborn Wilson has talked about many things in 40+ books over the years. He certainly has never emphasized violent struggle as much as other writers. This maybe comes from his involvement in 60s radicalism that was defeated. The 80s and 90s were a certain context, especially prior to Seattle in '99. He has often valorized the Luddites and eco-sabotage. He also alludes to have been an anarchist bomber in the sixties in Heresies: Anarchist Memoirs, Anarchist Art. His books are very rich and I'd encourage anyone to read beyond TAZ.

It depends on whose doing the squatting, and for what financial purpose. I realize that sounds cynical, but you never know whose squatting on the land.

If it were your average working class person, squat all your like.

What I don't want is Walmart (or name your other evil megacorp) squatting on our land.

Captcha: I hope that captcha works, and you literally mean it's a code, and not a math problem. And absolutely sick of having math problems shoved down my throat.:X

space invaders occupy land even temporarily and deterritorialize not only the land but themselves. In the before time it was called psychogeography suggesting a cognitive link between a person and a locale and the possibility of radical transformation through travelling or drift or dérive...

getting lost while walking dizzily ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be

house potatoes can spin around in circles to reorient their cognitive disposition. Drifting is mental as well as physical. You don't have to go a long way to occupy a new space just look for novel places to be right where you are. If you want things to change you have to do something different, if you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got. I call this becoming ∆L!€N.

In most cultures the youth entering pubescence are wanting to re-evaluate the customs and semantic realities they have been taught especially when their own innate feelings are conflicting with the established mores of existence. This reorientation of cognitive disposition, or various meditationz are what you're describing, and often this feeling of alienation you des ribe is a result of a displacement of one's being with a geographical home or beacon from which a personal identity gets anchorage from. Displacement or some mental health issues could metaphorically be having no anchor and drifting towards the Abyss?
Ingrate's mentioning of the need for a home base describes this neccessary psychic need, its only the monopolization, conquest/invasion and marketing of territory that has made homeness difficult and unobtainable.

give you security and resources to pursue adventures. The insecurity of poverty and homelessness is uncomfortable but alienation means that you are different which is positive. I am homely AND alienated which is comfortable because I am secure yet I am from another world, the one I have made for myself.

In a sensory deprivation state, bases dissolve, I think that describes the Abyss, or the type of alienation I meant. Some people crack or can only endure a short time without stimulus, which may be relationships and emotional connections, affection and love. But yours is more the autonomous self-sufficent alienation, which is independent autonomy, with your anatomy as your home. Yes, a different alienation with nomadic tendencies. Relationships resemble squatting in other people's identities, forget about geography..

by people and places and usually overstimulated so a little sensory deprivation is nice sometimes. My concept of alienation might be more akin to individuation but not isolation. I think people need to claim some territory, not in the form of ownership but by traversing and occupying space. If you have no ground to stand on you really are extraterrestrial or at least extraterritorial.

"for you see, in order to prevent me and others from doing any of that, you’ll need the State’s laws related to property to use against me in a prosecution"

i call bullshit. that harkens back to the questions/discussions of calling cops. this anarchist will handle shit myself, with comrades if necessary. owning land simply gives you certain "rights" in the eyes of the law. i could not give a shit about the law, EXCEPT to keep myself and those i care about free from its clutches (since it does have the ultimate force behind it). so if i buy land simply to keep the law - and the capitalist fucks that use it to prevent me from living on that unused land - off my back, that does not mean i have to include/use the law in everything related to that land. that would be absurd.

as someone above mentioned, owning land does not mean you can do whatever you want on it in the eyes of the law. that is why i would only want to "own" land as far from those eyes as i could get. for the majority of folks, who choose urban life, those eyes are ever-present and over-bearing. one of the primary reasons i bailed on that shit 2 decades ago was specifically to have better control over when and how those eyes can see me.

there is nothing inherently anarchist about squatting, but it is surely and strongly anti-capitalist. i did it (on very harsh land that very few would ever want) for the better part of 15 years. but that was a land situation that is ever harder to find.

we live in a capitalist world, we all make "compromises" as a result. we have some choices around where we are willing to compromise, but usually, not. young folks have much more energy and idealistic notions than those of us nearer the end of our lives than the beginning. we all have to make our own choices.

