Kiwi Polemicist

August 31, 2009

• Property rights are a part of human nature

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Yesterday I witnessed an 18 month old child squawk when her big brother tried to take a piece of her food. Clearly she has a basic understanding of property rights, i.e. “That food is mine”. You don’t have to teach children the concept of property rights, and from this I conclude that property rights are a part of human nature, i.e. it’s a “built in feature” added by our designer.

The bedrock of libertarianism is property rights¹, and I believe that libertarianism is consistent with human nature. This belief is supported by the fact that sociopolitical systems that try to remove all personal property rights do not flourish and last, whether they be involuntary (e.g. Socialism/Communism/Marxism), or voluntary (e.g. hippie-type communes). These systems fail because they are contrary to and hostile to the way we are made.

The girl that I witnessed defending her property rights is living in a Socialist country and as soon as she starts earning money the state will begin to violate those property rights on a daily basis². The sad thing is that so many adults accept this situation without so much as a squawk, despite the fact that even a toddler recognises theft when she sees it.

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Related posts:

There is no such thing as “human rights”: a classical liberal perspective on the Electoral Finance Act

What is a “social contract”?

1. Property rights are summed up by the non-aggression axiom, which says “It is illicit to initiate or threaten invasive violence against a man or his legitimately owned property”.

2. The only things certain in life are death and taxes, but at least death doesn’t get any worse :)

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6 Comments »

  1. What about the theft by property owners that stole value that was created by workers, and professionals that had received value in the form of a wage that was much less than the value that was created by these workers at their job.
    Because of this exploitation by the private sector, the workers had found it necessary to organize as a class so as to get a larger share for themselves of that gross national product, that they ,and only they, produced.
    The robbery of share croppers thet were forced to sell their labor and sweat to those that owned private property is another part of this history of exploitation by owners of private property.
    Property owners from the beginning of time has stolen from those that were born without property and were considered by feudal land owning aristocrats as commoners that had no rights except the right to be exploited.

    Comment by despicable — August 31, 2009 @ 8:16 pm

    • despicable: it sounds like you’ve been reading the Communist Manifesto, and we all know how that ideology wrecked the USSR.

      Comment by Kiwi Polemicist — September 1, 2009 @ 1:04 am

  2. “The sad thing is that so many adults accept this situation without so much as a squawk, despite the fact that even a toddler recognises theft when she sees it.”

    Beautifully put, KP.

    Comment by Sus — September 29, 2009 @ 6:20 pm

  3. […] Property rights are a part of human nature […]

    Pingback by Imaginary human rights more important than real property rights « Kiwi Polemicist — January 13, 2010 @ 10:54 am

  4. […] Property rights are a part of human nature […]

    Pingback by Bar owner’s property rights wrecked by human rights « Kiwi Polemicist — January 13, 2010 @ 11:07 am


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