Back in the days when Europeans emigrated from Europe to other places around the world they had a legal term for land which they came upon and occupied.  That term was Terra Nullius and means in Latin “land belonging to no one.”  The term gave people license to settle the new territory which was not really new because people already lived there. Europeans left Europe for the same reasons that people travel all over the world. Those reasons ranged from desperate poverty and necessity to opulent wealth and desire;  everything in-between that is a reason for a vacation or a permanent relocation. The reason I wrote this article was to think aloud about Terra Nullius, its implications today for people wishing to settle “new” lands and to highlight how history tends to repeat itself.

Terra Nullius (Where is it today?)

Terra Nullius no longer exists as a geographic location because most land has been laid claim to by people powerful enough to defend their claim. Terra Nullius is a set of professions that are not completely occupied by the current population. In the United Kingdom these occupations are listed on the UK Official Shortage list. Click here to see if your occupation is in demand in the United Kingdom.

Since we no longer derive our livings only from the soil then we can say that to occupy these professions is a way of occupying “space” which belongs to no one.  There is an absolute shortage of skilled people which means that even if a country retrained people to fill one skill shortage it would simply open up another set of shortages. The reasons for this are complex and not at all straight forward but what it means is that there will always be Terra Nullius everywhere waiting to be occupied by someone.

None of us owns the land.

There were Native American tribes within which the concept of individual land ownership was none-existent. The Sun set on their way of life but the lesson still remains. Mark Twain said that the world does not owe anyone a living and he was right. None of us really owns the land, we simply derive our existence from it and from others.  The ability to derive an income springs from thought and action. This is within everyone’s control and so it is possible for you to, with the right tools and knowledge, derive an income from whichever land you choose.

Conclusion: Life goes on.

Human beings will keep moving around as push and pull factors dictate. Data suggests that we will congregate in cities within the next twenty years. There is a trend for educated people from the developing world to immigrate to the developed world.  As these factors play out I hope that we learn the principles of harmonious living and engineering the process of assigning the right jobs to the right number of people. My name is Peter Campbell, and if you are an Engineer, Medical Staffer, Social Worker or Mathematics teacher reading this, you may have found the company you have been seeking all along.

Further Reading 

Global Migration 
By: Jeffrey G. Williamson