"i could not give a shit about the law, EXCEPT to keep myself and those i care about free from its clutches (since it does have the ultimate force behind it)."

Hums... basically you're validating the statement you quoted. If using the law to protect yourself and your gang/clan/friends, then we're still within the realm of State-sanctioned and supported property. Or in other words, liberalism. You may take the autonomous means to defend "your" land, but that's exactly what the fascists are into.. autonomously integrating State-defined legislations and being the cops in the place of the cops in enforcing those legislations.

A now-infamous real-world instance of this pattern is how some of the ZAD squatters (appelistes or otherwise) went on negotiating with the government in securing agricultural domains for their crowd, so to use against those (the eco-anarcho types) they didn't agree with,unleashing their tractors against the efforts to replenish forest areas.

Property to you is a right that can be purchased in Ancapistan.

To me, it is THEFT. Especially on Turtle Island where it cannot be any more clearer than that.

Decolonization doesn't mean sending white people back to the British Isles or to live on space junk in orbit it means ending the system that defines some people as citizens and others as subalterns.

is a sea monster from the bible that Hobbes used as a metaphor for the state which obfuscates its reality while colonization, decolonization, postcolonial studies and neocolonialism point to historical realities that contemporary people can understand. Use it if you want to but unless they know what it refers to its meaning will be lost on some people. Are you a time traveler from the 16th century?

but it is FAR more substantive in analysis then the concept of colonization. As I always say leftist colonization analysis is based on a 500 year analysis whereas leviathan analysis(a metaphor for analysis of state and hierarchy) is a 10000 year analysis. THAT makes it far more substantive and many ethnicities that are seen as good guys are also on the hook for the growth of Leviathan(Bantu Africans for instance).

The very simple fact you're amalgamating "land property" or "legal ownership" with "life" is quite telling of where you're from. But what is more blurry to me is what you're doing on this site?

Trolling for capitalism?

Being the critique's counter-critic for the status quo?

Alright... I took the bait. Then what?

I'd prefer to comment on an anews where a good faith question is an ontological possibility :)

" If using the law to protect yourself and your gang/clan/friends, "

you clearly misunderstood my point. which was to AVOID the law (as much as possible) in order to keep myself and those i care about out of its clutches. i have no idea where you got that i intended to "use" the law for protection. thought i was pretty clear in my first paragraph:

"this anarchist will handle shit myself, with comrades if necessary. "


"Property to you is a right that can be purchased in Ancapistan. "

i absolutely LOVE it when ignorant know-it-alls tell others what the other thinks/feels/does.

Think we need to grant that "buying land" and paying taxes on it, is a means to keep one set of wolves from your door, if you're lucky enough to have the capital. I certainly don't.

Earlier, a commenter equates it to fascism which seems ... Problematic? (Really dumb)

It isn't a shitty answer because it's what shitty people are doing, it's a shitty answer because of all the people that get left behind while you get yours.

Looking especially at those developed and policed places where bored neighbors are the biggest enemies. And in the region where I am, there's even repression and snitching against stealth campers. So it's not even precisely an issue of ownership, as much as it is about the freedom to LIVE in a place, and not be exploited just for having a place where to live (what is otherwise globally recognized as a fundamental need). Seen from a distance, from a squatter's perspective, that people are paying for a space looks like nothing less than psychosis. But when it's the norm, then it becomes the "sane" and moral practice. Just because... it's normal, and it's legal. This is also the authoritarianism -or basic servitude- I was referring to. The trait of the most indoctrinated people is their dedifferentiation between what is legal and what is moral.

The observation that triggered me the most was this government program we have in Canada, where public "contests" are held every year to claim and take ownership of a lot on the Crown's Lands. That is actually a kind of lease, that is pretty cheap, yet after a while you can become a full owner. That gimmick... that's almost the exact same land-leasing pattern you've had since the French colony (the second, feudal wave that started in the late 17th century). So that's bluntly the continuation of colonization, in is most primitive form. And people taking part in it are actively reproducing it. Of course, in some cases that'll be (hopefully) to do nothing with it, but there's a growing trend among yuppies of going back to the land, and the form it takes is a destructive, schizophrenic mess that causes direct harm to non-human life around.

