ruminations about architecture and design

Monday, March 31, 2014

john locke inspired rant

To whom does the world belong? The theme of dominion put forth in Genesis has had a deep influence on Western thinking, and it's one that I subscribe to with certain qualifications. The first qualification has to do with the simple matter of survival. If I have to steal honey from a bee's nest, then I can do it. The second qualification has to do with social impact. If I dump poison into a stream because I'm a chemical manufacturer looking to improve profit margin, then people have the right to put me in jail. The level of harm, the type of motivation, and the number of people involved define the morality of the situation.

When it comes to property rights, I'm inclined to take a hard stance in favor of the individual. In most developed areas of the United States the great harm of land division and title creation has been carried out. Property boundaries are as fixed as the motion of the planet around the Sun. In exceptional circumstances I support eminent domain, historic districts, and zoning. In all circumstances, I support building codes. What I do not accept is when aesthetic considerations, visual and otherwise, dominate the enforcement of social boundary rules. Property is the instrument of the individual when it comes to aesthetics. I'll paint my house purple to prove it.

1 comment:

  1. You are not painting the house purple.

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