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Ownership of assets by individuals or non-governmental legal entities

Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property by non-governmental legal entities. Private property is distinguishable from public property, which is owned by a state entity; and from collective (or cooperative) property, which is owned by a group of non-governmental entities. Private property can be either personal property (consumption goods) or capital goods. Private property is a legal concept defined and enforced by a country's political system.


Anarcho-Communism, by Murray N. Rothbard, The Libertarian Forum, 1 Jan 1970
Critique of anarcho-communism, examining its presumed voluntary nature, and its philosophical and economics orientation
If there is one thing, for example, that anarcho-communism hates and reviles more than the State it is the rights of private property ... they wrongly believe that it is the creator and protector of private property ... Anarcho-communists have always been extremely vague and cloudy about the lineaments of their proposed anarchist society of the future. Many of them have been propounding the profoundly anti-libertarian doctrine that the anarcho-communist revolution will have to confiscate and abolish all private property, so as to wean everyone from their psychological attachment to the property they own.
Aristotle Understood the Importance of Property, by Richard M. 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
This idea comes out most clearly in Aristotle's discussion of private property, and in his rejection of Plato's call for a communist social order in which material things are held in common. Aristotle argued that if all land was owned communally with work performed jointly, there existed the potential for animosity and anger among the participants. Why? Because then individuals would feel that they had not received what was rightly theirs since work and reward would not be strictly and tightly connected, as they are under a system of private property.
Bastiat, Frédéric (1801-1850), by Jörg Guido Hülsmann, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical essay
Bastiat starts from the observation that a private-property order is safeguarded by the law, which he understands to mean those rules that determine how physical force may legitimately be used to protect property rights. In his essay "The Law," Bastiat argues that the whole point of this artificial institution, the law, is to protect the private property of each member of society: "It is not because men have enacted laws that personality, liberty and property exist. On the contrary, it is because personality, liberty and property already exist that men make laws."
Bastiat on the Socialization of Wealth, by Sheldon Richman, Future of Freedom, Dec 2014
Explains what Bastiat meant when saying that real wealth is constantly passing from the realm of (private) property to that of the "communal domain" (communauté, or community in the original French)
[M]ore people might favor free markets if they understood the distinction [Bastiat] was making:
If the legitimacy of private property has appeared doubtful and inexplicable, [it is] because they felt that it concentrated [goods] in the hands of some ... We believe that we have completely dispelled this doubt by proving that what was ... common to all, remains [so], since the domain of private property can never extend beyond the ... rights laboriously acquired through services rendered. And, when it is expressed in these terms, who can deny the right to private property?
The Bill of Rights: Eminent Domain, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, Dec 2004
Discusses the eminent domain protections of the Fifth Amendment and how they were undermined by cases such as Berman v. Parker (1954) and Poletown (1981), and the positive outcome of Wayne County v. Hathcock (2004)
One of the bedrocks of a free society is a system of private property. The concept of economic liberty is founded not only on principles of free enterprise but also on the principle that people have the right to accumulate the fruits of their earnings. If government has the power to arbitrarily seize a person’s wealth or property, then a person cannot truly be considered free in an economic sense. That is why our ancestors deemed it critically important to protect people's property from governmental assault through their enactment of the Fifth Amendment ...
The Bill of Rights: Freedom of Speech, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, Jul 2004
Part of a series examining the Bill of Rights, this covers the freedom of speech clause as a barrier to censorship by government (and not by private entities)
In the 1919 U.S. Supreme Court case of Schenck v. United States, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, "The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic." But Holmes got it wrong. The reason that a man ordinarily cannot scream, "Fire!" in a theater is that the owner of the theater hasn't permitted it ... when a patron enters the theater, he does so on terms established by the owner ... which implicitly include a rule against disturbing the other patrons ... Thus, freedom of speech is ultimately grounded in private-property rights.
Dictatorship of Gadflies, by James Bovard, Freedom Daily, Nov 1998
Discusses the efforts of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and similar groups to preserve much broader targets than historically meaningful buildings
Trust officials are holier-than-thou in their contempt for property rights: Arnold Berke, editor of the trust's Historic Preservation News, declaimed, "The public interest in the use of private land must be defended." ... Most of the buildings that the trust and its devotees insist are historic treasures were created as the result of decisions by private owners who had control over their own land. But, according to the trust, the only way to protect the past achievements of private property is to strip current property owners of almost all control over their land, businesses, and homes.