""buying land" and paying taxes on it, is a means to keep one set of wolves from your door"

That's what I said to be a delusional idea. If you own property you are still subject to the laws of the State, and can be a target for the police if conducting subversive or criminal ops.

It does give you more latitude and guarantee than being under a landlord, of course, but the fact cops are allowed to storm your place makes you wonder who the real landlords are...

Sure fauve, not much mystery there, the state is the real landlord, that's always been their racket.

But most of our attempts at squatting were crushed within days, whereas criminal activity on land you or your sketchy friends "own" may go undetected for years!

This TOTW is tainted, as usual with OP judgments, cluelessness, and assumptions: “create their full or scaled-down utopia’, “in order to prevent me and others from doing any of that, you’ll need the State’s laws related to property to use against me in a prosecution, or as argument for justifying by eviction”, “through property, you have deprived other human beings from the freedom of using the land for them selves. Not just humans, but all these lives you do accept within your domain.”

I OWN my tighty blackies and I while wearing them, I deprive you the the freedom of getting into them. “Do you own a bike, a motorcycle, a car, a computer, clothes? Can I come take anything you have that I want for myself? Of course I can, rules are things to get around or over. You want to come take where I live, whether I own it legally or not, come on with it. We can talk about it or wrestle about it or I can shoot you in the head for trespass. This is the battle being waged all over the planet, every day. Humans NEED to have a place to be, to eat, to sleep, to fuck, to play, to birth, to raise their young. Just like every other animal. And just like any other animal, they will fight to keep it if they can. Wouldn’t it be amazing to do this free from others imposition? To have only the tyranny of the skies to defend against. That is “utopia” mofo.

I’d rather be a nomad – seems more amenable all the way around. I don’t live in that world anymore – when I did it was in a van. Since I owned that van legally I guess I wasn’t an anarchist then.

I’ve lived in backyards and school buses, shacks thrown together in a couple days and those built over time with trash and junk and scraps and blood. I’ve been living in trailers for a good long while now – could be a modern nomad, if only I had something to pull it with and the old thing wasn’t likely to fall apart at the wheels. I don’t own any land legally, mostly couldn’t afford it even if I wanted it, but I have a home I can call my own. For now anyway, things can change on that dime.

Because homeless is hard, I can’t say there’s much to recommend in it accept what you learn about yourself. What fears and nonsense shakes loose while figuring it out. But, having landlordladies is shit (circle-a ones are not advisable, take my word). Owning usually means owing somebody some money – loan sharks I think they are called. Or mortgage banks – I forget. Not for me.

Maybe you get lucky and some money falls your way or some family or friend situation means you have that place for “ whatever the fuck you want”. Up til the point you step over somebody’s line. And there are lots of fucking lines and lot of fucking somebodies. But, you take and make what you can.

Squatting means no money need be labored over to hand to someone else for the privilege of being drya and warm. If you choose wisely you can be left alone for a long time. Most squattable places are likely considered detritus, unlivable, somehow beneath the standards of bourgeois society. Not sufficiently usable by capitalist (or communist or socialist or whatever flavor eco-nightmare) interests. Look up adverse possession to find places you can land. I don’t know how that works in a city, my squatting tends to be on the edge of the wild where I feel most at home. And since those tend to be very harsh environments, they are of little interest to most humans. And most humans are of little interest to me so its about as perfect as it will get in this world.

But, no matter the legal arrangement, I feel a low-key but constant danger in being sedentary. A vulnerability with telltale tugs of defensiveness. Alert to trespassers – not random people wandering through “my land” - that is just not all that likely in the middle of nowhere. Its about someone taking something from me that I have made mine. Not as a legal ownership (which is a just one way to play the shell game). It is the very personal sense of OWNESS – this is the place I make my life, where I create my refuge - the closest thing to a “safe space” there can ever be. Where I have spent time and energy, pain and joy learning about the land and all those I share it with – rocks and plants, creatures. Wind. I am protective of the effort I have to put into making it habitable, to tone down the affects of the harsh elements that make it so uninviting to most. I am too old and infirm to keep trying over and over.

