Saturday, July 24, 2004

You dirty rat, you bureaucrat, you made us what we are today

Communally building and maintaining a public facility without government assistance or sanction? Why, that's positively un-Canadian. No wonder the North Vancouver municipal government wants to tear it down and sue everyone involved. Statist bureaucracy 1, rugged individualism 0. (Via Fark.)

3 Comments:

Blogger Michael McDonald said...

This isn't a 'public facility.' It's a cabin that some kids built on land that didn't belong to them. Does the right to protect your property suddenly not apply when it interferes with a chance to invent a governmental evil, and dislike it instead? The letter from the city doesn't cite mindless bureaucratic rules, but rather fire safety and trespass concerns, which are rather serious criminal issues.

The fact that the users admit to keeping it a secret only underlines the idea that they knew what they were doing was wrong. The "The Government is Picking On Us!" strategy they are now playing is not a valid one, but one of desperation: They got caught, they have absolutely no legal right to be doing what they're doing, and so the only chance they have is to try and make it too politically dangerous to remove them.

This is bureaucracy functioning propertly. This is one of the reasons that bureaucracies exist: The decision to remove them comes from district staff, rather than elected officials, specificaly to protect legal processes from this kind of political snottery.

7/24/2004 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Denton said...

I will grant that what they've done was illegal. But the extent of the improvement on public land is such that maintaining it under municipal auspices wouldn't have been terribly difficult. If the fire code is an issue, inspect it and make any improvements just like any other facility. That the users attempted to keep it secret from municipal bureaucrats underlines only that they knew it wouldn't be well-received, not that they felt it to be wrong.

In other circumstances, I would agree. Squatters who merely insist they have an inherent right to appropriate others' property because they're poor, or bohemian, or for whatever other reason - I hold no quarter for them. But improving a lot, not out of a desire to claim the property, but for free common use, poorly-publicized as it may be? That doesn't deserve the same condemnation. That's the Tragedy of the Commons moving in reverse. This is bureaucracy functioning well only by the definitions of bureaucrats.

7/24/2004 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger Michael McDonald said...

Common use of an illegal, secret construct for those people who happen to stumble upon it strikes me more as "Hey, shut up and you can use it too," rather than "Well of course it's for everyone. We just kept it secret because . . . Hey, Government is picking on us!"

7/24/2004 02:29:00 PM  

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