Tangible goods owned or claimed by one or more individuals

Property, in the abstract, is what belongs to or with something, whether as an attribute or as a component of said thing. In this context, it is one or more components (rather than attributes), whether physical or incorporeal, of a person's estate; or so belonging to, as in being owned by, a person or jointly a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation or even a society. Depending on the nature of the property, an owner of property has the right to consume, alter, share, redefine, rent, mortgage, pawn, sell, exchange, transfer, give away or destroy it, or to exclude others from doing these things, as well as to perhaps abandon it; whereas regardless of the nature of the property, the owner thereof has the right to properly use it (as a durable, mean or factor, or whatever), or at the very least exclusively keep it.

  • Business - Commercial activities that provide goods and services
  • Capitalism - Economic system where the means of production are privately owned
  • Economic Barriers - Legislative and other processes that inhibit economic and financial advancement
  • Economic Freedom - Absence of coercion or controls over economic activities
  • Economics - Study of the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services
  • Free Market - The uncoerced, consensual exchanges of goods and services between individuals, antithesis of the State
  • Free Trade - Exchange of goods and services without barriers
  • Health Care - Preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic and other services related to the health of an individual
  • Private Property - Ownership of assets by individuals or non-governmental legal entities
  • Technology - Practical application of engineering or technical processes


Aristotle Understood the Importance of Property, by Richard Ebeling, 27 Sep 2016
Discusses Aristotle's views on private property and property rights (contrasting them with those of Plato), the "ends" of human life, economics ("household management"), wealth acquisition, prices, money and related topics
"Aristotle seemed to think that there was a healthy balance on the issue of property in society when property was private, so as to reap the benefits from the greater productivity and work that would be forthcoming under such a system. At the same time, he believed that the fruits of property should be generously shared with others by a spirit of benevolence on the part of the those who had prospered from the ownership and use of property, in the form of hospitality and charity."
Biography of Carl Menger: The Founder of the Austrian School, by Joseph Salerno
Biographical and bibliographical essay, discussing his life and work and delving into various aspects of Austrian economic theory as presented by Menger
"Thus property is neither 'an arbitrary invention' nor merely an aggregation of heterogeneous objects. It is a praxeological category that refers to a purposively created structure of goods that is adjusted through the operations of economizing to serve the structure of ends aimed at by an individual actor. According to Menger, '[A person's] property is not ... an arbitrarily combined quantity of goods, but a direct reflection of his needs, an integrated whole, no essential part of which can be diminished or increased without effecting realization of the end it serves.'"
Ferguson, Adam (1723-1816), by Ronald Hamowy, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
"In barbaric societies, ... property had ceased to remain communal, and private wealth, most often in the form of agricultural products and animal herds, had developed. Despite the existence of unequal possessions, however, a formal institutionalized system of laws regarding property had to await the development of civilized society. It was in response to the emergence of that complex of rules regarding the possession and transfer of property, ... that political institutions appeared. In summary, Ferguson argued, government was a creature of property, and property was an artifact of civilization."
Related Topics: Adam Ferguson, Society
Government, by James Mill, Encyclopædia Britannica, 1820
Discusses the purpose of government, the means for attaining that end and various related questions and objections; rationalises that representative democracy, as exhibited in early 19th century Britain, is most conducive to "good Government"
"It is sufficiently obvious, that, if every man is liable to be deprived of what he possesses at the will of every man stronger than himself, the existence of property is impossible; and, if the existence of property is impossible, so also is that of labour, of the means of subsistence for an enlarged community, and hence of the community itself."
John Locke's Top 5 Radical Political Ideas, by Brandon Turner, 29 Aug 2016
Brief discussion of "five features of Locke's political thought that remain particularly important": natural equality, property, consent, resistance and toleration
"Locke's theory of property, found primarily in Chapter Five of the Second Treatise, is important and curious in a number of ways. Because we are obligated to preserve ourselves, because the earth is given to men in common, and, Locke argues, because labor is the means by which we convert the earth into sustenance, we each have a natural right to acquire private property by 'mixing' our labor with the earth. ... More curiously, Locke attaches an individual duty to labor to his conception of good citizenship."
Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution, by Murray Rothbard, Cato Journal, 1982
Examines the principles of tort law, how to determine what is just property and how to deal with invasions of property such as air pollution
"... no one has the right to legally prevent or retaliate against 'harms' to his property unless it is an act of physical invasion. Everyone has the right to have the physical integrity of his property inviolate; no one has the right to protect the value of his property, for that value is purely the reflection of what people are willing to pay for it."
Property and Force: A Reply to Matt Bruenig, by Sheldon Richman, 22 Nov 2013
Responds to blogger Bruenig's criticism of the essay "One Moral Standard for All"; with quotes or examples from Roderick Long, Murray Rothbard, Gary Chartier, David Hume and Karl Hess
"... how do we get from the right to one's body to the right to one's (justly acquired) possessions, including land? A person's possessions are extensions of his life and labor. ... Flourishing requires the use of physical objects, including shelter and other uses of land, in an environment of respect for and from others. Thus to violate a person's property is to violate that person. (Again, violations can be de minimis, and the response must be proportionate.)"
Related Topic: Non-aggression Principle
The Anatomy of the State, by Murray Rothbard, 1974
Examines several attributes of the State, including how it maintains and grows itself and how it deals with other States
"The only 'natural' course for man to survive and to attain wealth ... is by using his mind and energy to engage in the production-and-exchange process. He does this, first, by finding natural resources, and then by transforming them ... to make them his individual property, and then by exchanging this property for the similarly obtained property of others."
What you should know about the Non-Aggression Principle, by Jason Kuznicki, 24 Feb 2017
Discusses the non-aggression principle, stating that it "depends on a valid theory of property ownership" and concludes that such a theory is in conflict with what most people view as the proper role of government
"If property claims are an inevitable feature of human society, as seems likely, then we cannot escape the question of what status these claims will have, whether collectively or in particular. We must ask not so much whether property is justified, but rather what its extent should be, which objects should be subject to property claims, and which entities within society should be the rightful possessors of what goods, and for what reasons."

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Property" as of 30 Sep 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.