If land was still wild and free, what would you do differently than you are now? Where would you go, how would you live? Seems to me we don’t have a lot of choices and the only wrong one I see is the one that makes you miserable.

"I OWN my tighty blackies and I while wearing them, I deprive you the the freedom of getting into them. “


"I’ve lived in … shacks … built … with … blood"


The Blood Shack is a little old place where we can get together
Blood Shack, baby (a-Blood Shack, baby)
Blood Shack, baby, Blood Shack
Blood Shack, baby, Blood Shack
Blood Shack, baby, Blood Shack (Blood, baby, that's where it's at, yeah)
Blood Shack, baby, Blood Shack (Blood, baby, that's where it's at)

You really know what the blood refers to? Its the blood of slaughtered rabbits and coyotes coz this " homesteader " keeps chickens and wants to bake neo-colonialist cakes and eat bacon and eggs like freakin rednecks!!!
This guy built his shack on the corpses of animals and their blood.

^^Take heed gentle anarch readers, this is what happens to the isolated losers and outcasts of capitalist society, they live off of the corpses and flotsum of the affluent toxicity of slavery and scrub out a minimalist mean existential ressentiment in places hidden from the laughter and joy of untainted life.

At OP can form coherent sentences. On the other hand, you are always on this site writing unsubstantiated, forgettable nonsense.

"What fesrs and nonsense shakes loose"
"I've lived in shacks built of blood"
"The landlordladies circle A not apply, "MY HOME " I warn you"
Coherent sentence sure? Old people cease to be anarchs because their accumulated societal acquired pathologies have left deep scar tissue!!WTF!

Yes, their original statements (which you butchered) were coherent.

On the other hand, you make vague and/or obtuse assertions all day long that hardly anyone engages with.

Why do you persist in dragging down discourse on this site?

The OP states the totw is tainted and that the subsequent comments complain or favor a destruction of land ownership and the laws which allow it, and then precedes to whine on about his age long labor and hardship to finally OWN his plot of land, all selfishly for himself, JUST LIKE THE FOUNDING FATHERS, recuperating the pioneering colonialist dream of a ranch and comforts, ITS SOOO BORING MUHRIKAN DREAM RHETORIC.
Old timer rancher/homesteader, THIS IS AN ANARCHIST SITE, so take your W.A.S.P. land-ownership values and work ethic to a museum for wasted nightmares, WE ROAMING NIHILIST HORDES WILL ONE DAY PASS THROUGH YOUR LITTLE GOD'S ACRE AND EAT EVERYTHING AND PLAY EVERYTHING FISH EVERYTHING FUCK EVERYTHING STEAL EVERYTHING and then pass on to the next greedy homestead3r who refuses to share his surplus in good faith!

what does that look like to you?
without something more concrete, i'm suspicious that the homesteader would have to to look and talk and dress and smell and have friends like you or they'll be "in bad faith."
or are we still having the conversation from last week's totw?

them there is some pathetic assumptions, kiddo. starting with the assumption that the op was a "him".

you "roaming nihilist hoards" will get shot immediately upon trying that authoritarian bullshit. your inability to see beyond your myopic naivete and assumptions like: that poster is a bourgie wasp hoarder of surplus necessities.

you need some reading comprehension skills. and maybe a slightly more open mind that doesn't presume all the answers, but maybe asks more questions.

Yuppies, bourgies, hipsters, business minded profiteers, whatever you want to call them are almost always doing things with space (and land) that are not what anarchists want or are advantageous to us. But yeah, the back to the land fad is annoying. Perhaps it seems bigger than it actually is and you and I are in a 'search bubble'?

Is the TOTW saying anything more than a not so subtle "owning land isn't anarchist, squatting can be"? I think given the framing of the TOTW, if your project is squatting full stop then the answer is clear. If you intend to do other projects, or have concerns due to ability or age, it becomes less clear. I don't think squatting is anarchistic by default, but then we get into a defining terms thing. There's a lot of mutual exclusion going on in the TOTW and I don't think it reflects reality, but hey, sometimes that is what provoking conversation is about I guess.