Don't Blame the Thermometer for the Fever, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Jan 1999
Discusses President Clinton's calls for worldwide regulations limiting capital movements and a global regime similar to the New Deal, comparing his views on private property with those of Hitler
Hitler set forth his position on private property clearly in 1931:
What matters is to emphasize the fundamental idea in my party's economic program ... I want everyone to keep the property he has acquired for himself according to the principle: benefit to the community precedes benefit to the individual. But the state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interests of others among his own people ... The Third Reich will always retain its right to control the owners of property.
The Dubai Ports Issue Is Really Wal-Mart and Toyota All Over Again, by William Marina, 23 Feb 2006
So, the real issue is privatization. Mr. Nichols would prefer government ownership. In all of this talk of accountability, nowhere is there any mention of the historical reality that American ports were long bastions of the unholy alliance of corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and union officials.
Related Topic: Dubai
The Federal War on Gold, Part 3, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, Oct 2006
Describes Franklin Roosevelt's 1933 executive order confiscating gold held by U.S. citizens and the congressional act nullifying gold clauses in contracts, its constitutional ramifications and subsequent related history
Reflect for a moment on the significance of what Roosevelt did. Gold coins and gold bullion were private property, just like a person's automobile, clothing, home, and food. On the mere command of the president of the United States, federal authorities simply confiscated gold holdings that were the private property of the American people and made it a grave federal offense to own such property in the future. The gold seizure was no different in principle from Fidel Castro's seizure of homes and businesses more than 25 years later in Cuba, an episode that U.S. officials still rail against ...
A Free-Market Constitution for Hong Kong: A Blueprint for China [PDF], by Alvin Rabushka, Cato Journal, 1989
Discusses the draft of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), expected to be promulgated in 1990 (actually adopted 4 April 1990 and went into effect 1 July 1997), as a "free-market constitution"
Article 6 (of Chapter I) ... protects rights of private property relating to acquisition, use, disposal, inheritance, and compensation for lawful takeover at market prices in convertible forms of payment. Private property rights are the keystone of Hong Kong's market economy and their preservation is essential in maintaining Hong Kong's capitalistic system. By way of contrast, China is in the very preliminary stages of injecting property rights into its socialist economic system. Prior to 1982, individuals could not own land, which belonged to the state.
From Spencer's 1884 to Orwell's 1984, by Henry Hazlitt, Man vs. The Welfare State, 1969
Chapter 23 of Man vs. The Welfare State; extensive review of Spencer's The Man versus the State comparing the 1880s to the contemporary (late 1960s) social and political environment
Spencer next goes on to show that the kind of State intervention he is deploring amounts not merely to an abridgment but a basic rejection of private property ... The tacit assumption ... is that
No man has any claim to his property, not even to that which he has earned by the sweat of his brow, save by the permission of the community; and that the community may cancel the claim ... No defense can be made for this appropriation of A's possessions for the benefit of B, save one which sets out with the postulate that society as a whole has an absolute right over the possessions of each member.
The Futility of State-Directed "Market Reform": Privatization, by Kevin Carson, 5 Aug 2013
Examines how so-called "privatization" typically works, with examples from various industries and how Carson thinks it ought to work
Here's how [so-called "privatization"] typically works: You start with an infrastructure built at taxpayer expense. The state "privatizes" it by selling it off to a nominally private corporation, on terms basically set by the corporation behind the scenes. Those terms usually include an expenditure of taxpayer money (often in excess of proceeds from the sale) to upgrade the infrastructure and make it saleable; some sort of guarantee of profits to, or restriction on competition against, the privatized entity; and a large-scale asset-stripping and hollowing out after the sale takes place.
Related Topics: Free Market, The State
How We Privatized Social Security in Chile, by José Piñera, The Freeman, Jul 1997
Explains how the Chilean private pension system works and how the previous government-controlled system was transformed into the current one (the author was the Secretary of Labor and Social Security under Pinochet and designed the new system)
[E]very Chilean worker sends his monthly contribution—between 10 percent and 20 percent of wages—to a tax-deferred pension savings account. This is the individual's private property. An individual can easily find out how much is in his or her pension savings account. Now the biggest asset of Chilean workers ... is the capital accumulated in their pension savings account ... Pension savings accounts cannot be touched even during war. In that event, the government could issue war bonds, but they have no business taking private pension savings accounts. It's private property.
