Stealing our children's birthright

By Henry Lamb
web posted October 11, 1999

We have been taken in by the propaganda that tells us that our land must be protected from developers, from off-road vehicles, from loggers, from grazers, from commercial farmers, from almost any form of human activity. We allow our governments to use our tax dollars to buy up land. We donate billions to The Nature Conservancy, and more than 1 200 similar organizations, to buy the private property that remains -- all in the name of protecting the environment.

What we are doing is depriving our children, and all future generations, of the opportunity to be free.

Governments now own about 40 per cent of all the land in the United States. The rush to create new land acquisition funds sets no limits on how much land is to be acquired. The stated goal of many of the environmental organizations that promote land acquisition is -- "take it all back."

Think about it for a moment. What will our children do when they want to live in the suburbs -- if the government, or The Nature Conservancy owns the land? Government, through its "Sustainable Communities Initiative," has determined that people should not live outside the "urban sprawl limit." It doesn't matter what our children want; government will dictate where they may live. To get a picture of the future in America, look at the past in Russia -- where the government owned all the land. Government ownership of land is the first requirement of every socialist society.

How are our children going to buy gasoline for their cars, if the government owns the land or the rights to the oil under it? Most of the land now owned by government and conservancy organizations, prohibits the use of natural resources. More than 40 per cent of our petroleum is imported because the government will not allow the production of oil on land that it owns.

When government owns all the farmland, farmers will be nothing more than employees of the government, producing the crops the government dictates, for whatever wages the government decides to pay.

Never in the history of America has there been such a blatant sell-out to socialism. Every acre of land that is sold to the government, or to one of its surrogate conservancy organizations, for "protection," is a step closer to inevitable socialism. Every acre the government owns is an acre that will not be available for use by our children.

Since all wealth begins with the natural resources on and under the land, are we not systematically transferring our nation's wealth from the people to the government and its surrogates? Is that transfer of wealth not depriving our children of any hope of prosperity?

Moratorium on land acquisition

Congress and state legislatures should demand a moratorium on all land acquisitions by the agencies of all governments. Land and its use is the foundation of our freedom and the fountainhead of our prosperity. We are allowing the government to use our tax dollars to deprive our children of both.

We have been so brainwashed by the constant stream of propaganda that we think there is something immoral about cutting a tree. Our Vice President insists that driving a car is causing global warming -- despite solid scientific evidence to the contrary. The Nature Conservancy wants you to contribute to their "Last Great Places" campaign, so they can buy more land and transfer the potential wealth it contains from our children to their $1.3 billion balance sheet.

Think about it. We are allowing them to use our money to buy all the resources that our children will need. We are forcing our children to be beggars. Our children will have to ask the government for a place to live, for a place to work, for almost everything. If the government, or its surrogate organizations own all the resources, they will own the source of virtually all production -- the classic definition of socialism.

Our children cannot see that far ahead, nor can they see backward to the failed five-year plans of the defunct Soviet Union. We can. And it is our responsibility to preserve and protect, not the land, but the freedom to use the land. It is our responsibility to see that those in our government who prefer socialism to freedom are set free from their jobs to seek employment elsewhere.

The "Lands Legacy" program announced by our President is little more than a smokescreen to make us feel good about financing the implementing of socialism in America. No more land for the government. No more tax dollars to surrogate conservation organizations that take land out of private use. No more contributions to The Nature Conservancy, or any other government surrogate, that is working to deprive our children of their proper birthright -- the land.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization, and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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