The growing necessity of ownership

The left and right agree: It's good to be an owner

(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

Lately, I've been thinking about ownership. I've been thinking about it because we moved last year and bought a new house, and with that ownership comes the right and responsibility to change and maintain our home, to keep out the water and keep in the heat and make it as I like it. But I've also been thinking about ownership because of what I do not own, including (per standard freelance journalism contracts) the copyright to thousands of articles I've published at dozens of outlets in my career.

I'm not the only one thinking about ownership, either. Writer Aaron M. Renn, who pens a newsletter for men called The Masculinist, has for several years now argued for the "importance of owned space." His idea has a strange lineage, and many readers won't find his cases in point very sympathetic. But I increasingly think the idea itself is right, and that it's going to spread — taking different forms and being described in different vocabularies — into mainstream contexts. The shift toward broader ownership may be slow. But the necessity of ownership is becoming ever more obvious to ever more people of ever more ilks.

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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.