“Dibs!”: Lebensraum And Social Contracts

September 8th, 2010   Submitted by Ross Kenyon

Imagine there is a city in the middle of a large mostly uninhabited continent. This city came into existence through homesteading: sovereign individuals peacefully mixed their labor with finite pieces of unused land and made them productive in order to sustain and improve their lives.

Realizing that they would all individually benefit from trusting each other, trading with each other, and not killing each other, the city dwellers committed to a formal, voluntary, and explicit social contract with one another. This contract spelled out the rules which would govern their interactions and the methods of arbitration they would use to solve disputes as they arose.

During this time, the land outside of their homesteads remained unowned and available to first improvers. The city dwellers, unable to productively utilize all of the land surrounding their homesteads, became greedy and began to peek outside of their legitimate property. As a result of their peeking, they decided to claim that their social contract continued for five miles in every direction in order to give their town “just a little room to breathe,” apart from the other societies and social contracts which would surely be created. Any settlers within that radius would have to agree to the continental city’s social contract or the city dwellers would react with force.

Since the continental city’s five mile claim for lebensraum was completely arbitrary, the city dwellers soon claimed it extended two hundred miles in every direction, and then one thousand miles. In fact, the continent itself proved no logical barrier, because the criteria required for lebensraum, “dibs,” was easily met.

Soon, dibsters would apply this principle to colonies on the ocean, and no one could live on the ocean without being an unwilling member of the continental city’s social contract. “Dibs!” would clearly apply once space colonization occurred, ad absurdum.

The only thing limiting and governing the “dibs!” land policy is the amount of military power each dibster can muster. Once land can be claimed through “dibs,” like it is the front seat of a sedan, legitimate peaceful homesteaders who cannot win the intellectual battle against lebensraum will face the aggression of the dibsters head-on.

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