Sunday, January 28
today I landed. . .
. . . on "the property" of a person who expressed upset at my sudden appearance. I was bemused by his response to my landing on the big open grassy area in front of his house. In my 11 years of paragliding people are generally intrigued at watching someone swoop around above their homes, and enjoy talking about it when given the opportunity - after all flying like a bird is one of man's oldest dreams.
As I walked away I thought about this brief exchange. I was not particularly bothered - it was far too nice a day to let his mood impact on the fun I had been having - but I wondered if this was symptomatic of the strange assumption of ownership and property rights that seems to have befallen our culture.
Since the time of the industrial revolution, more and more of the commons have been lost to the people, and increasingly ownership has been cornered by a small class of wealthy property owners. Surely the means of production, starting with the textile mills which heralded the industrial revolution, ought to have been the shared property of the people - especially those who worked them. But no, the convention was to continue the models that society had been familiar with on the land, and the wealthy continued to build wealth on the backs of those whose muscle produced the goods.
Is it time yet, to question the old assumptions?