Imperium in Imperio, by Frank Chodorov, analysis, Jun 1950
Examines the theory of government espoused by James Madison, how property rights have regressed since then, and arguing that a States' Rights movement (meaning decentralization and local autonomy) should be focused on protecting property rights
Why does a man produce? Obviously, to satisfy his desires ... If he is deprived of the fruits of his labors, by marauders or the government, the profit in laboring is gone ... The need of living impels him to produce what he can consume immediately, but the uncertainty of possession dissuades him from accumulating ... The progress of civilization ... is in proportion to the degree of private property permitted in the going modus vivendi, and retrogression follows from the discouragement of production where confiscation is the general practice. A society of thieves cannot prosper.
The Invisible Hand Is a Gentle Hand, by Sharon Harris, 14 Sep 1998
Originally published at; defends the free market and individual liberty, quoting among others Bastiat, Thomas Jefferson, David and Milton Friedman, John Lott, Isabel Paterson, Proudhon, Adam Smith, Sowell, John Stossel and Walter Williams
Under forfeiture laws, inanimate objects can commit crimes ... Today more than 100 federal laws authorize federal agents to confiscate private property allegedly involved in violations of statutes on wildlife, gambling, narcotics, immigration, money laundering, and on and on. Federal agents can seize your property with no court order and no proof of legal violations. Billions of dollars worth of property has been seized ... from tens of thousands of Americans who have never been accused of a crime or stood trial. It's so difficult to get their property back that most victims never bother to try.
John Locke—Natural Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property, by Jim Powell, The Freeman, Aug 1996
Extensive biographical essay, including summaries of his major works
Locke established that private property is absolutely essential for liberty: "every Man has a Property in his own Person. This no Body has any Right to but himself. The Labour of his Body, and the Work of his Hands, we may say, are properly his." He continues: "The great and chief end therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their Property." Locke believed people legitimately turned common property into private property by mixing their labor with it, improving it.
John Stuart Mill and the Three Dangers to Liberty, by Richard Ebeling, Freedom Daily, Jun 2001
Evaluates John Stuart Mills arguments in his essay "On Liberty", in particular the three forms of tyranny posited by Mill and an element (private property) not emphasized by his analysis
Private property gives an individual ownership and control of a portion of the means of production through which he may then choose how and for what purposes he will live his life. Private property gives him a "territory" that is under his own jurisdiction for a degree of "self-rule." In his home and on his property, in the free society he can design his one-person "country" to fit his values, ideals, and desires. What the customs of others consider eccentric can be lived as the norm and the normal on the territory of his private property.
Liberty Defined, by F. A. Harper, 4 Sep 1957
Speech to the Mont Pelerin Society; Harper first offers his definition of liberty, then explores "adulterated" definitions, its relation to morals, moral law and basic humans rights, ending with his hope for the cause of liberty
Liberty will be allowed in society only insofar as there is acceptance of the conduct of others. Acceptance may be because of either agreement with the act or tolerance ... Tolerance in disagreement demands acceptance of separate domains within which a person is allowed to make his mistakes, if he does so with what is his rather than with what is yours. Private property within the economic arena of scarce and desired things operates to this end. Once these domains are accepted, then it becomes a prime moral right of a person "to do what I will with mine own" instead of to do what I will with your own.
Ludwig von Mises and the Justification of the Liberal Order, by William Baumgarth, The Economics of Ludwig von Mises, 15 Nov 1974
Critically examines various Mises' writings on liberalism, democracy, the wisdom of the masses, special-interest politics, equal treatment under the law, anarchism, self-determination and of course economics
The defense of private property now has a utilitarian foundation ... The political program of liberalism is, therefore, the structuring or maintaining of a social order based on private ownership of the means of production. This entails, at the very least, the curbing of the power of the government, because private property is incompatible with governmental arbitrariness. The utility of private property lies precisely in the fact of decentralization and therefore the more efficient use of knowledge than is possible when resources are directed by centralized state planning.
Ludwig von Mises: An Economist for Freedom and Free Enterprise, by Richard Ebeling, 29 Sep 2016
Discusses three major themes in the works of Mises, namely, business cycle theory, his critique of socialism and the unfettered market economy; includes list of suggested additional readings
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, socialists condemned the capitalist system and called for the abolition of private property in the means of production ... Mises argued that rationality and direction is given to all economic activity in the market economy through the institutions of private property, competition, and the price system. Private property and market competition ... generate the self-interested motives for people to use their labor, resources, and capital in ways that benefit others as well as themselves ...
