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Is This Land Really Our Land?

Ralph spends the entire Radio Hour with Simon Winchester, author of “Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World.” Find out that it’s better when Mother Nature makes the boundaries with mountains, rivers, lakes, valleys, and oceans. When humans draw the maps: not as good.

Simon Winchester is a journalist and the author of several books including “The Professor and the Madman,” “The Men Who United the States,” and “The Map that Changed the World.” His latest is “Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World.”

“This conflict over land, as with the conflict in Ireland, as with the conflict in India, is going to persist for a very long time. Because land does not look kindly to partitioning artificially.”

Simon Winchester, author of Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World

“Killing on an unbelievable, titanic scale took place. Hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of people died as a result of the creation of this seventeen hundred mile long border (drawn between India and Pakistan).”

Simon Winchester, author of Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World

“The fact that (Andrew) Jackson is still on our currency amazes me to this day. That he effectively presided over a policy– instituted a policy which moved so many Native Americans out of their homelands toward what is now… the state of Oklahoma.”

Simon Winchester, author of Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World

“Marcus Cicero, the ancient Roman lawyer, once defined freedom as ‘participation in power.’ And on the other side of the world, a philosopher in the Ming Dynasty… once said ‘to know and not to do is not to know.’”

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 366 Transcript (Right click to download)


  1. NooN says:

    Did I understand correctly that the Balfour Declaration was written in 1917 ?
    as a “Homeland 4 People” not an “Anglo or Federal Reserve Military Base” as Rothschild’s
    are the “Owners”of the so.called Boundrey-Less-Declaration for Land, ie., “Homeland.”

    Is it in WRITING & NOTARIZED that the Rites of the Palestinians & Other ArabiaN Land
    (ie., Boundarys) should be Recognized..

    What about the 1st Nuclear Facility & the Usurpation of the Suez Passageway ?
    Did the UN have Rules for Rites of the Waters ?

    I have read many Law Books in the Law Library. I have seen that the Earth was Mapped
    & this INCLULDES UNDER THE WATER was MAPPED as to where Metals & Minerals are.
    I did say, “Under the Oceans & Water”.

    I am interested in the 1917 Declaration for Palestine as an Isreali Army Base.
    Following the USA giving up her NationaL Draft, she HIRED Militia that became SETTLERS
    in Isreal. Now, the USA has formally built a Military Base in Isreal. Does the use of Isreal’s
    “Having no Boarders” mean that it was (as they are) going to agress more land, doesn’t it ??


  2. Gabe says:

    I appreciated Mr. Nader’s attempts to nudge the conversation in the direction of land reform and the concept of the commons, as well as suggesting a book on tort law and legal reform. Sadly, but predictably, I think it fell on deaf ears. Not surprisingly, because this is the state of activism and intellectual work today – backward looking, revisionist, perhaps well intentioned but ultimately utterly dismissible and inconsequential. Never before, or at least for a long time, has there been so much opportunity for real change, though the obstacles are indeed so high. For anyone bothering to read this, you might also peruse a particularly cogent article at https://www.jacobinmag.com/2021/02/the-politics-of-a-second-gilded-age. Where have all the true activists gone? The people need you now more than ever before!

  3. Don Harris says:

    I tired to submit this as a listener question but it would not load, maybe it was too long?

    I thought you might appreciate a question that would let you to plug Reporters’ Alert.

    You always do a good job of pointing out how hard it is to get through to reporters.

    Will Reporters’ Alert be covering people that have not got through to reporters but have not stopped trying such as how I have been trying to get through to you on One Demand for over five years and have been waiting over two years since you said on Washington Journal (10-24-2018) you would have me on the Radio Hour to discuss One Demand?

    Will reporters’ Alert be covering my proposal to create an alternative to corporate controlled media by setting up a non-profit with people like you on a board to oversee it selling shares for 100 dollars each that can only be owned by American citizens, no one can own more than ten shares and the shares can only be sold for 100 dollars as the purpose of owning the shares is to control a media conglomerate that provides real news not to make money off the price of the stock?

    Just 10% of the 150 million 2020 voters investing 100 dollars would total 1.5 billion dollars and would be just the tip of the iceberg on what could be raised as citizens can buy up to ten shares.

    If Reporters’ Alert and the Radio Hour will not be covering these ideas will you be creating something that will?

  4. Bruce K. says:

    Sorry to be off-topic, but a while back I remember Ralph talking about Medicare and all the scams. Can you all recommend a good source of information on Medicare and how to understand and navigate the sign-up process? Thanks.

    • Bruce K. says:

      I guess no then. Bummer.

      • Skro35 says:

        Bruce, we’ll try to have Ralph answer your question on the air soon, but there is a transcript of every episode just above the audio player. If you click on that link, you can find everything that was mentioned (at least in the radio version) Steve Try Kay Tillow: I’m at nursenpo@aol.com. And the website is unionsforsinglepayer.org.

