Property

About this Collection

Property can be thought of as a “right” which all individuals have, as the basis for the rule of law in a free society, as a key aspect of any properly functioning free market society, and as an important part of the emergence of free societies in the West. The wide range of texts collected here reflects these multiple approaches to property.

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LIBERTY MATTERS

Eric Mack on “John Locke on Property” (January 2013)

Eric Mack (contributor)

John Locke (1632-1704) is a key figure in the history of classical-liberal thought. His Second Treatise of Government (1689) is the canonical text in political philosophy that most extensively and systematically...

Quotes

Property Rights

Auberon Herbert on the “magic of private property” (1897)

Auberon Herbert

Parties & Elections

Auberon Herbert warns that the use of force is like a wild and dangerous beast which can easily get out of our control (1906)

Auberon Herbert

Property Rights

David Ricardo on how “insecure tenure” of property rights harms the poor (1824)

David Ricardo

Property Rights

Herbert Spencer on human nature and the right to property (1851)

Herbert Spencer

Property Rights

J.B. Say on the self-evident nature of property rights which is nevertheless violated by the state in taxation and slavery (1817)

Jean-Baptiste Say

Property Rights

James Mill on the natural disposition to accumulate property (1808)

James Mill

Property Rights

John Taylor on how a “sound freedom of property” can destroy the threat to Liberty posed by “an adoration of military fame” and oppressive governments (1820)

John Taylor

Property Rights

Lord Kames states that the “hoarding appetite” is part of human nature and that it is the foundation of our notion of property rights (1779)

Henry Home, Lord Kames

Property Rights

Louis Wolowski and Pierre Émile Levasseur argue that Property is “the fruit of human liberty” and that Violence and Conquest have done much to disturb this natural order (1884)

Louis Wolowski

Property Rights

McCulloch argues that the right to property extends to “the faculties of (one’s) mind and the powers of (one’s) body” (1864)

John Ramsay McCulloch

Property Rights

Molinari defends the right to property against the socialists who want to overthrow it, and the conservatives who defend it poorly (1849)

Gustave de Molinari

Rhetoric of Liberty

Molinari on mankind’s never-ending struggle for liberty (1849)

Gustave de Molinari

Property Rights

Percy Shelley on the two types of property [1820]

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Economics

Robert Molesworth on the benefits of open borders and free immigration (1705)

Robert Molesworth

Property Rights

Say on a person’s property right in their own “industrious faculties” (1819)

Jean-Baptiste Say

Law

Sir Edward Coke declares that your house is your “Castle and Fortress” (1604)

Sir Edward Coke

Property Rights

Sir William Blackstone argues that occupancy of previously unowned land creates a natural right to that property which excludes others from it (1753)

Sir William Blackstone

Politics & Liberty

Spooner on the “knaves,” the “dupes,” and “do-nothings” among government supporters (1870)

Lysander Spooner

Religion & Toleration

St. John, private property, and the Parable of the Wolf and the Good Shepherd (2ndC AD)

Saint John

Property Rights

Thomas Hodgskin argues for a Lockean notion of the right to property (“natural”) and against the Benthamite notion that property rights are created by the state (“artificial”) (1832)

Thomas Hodgskin

Property Rights

Thomas Hodgskin on the futility of politicians tinkering with bad laws when the whole political system needed to be changed (1832)

Thomas Hodgskin

Property Rights

William Paley on the tragedy of the commons (1785)

William Paley

Property Rights

Wolowski on property as a sacred right which is an emanation from man’s very being (1863)

Louis Wolowski