Bookmark and Share


Usufruct - A great way to share the MCG

We know that the needs of the natural world are more important than the economic system, but privatization sees it the other way around. Privatization of land implies the right of the "owner" to use the land in any way he/she/it sees fit including despoiling the land to "make a profit" at the expense of the local community and all other species. Native communities know this and do not voluntarily give up their common resources on which their communities depend until their communities have been destroyed.

Privatization has led to land use "for profit" and not "for community." Our suburban system is at the heart of our economic problems and is the single greatest waste of resources in the history of the world. Privatization has led to a living arrangement with no future.

Aprovecho Institute, Cottage Grove, Ore-Gone [photo by C. Burr]


Usufruct is an old Roman term for the legal right to enjoying the replenishable fruits or profits from property owned by another. This includes the ability sell or let the enjoyment of the usufruct. But what if the owner was your local community? This would end private property.

In tribal communities usufruct means the land is owned in common by the tribe or community, but families and individuals have the right to use plots of land. Most native tribes owned land as a tribal group and not as individuals. The family never owned the land; they just farmed it. In a usufruct system, absentee ownership is not permitted. Modern usufruct examples include Cuba's successful agricultural system, the traditional Mexico ejido system, and the right of native Canadian people to hunt and fish on Crown lands.