Homesteading is taking something from unowned status and making it become yours. It is how non-property becomes property. Most property theorists hold that merely finding something first does not by itself make something into sticky property - it also takes labor. One must "mix your labor" with it, or somehow imprint your personality upon it for it to become bone fide property. The classic Lockean examples are: cultivating former wilderness land, and drawing water from a public spring.
Sticky property has no restrictions on who may own; any person or groups may legitimately own anything so long as they acquire it through a consensual process of production and trade. In a sticky property system, an owner usually keeps his property until he consents to part with it. This voluntary alienation of property takes the form of a trade or gift. Sometimes sticky property is abandoned, returning to unowned non-property status, available for anyone to homestead.
The most famous anarchist critique of traditional decreed property is the 1840 essay "What is Property" by Pierre Proudhon. In this essay, he described and advocated an alternative form of property called "possession." This is privately controlled like sticky property (though less absolute as it prohibits destruction), but only while the object is in use. Hence another name for this type of property: usufruct. For example, a farmer owns the land only so long as he cultivates it. If he leaves it fallow for too long, anyone else may gain ownership by planting there.
A third type of property is collective property. Things can only be owned by certain specified groups or types of groups, and are non-transferrable (either entirely or at least to individuals and non-specified groups.) For example, many communists contend that "everyone" (the whole world in common) owns the land and natural resources. Others contend that the workers in a factory should own the factory. Yet others see municipalities, communes, or townships, bioregions, and guilds as the natural owners of land and/or capital goods. And of course, statists see the state as the sole ultimate owner.
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