It should be pretty obvious that there are practical reasons for even anarchists to own land, as others (ingrate, etc) have already mentioned--we still live in this capitalist world no matter how much we want to leave it. Yes it is a compromise, but it can also open up possibilities for projects that aren't always realistic while squatting in the woods or even in urban areas. The first of which being easing some psychological background noise of being evicted tomorrow, interrupting all your other projects. Or having your materials stolen or smashed by cops, drug people, the owners, or mad nimby people. Then there's the endless distraction of dealing with the people you are sharing the squat/land with. Multiply this last one by ten if you have an open door policy and aren't ready to feel yucky about kicking people out regularly for making the place unsafe, unsanitary, or even possible due to fucking the squat situation up one way or another. Be prepared to deal with drug dealers trying to take over for their enterprise (not a speculation, happens often). Be prepared for unhinged people to pull knives on people (has happened). Be prepared for upset people to burn down the building (i can think of 3 different instances off the top of my head). Be prepared to have what little personal survival items you hang onto be stolen or under the constant threat of it (backpack, sleeping bag, etc). Be prepared to have other squatters and activists tell you you are doing it wrong all the time. Be prepared to have identity nationalists perform a hostile takeover (has happened), but almost everyone leave on their own accord without putting up a fight because it's too awkward to go against the simple moral stories we are all told about race and identity and collective vs individual responsibility. Also, thinking that you won't have to engage with law while squatting is naive. Do I sound bitter? I am really not, I wouldn't trade my experience squatting and I could see myself doing it again in the future. However I see the appeal of trying to make some roots that have a bit higher chance of lasting longer than 2 or 3 years. Where people with affinity can look after each other as they age. Yes it is hedging, it is a contingency to operate parallel to our growing line of failed anarchist projects. I think it can also be a beautiful thing. It can support squatting initiatives and vice versa. After all, where do squatters often end up when their squat gets busted: a friend or family member's house, the rented infoshop, etc.

All the problems I outlined above can happen on a paid for land project. It comes down to the kind of people living there if they are going to involve the law to deal with you. Or perhaps they just shoot at you eventually? Is it anarchist to force other people to share space with you? If I ever own land I don't want to act as though all the living things on it are my dominion. I don't like the idea of having fences and no trespassing signs either.

Fauvenoir and I have discussed these topics a little bit before already though. I am all for and ready to see and/or help with a squatted land. I appreciate the anon at Tue, 05/21/2019 - 18:17 bringing their perspective.

You know what happens when everyone wants " tight blackies" to wear, we end up with suburbia, miles and miles of lined up cubicles where people sit miserably caught in a cycle of sleeping, working, eating, fucking, birthing, partying and all because everyone wanted a base.
Its a disgrace to become so insecure within a community to even need a base of security. Because of its fragmented and narcissistic tendencies it lacks the trust of the holistically integrated community.

"Its a disgrace to become so insecure within a community to even need a base of security."

wow. seriously? you live with a community where you feel absolutely safe at all times? no need for security? i'm impressed.

not to mention the basic fact that not everyone chooses to live in a "community", whatever the fuck that means to you.

I dunno, but this topic seems – like so much @ discourse – very contrived.

I don’t really care how you arrange your self in this world. If you decide to buy a plot of land, then who am I to second guess that? There is no true life in a false world as Adorno remarked.

Also, the whole labeling of this as back to the land or a private utopia seems more to situate the whole thing within a framework of who’s the true believer and who’s not.

We in the west or whatever are probably the first or perhaps at best second generation which doesn’t, at least to some extent, provide for themselves, who doesn’t keep a larder.

For me it is irresponsible to ask of others, or depend on the industrial-growth complex to provide for my needs. So we can bicker all we want, and continue these abstract discussions, which doesn’t really lead ANYWHERE for ever and ever.

Perhaps it is time to ditch the sacred/profane dichotomy which seems so pervasive and rather start to approach shit with a more pluralistic mindset?

As far as I can tell, the world won’t revert to a some pre-industrial, pre-colonial, 500million humans on earth state any time soon. Sometimes life happens and you have to relate to shit like ownership or whatever, simply because that's how the guns roll.

I don’t have (too many) illusions about what I’m doing. I simply try to make the best out of a shit deal, as I suppose most of you others are as well.

"There is no true life in a false world as Adorno remarked."

this pic is the alternate cover for “Fight for Turtle Island”

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