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Social capital

Property rights are central to anarcho capitalist society. To avoid disputes, we need a clear line between what is mine, and what is yours. Unfortunately actions and effects tend to flow over those lines. For example obviously people have a right to come on to your property and knock on your front door for innocent and reasonable purpose, and obviously you have a right of access to your property. So the public's rights extend in towards your door, and your rights extend out beyond your property line.

And quite likely there are there is a sewer line running under your property that you and a bunch of other people are using. You do not have the right to block that sewer against people upstream of you, and they have the right to unblock it if it somehow becomes blocked, and maybe there are bunch of electric and cable television wires running above your back yard carrying other people's electricity, and other people's cable.

Perhaps you will find that when the developer subdivided some neighboring property, he negotiated with the previous owner of your property for the right to build a sewer line under your property - so who owns that sewer line and suchlike right now?

All these matters are covered in the existing law concerning easements, limitations on property rights produced by people's existing uses of other people's property. The law is complicated, messy and often far from clear - a reflection of actions and situations that are complicated, messy and often far from clear.

These are for the most part matters of sharing, of people being reasonable to their neighbors. A certain amount of sharing is unavoidable, and a certain amount of niceness, of social capital is required. But we dare not require too much, we need to minimize the use of social capital. More sharing does not mean more niceness, rather it exhausts the supply of niceness. Good fences make good neighbors. We must minimize the need for sharing, for such need generates bitter disputes whose justice is unclear.

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