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Reflections on The Right to Private Property

Reflections on The Right to Private Property Tibor Machan0 1. Why Private Property? Let me begin by explaining what I mean by the right to private property and why I use what is an old-fashioned term others have abandoned in favor of, say "the right to several property."1 One reason that it is useful, at least in the context of political philosophy and moral theory, to keep with the terminology of "the right to private property" is that it is tied to an important element of classic liberal political theory and social philosophy, namely individualism. This right -- that individual adult human beings may not be prohibited or prevented by anyone from acquiring and holding valued items not already owned by others -- would not come too much if some version of individualism were not a sound social philosophy. In classical liberalism there emerged a shift of focus as to the prime value in social-political matters, from the group to the individual. Indeed one of the ways in which power is diffused when individuals are sovereigns rather than states -- or ethnic groups, races and any other subdivision of human beings -- is that individuals have only a bit of power. They aren't likely to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal des Économistes et des Études Humaines de Gruyter

Reflections on The Right to Private Property

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by the
ISSN
2194-5799
eISSN
2153-1552
DOI
10.1515/jeeh-2000-0107
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Tibor Machan0 1. Why Private Property? Let me begin by explaining what I mean by the right to private property and why I use what is an old-fashioned term others have abandoned in favor of, say "the right to several property."1 One reason that it is useful, at least in the context of political philosophy and moral theory, to keep with the terminology of "the right to private property" is that it is tied to an important element of classic liberal political theory and social philosophy, namely individualism. This right -- that individual adult human beings may not be prohibited or prevented by anyone from acquiring and holding valued items not already owned by others -- would not come too much if some version of individualism were not a sound social philosophy. In classical liberalism there emerged a shift of focus as to the prime value in social-political matters, from the group to the individual. Indeed one of the ways in which power is diffused when individuals are sovereigns rather than states -- or ethnic groups, races and any other subdivision of human beings -- is that individuals have only a bit of power. They aren't likely to

Journal

Journal des Économistes et des Études Humainesde Gruyter

Published: Mar 1, 2000

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