Monopolies versus the Free Market, Part 1, by Gregory Bresiger, Freedom Daily, Sep 2006
Contrasts state-backed monopolies or quasi-monopolies vs. regular businesses in a free market, with historical and current examples, and discusses antitrust laws
Ruthless rate-cutting railroads should be taken over by the government. That last point was the suggestion made by myriad leaders in the Progressive Era, such as William Jennings Bryan and Herbert Croly ... Another celebrated novelist of this period [19th-century] was Edward Bellamy, whose book Looking Backward in the 1880s predicted a perfect society that had abolished private property. This anti-capitalist, sometimes utopian, literature became contagious. It is perhaps why many of these monopoly statutes are unclear and not based on a logical or coherent economic theory.
Morals and the Welfare State, by F. A. Harper, 1951
Examines five moral principles by which the idea of the Welfare State (described in more detail in an appendix) can be judged; extension of talk given 13 June 1951; later published as "Morals and Liberty" (see The Freeman, Sep 1971)
[T]he only parts of the moral code which are directly and specifically relevant are these: (1) Thou shalt not steal. (2) Thou shalt not covet. Steal what? Covet what? Private property, of course. What else could I steal from you, or covet of what is yours? I cannot steal from you or covet what you do not own as private property. As Dr. D. Elton Trueblood has aptly said: "Stealing is evil because ownership is good." ... [T]he individual's right to private property is an unstated assumption which underlies the Decalogue. Otherwise these two admonitions would be empty of either purpose or meaning.
More Victims of Immigration Control, by Sheldon Richman, 18 Jan 2008
Discusses how, aside from actual immigrants, American employers and particularly property owners along the United States-Mexico border are also victims of U.S. immigration controls, in the government's attempt to build a fence along the border
But [the immigrants themselves and] employers are not the only victims [of U.S. immigration policy]. Another group is found on the U.S.-Mexico border. They are property owners who refuse to let federal agents onto their property to determine whether the proposed border fence should be built there. The Associated Press reports,
The government is readying 102 court cases against landowners in Arizona, California, and Texas for blocking efforts to select sites for a fence along the Mexican border ... A number of property owners have granted the government access to their land. But others have refused.
Political Plundering of Property Owners, by James Bovard, Nov 2002
Details the effects of local government land and property seizures allegedly for urban renewal purposes, for improving "blighted" neighborhoods or for the benefit of sports team owners
Today — in some states and locales — election onto a city council confers the legal right and the power to attempt to destroy any part of the city that the council member personally dislikes. Every decrease in the sanctity of private property will mean an increase in insecurity for some citizens. To allow the government practically unlimited control and jurisdiction over private property is to give politicians and bureaucrats almost unlimited power to intervene in private lives. We face a choice of private property or political subjugation. Citizens can either be treated like owners — or they can be treated like serfs.
Political Science, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 18 May 2007
Reviews Frank Van Dun's 1986 paper titled "Economics and the Limits of Value-Free Science" and its implications for making an objective case for ethics, freedom and private property
One implication of this is to demolish an argument sometimes made by opponents of private property. It is said that a holder of land aggresses against others by excluding them from use of that land; thus, nonaggression implies collective ownership. But this is wrong. The first to mix his labor with an unowned parcel has 1) transformed a mere thing into a means to a human end and 2) aggressed against no one in the process. If someone else comes along and interferes, he is the aggressor by failing to respect the homesteader ... [I]f the first person to transform the parcel has no rights to it, how can the second person?
Private Property and the Rule of Law: Paul Craig Roberts III and The Spirit Of Friedrich Hayek [PDF], by Michael D. White, 1992
Commentary introducing the 1992 Frank M. Engle Lecture, "'Takings,' the economy, and legal and property rights", delivered by Paul Craig Roberts at The American College, Bryn Mawr, PA, on 11 May 1992
Hayek understood the importance of private property and recognized that the right to private property—as sacred as it may be—and the chance for economic security—as desirable as it is—are dependent on 'the certainty of the law,' whose 'significance ... for the smooth and efficient working of economic life [cannot] be exaggerated.' Seeking to protect private property and the enforceability of private agreements or contracts, Hayek was quick to identify what some have called'the imperialism of regulation.'
