Sorry for the delay responding to this -- I've been away on travel.

Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
A good definition. Again though I ask where did land rights come from?
Land rights are an extension of property rights. They weren't granted; they were simply exercised. Two key aspects of being able to exercise rights are knowing that they exist in the first place, and knowing that property and land have value.

Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
Let me construct a thought experiment. One landlord in the whole country, the source of all jobs. A farm worker works his land. The pay is not enough or just enough to pay his rent (to the landlord) and buy food (from the landlord). How do you reconcile the landlord's property rights to the worker's right to life?

(Of course you would argue this is the case in state-owned farms etc... the question then is how much representation does the worker have in the landlord's actions I suppose)
If the farm worker is unhappy with his wage, they should be able to leave for a better deal with another employer if they so choose, assuming of course that an employer will make him a better offer. In the example you gave, with only one available employer, there can be no free choice -- that's the definition of slavery.

For me, slavery is a form of violence, and such an employee would have every right to "revolt" against their employer -- perhaps by planting their own food, homesteading their own land, etc.

To answer your specific question, the worker should have no say in their employers actions unless the employer agrees.

Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
What about an employment contract? Can we sell our rights? Or otherwise surrender them?
Sure. However, if such an agreement is not totally voluntary on both sides, or if it doesn't have clear terms and conditions, then it may involve fraud and therefore not be valid, legally or morally.

Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
Then we have no rights, as all rights can be taken away by force. I would say we grant each other rights. But I see what you are saying.
If rights were granted, that implies they can be un-granted. I would say that we acknowledge and respect each other's rights, but we don't grant them.

Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
Agreed -- implicit in property rights is the threat of violence -- which can only sustainably be wielded by an agent with the agreement or aquiescence of the bulk of people.
I would put it this way: implicit in property rights is the protection against violence.

Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
Property rights are a social contract because they affect how we interact, they mean nothing without a society.
Sure. The concept of "ownership" is useful to differentiate what's mine from what's yours. If there is no society, if I'm living alone, then there is no "you," and the concept isn't meaningful. However, even in such a case, property rights still exist.

Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
Actually I think we agree on a lot (more than I first thought), we have just come to different conclusions on implementation.
That's the second time someone has said that to me here on iTulip.

Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
For instance, a farm hand working a landlord's farm -- what rights does he have? Just over his time or a share of the produce/profits?
All rights stem from the right to life. He has the right to contract -- whether that translates to a wage or part of the profits is between him and the landlord. He also has the right of free choice, and the right to keep, use and dispose of his earnings as he wishes.