        • Bruce K. says:

          Hi Steve,
          Thanks for the reply.
          I did search the site, using the keyword search dropdown menu for Medicare.

          There are 3 shows where the term “Medicare” show up in that query.
          – Trumpcare Fiasco/Logic For The Left ( 34 matches in transcript )
          – Michael Shuman; Malcolm Sparrow ( 20 matches in transcript )
          – Will Democrats Fight for Medicare For All? ( 22 matches in transcript )

          The search by tags is exclusive of shows where the term Medicare shows up, but it is followed by “advantage” or “disadvantage”..
          – “It Ain’t So, Joe!” ( 69 matches in transcript, but 33 are followed by advantage or disadvantage )

          Kay Tillow says this ( another concerning moment for me )
          > Kay Tillow: Well, the Medicare Advantage or dis-Advantage, basically
          > it’s the for-profit part of our Medicare, the piece of Medicare that has
          > been turned over to the private insurance companies. And it’s a very
          > bad deal, both for the seniors who go into it and for we, the public, who
          > have to finance Medicare, because they’re taking our Medicare funds
          > and turning them over by the billions to the health insurance companies.

          Listener Peter M Stema contributed this link which looks promising as an overview:

          As far as I can see none of these shows has any links of references to information about Medicare, how it works, or how to sign up for it. I do recall Ralph mentioning at least once about how it is hard and complicated, and if you miss the schedules you can lose your rights to Medicare? I am not exactly sure I heard that right, which is why I am asking.

          In the show about Trumpcare here is an exchange that stood out for me:

          > We now have one out of three elderly people under Medicare
          > drawn in by these deceptive promotional lunches, that the
          > health insurance companies have all over the country, where
          > they have presentations that should be prosecuted by the
          > Federal Trade Commission, they are so deceptive. In your book
          > on page 21, you have a pretty devastating summary of why
          > people over 65 should stay clear and just go into traditional
          > Medicare, not go into Medicare so-called Advantage. Can you
          > tell our listeners why they should avoid Medicare “Disadvantage,”
          > as I call it?

          This is confusing, so can I confirm:
          > Steve Try Kay Tillow: I’m at nursenpo@aol.com. And the website is unionsforsinglepayer.org

          Are you pointing me to Kay Tillow at the website unionsforsinglepayer.org, with an email address of nursenpo@aol.com ??

          * By the way, one thing I should mention is that in searching the site on the main page shows are referenced by title, but if you click over to the transcript the show is referenced by number and the title is nowhere to be found. It’s a little confusing. If I could just offer a small suggestion, maybe put the number of the show on the front page, such as “EP 273: Trumpcare Fiasco/Logic For The Left”. Currently the number of the show does show in the link to the transcript, but in the transcript there is no mention of the name of the show.

          • Skro35 says:

            That’s Kay Tillow’s email. reach out directly to her. In the meantime, I’ve submitted your question to Ralph for our next recording, and we’ll see if he has another answer.

  5. Afdal Shahanshah says:

    Ouch, very disappointed to hear Ralph invite a guest on to peddle Ukrainian ethnonationalist genocide propaganda. Don’t you think we’re far enough removed from both the 1930s and the end of the cold war to still be pushing ahistorical lies like the idea that forced collectivization resulted in a famine and targeted starvation? There’s really no excuse for this in 2021 except ideologically-driven laziness. There WAS major land redistribution after the Russian revolution, two of them in fact that Winchester fails to mention. The first was redistributing the land to formerly landless peasants. The second was a process of concentrating that same land back into the hands of landholding elites whenever a peasant had a bad harvest and was forced to sell their land to someone else to get by, creating the “kulaks” class which Winchester rather hilariously referred to as peasantry. Ukraine was a region that had experienced regular famines for centuries before the revolution, and it is a simple fact attested to by Gareth Jones himself that some regions were experiencing drought and landowning kulaks were sabotaging agricultural production. There are many well-deserved, evidence-based criticisms of Stalin and the Bolshevik government, but some uniquely moustache-twirling nonsense about “genociding” Ukrainians is not one of them.

    Here is a decent article to help skeptical listeners tease apart fact from anticommunist propaganda:

  6. Bruce K. says:

    It is great to hear of someone cite the “Doctrine of Discovery” which I have only heard of the far-Left radio stations. I never heard a word of this in any history class growing up. It just seems if you add all of these genocides and outrages up to the fact that all the wealth that exists today – the vast majority of it derives from these massive crimes. How can this still have legitimacy today? Only because people are not taught about it and never discuss the historic ramifications of how this wealth and power has extended through time.