Related Topic: F. A. Hayek
Privatize the Airwaves!, by Sheldon Richman, 26 Apr 2004
Comments on various incidents of FCC attempts to enforce "broadcast decency standards" and questions the rationale for nationalized airwaves
Another gap in the debate is the failure to question the status of the airwaves, or broadcast spectrum, as government property ... just because we call them "the public's airwaves," it doesn't mean that's what they are. Anything said to be owned by the public is actually controlled by the government — politicians and bureaucrats. If you think you are a real part-owner of the airwaves, try selling your "share." Real owners can sell what they own. The spectrum started out as a privately owned, homesteaded resource, as innovators discovered how to use it to satisfy various human wants ...
The Rocky Road of American Taxation, by Charles Adams, Mises Daily, 15 Apr 2006
Adapted from the author's For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization; examines tax resistance in colonial America up to the Jefferson presidency
The Boston Tea Party was a turning point in colonial reaction to British rule ... Bostonian merchants disguised themselves ..., boarded merchant ships loaded with tea, and threw the tea into the harbor. This was a wanton destruction of private property in an age when private property was held in great esteem ... This wanton destruction of property was not well received in the colonies. Massachusetts was a known seedbed of hotheads and warmongers. Franklin was shocked and acknowledged that full restitution should be paid at once to the owners of the tea. Most Americans believed this way ...
Roots Of Economic Understanding, by F. A. Harper, Ideas on Liberty, Nov 1955
Explains the rudiments of economics by specifying required attributes (desirability, scarcity, exchangeability) then delving into how people, from the earliest age, become cognizant of economic concepts, but ending with criticism of econmic ignorance
The Jesse Jameses? The Al Capones? ... Did they have a sense of possession? Most assuredly they did. But they evidenced little sense of restraint ... [This] which the chronic thief lacks is founded in the right to own things—the right of ownership, of private property. There is far more to the sense of ownership than the mere disposition to possess things. This economic sense of rights to private property, which leads to restraint from theft, is clearly a moral concept ... You would not steal except as you covet what belongs to another—unless you refuse to recognize it as his private property.
Related Topics: Children, Economics, Germany, Labor, Taxation
The Sanctity of Private Property, Part 1, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Freedom Daily, Aug 1990
Contrasts, using a Christian religious context, the attitudes of 19th century and earlier Americans with respect to economic liberties (such as income taxation and occupational licensure) with those of later Americans
No myth is more pervasive among the people of the United States than that which claims that the Amer-ican economic system is based on the sanctity of private property. The American people have been taught since the first grade ... that America is the bastion of private property while the Soviet Union and China represent the system of public ownership or control of property. Myths die hard. But it is important that they be exploded, no matter how painful the result. Let us do so to this myth of the American system of "private property" which grips the minds of most Americans.
The Sanctity of Private Property, Part 2, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Jan 1991
Contrasts the attitudes of 20th century American citizens towards international trade and the oil business to citizens in communist countries, the former believing they live under a "private property" system which is not socialistic in nature
What would be a true private property system? One in which the individual is free to buy and sell goods and services anywhere in the world without the interference of his public officials. And it would be a way of life in which people were trading not because the politicians and bureaucrats permitted them too do so but rather because they have the absolute right to sell whatever belongs to them to anyone anywhere ... When will private property truly be sanctified ...? Only when the time comes when people stop believing that they have a right to take away what belongs to someone else.
Smith, Adam (1723-1790), by Ronald Hamowy, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical and bibliographical essay focusing on Adam Smith's two major works
Smith's analysis of the laws governing economic interaction develops within the context of a broader discussion dealing with the evolution of social institutions that encourage the production of wealth, the foremost of which is private property ... With each change in the mode of production there follow changes in ... the laws that relate to property that structure our notions of private possessions ... Thus, history is a progression ... from the most rudimentary notions of property to those that prevail in modern society, which alone allow for ... general prosperity.
The Tragedy of the Commons, by David J. Theroux, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 12 Jun 1994
Argues for privatization of lands owned by the United States federal government, citing the benefits of private management, the disadvantages of bureaucratic control and providing examples of enviromental groups managing private reserves
But this 'tragedy of the commons' exists wherever private property rights over natural resources are prohibited—even in the United States. For unless people can control natural resources as private property—as their own—resources will be abused. ... The quality of management of private lands in contrast to that of public lands—whether federal, state or local—bears this out: There are few if any clear-cutting, depletion, or soil erosion problems on Boise Cascade’s properties or other private forests. There are few if any overgrazing problems on private ranches. And there is far less poaching on private lands than in public parks.
