Foreign Ownership of Land

I don’t like the idea of a foreign nation owning large tracts of land for a long period of time. While I agree with part of what you say; I don’t like the idea. I will let you and the audience read this quote from Mason Gaffney from “Privatizing Land Without Giveaway” which makes a case against foreign ownership of land:

5. Private wealth being scarce in most Soviet republics, wealthy aliens would prevail in bidding for much of the best land. It is doubtful that any nation can long keep its sovereignty, or meaningfully represent its own median citizens, when most of its real estate is foreign-owned. In pre-commercial times one could own land in most countries only by swearing personal fealty to the sovereign from and under whom the land was held: that’s why it’s called “real” (from “regal”) estate. Kings knew the link between land and power. Alien ownership was common only in conquered lands: it was the means of dominating, controlling and exploiting their people.

Sovereignty supposedly remains with the resident voters, but only the deaf and blind are unaware that money and property swing elections, and the state and the law acknowledge and — some would say exist to — uphold the superior rights of property. In 1978 a watershed constitutional change, “Proposition 13,” was made in California. Although much California property is owned outside California and the United States, the successful campaign for Proposition 13 was propelled by the slogan “Property should only pay for services to property, not to people.” That is a current version of the old contract theory of the state, whereby government is basically an agency contracting to serve landowners.

Foreign ownership invites foreign invasion of sovereignty. Witness the foreign extension of the American “trading-with-the- enemy” act, applied to U.S. corporations holding property in other nations. Witness the long-term effects of Zionist land acquisition in Palestine. Witness the Canadian law, only recently repealed in British Columbia, whereby real estate as such had so many votes, based on valuation. Witness the property basis of voting that prevails in most public water districts in California. Witness the long history of gunboat diplomacy, and latter-day CIA manipulations like the replacement of Mohammed Mossadegh by the Shah of Iran. History shrieks: buying land is not just another commercial transaction, as the abstract theorists would have it. Landownership is political power.