Related Topic: Bureaucracy
Trapped in the Basement of Global Capitalism, by Amity Shlaes, 4 Oct 2000
The lack of clear rights to private property in developing nations may be why they find it hard to transform their fortunes
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
[David] Hume offered a justification for private property that rests on its effects upon human beings ... Societies in which property is privately held will cultivate useful habits and accomplishments in their members: property conduces to virtue ... We might add to Hume the further observation that where property is held in common, individuals will often endeavor to live by the labor of others, using the common property as a means to their own ends. The efforts expended in pursuing this strategy, however ... do not add to the stock of goods that humanity has at its disposal.
Who Owns the Internet?, by Tim Swanson, Mises Daily, 4 May 2006
Explains how and why "net neutrality" proposals came about, monopolistic tendencies, comparisons to natural resources and others held in common, and how variable pricing has been used elsewhere to solve similar problems
The main issue is not a matter of bit discrimination, multiple tiers, or even denial-of-service; rather it is a fight over private property and who owns the cornucopia of wires, cables, fibers and network infrastructure spanning the continent. Unfortunately due in large part to State intervention throughout the past century, this is a somewhat vague and nebulous area ... The real recipe for reform is not yet another round of reregulation or confiscation of private property, rather it is the abolition of State machinations involved in the telecom industry as a whole.
Why Pay For Things?, by F. A. Harper, The Freeman, Jan 1956
Explains the options to how people can obtain things, in terms a five-year old can understand
'Why do we have to pay for things?' asked a five-year-old boy at dinner one evening. ... One way to do it would be for everyone to grab what he can. ... When things are done that way, you would not really own anything. ... The other way to decide who gets what is for each person to own things. ... You own what you make. No bully has any right to it simply because he is big enough or mean enough to take it away from you. If he does take it, we say that it is still yours and he should return it to you. Under this system, the person who makes anything may sell it or give it to other people.
Related Topic: Children
Why Those Who Value Liberty Should Rejoice: Elinor Ostrom's Nobel Prize, by Peter Boettke, The Freeman, Dec 2009
Discusses Elinor Ostrom's work and viewpoints, shortly after her being awarded the Nobel Prize in economics
A point that sometimes trips up readers is that Ostrom often focuses on situations where the technology of parceling property into private plots does not exist. In these situations she studies collective, but non-State decision-making over common-pool resources. While private-property solutions are not employed in such cases, the "rules in use" that do operate accomplish what private property would have accomplished. We find rules that limit access and that make individuals in the group accountable for their misuse of the resource. We also find enforcement of those rules.
Zoning's Attack on Liberty and Property, by Bart Frazier, Freedom Daily, Oct 2006
The worst problem of all is that zoning laws violate the fundamental right of an individual to do with his property as he pleases. ... The most basic right an individual possesses is the right to his property. ... If a person is not violating another's rights in the process, he should be free to do with his property as he wishes, whether or not his neighbors approve.


The Writings of F. A. Harper—A Review, by Paul L. Poirot, The Freeman, Aug 1979
Slightly amended from the "Introduction" to The Writings of F. A. Harper, published in 1978 by the Institute for Humane Studies, and serving as a review of the "two-volume memorial edition"
Undoubtedly of first importance is the concept of private property—"the economic extension of the person." The point is stressed throughout [Harper's] writings ... Because [the individual human being] is his own man, the fruits of his peaceful actions are his property—and his responsibility ... Until a man can own what he produces, he is unlikely to produce much beyond his immediate needs. But if the product is his property, then he will strive to produce enough to meet future needs and begin to think how he might trade some of those savings for other goods or services.
Related Topics: Free Market, F. A. Harper, Money, Prices


Giants of the Scottish Enlightenment Part Three: David Hume, by James Stacey Taylor, 21 Dec 2011
Discusses the life and some the philosophical views of David Hume, in particular his argument that reason is a "slave to the passions" and attitudes toward the property of others depending on presence or lack of familial connections
For Hume, justice was narrowly concerned with respecting other people's property. You act justly if you respect the property of others. ... We are motivated and we wish others to be motivated to act justly because that is the best way of organizing society. If we want our property respected and we recognize that others have a similar claim upon their property, we should act justly towards them even if they are complete strangers to us. In Hume's famous example, if you find the property of somebody who is just a terrible person, a seditious bigot, you should return his property to him because it is his property.
Related Topic: David Hume

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Private property" as of 28 Sep 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.