Dr. Kirsten Lombard Explains Private Property
The following ideas are summarized from a speech given by Dr. Kirsten Lombard, Corporate Communications Specialist in the Editorial Department at a leading provider of technology services. Continue reading this page for more discussions on property rights.
We tend to think that private property is real estate, or things we can own. But it goes far deeper: property rights go immediately back to your person. Just because you don’t have money, just because you don’t own land, doesn’t mean you don’t have property rights. You are your own property.
If the government can control you, if the government can control everything that you own, then you are not free. Either you have a right to own property, or you are property.
There are two fundamental concepts to a free and prosperous society: individualism and private property, and they go together. Property rights not only make the person living in a shack on half acre equal to the person who lives in a chateau on 40 acres, they make this person able to become that person.
The person who lives in the shack can begin to leverage the half an acre that he has, to build business, to do all sorts of other things, so that eventually he can own the mansion on the 40 acres.
If we don’t have property rights, we are dependent upon the government to give us whatever they see fit. There is no guarantee you ‘re ever going to get to the chateau on the 40 acres, and probably you won’t. You are likely to remain the person in the shack on the half acre, and probably you won’t even own the half acre. That will belong to the government too.
Private property rights are important because they provide a block on the government. It is a stumbling block to their total control. If you own things, if you are in possession of yourself, then they can’t control you and what you own. Then they can’t control everything. That keeps government in check. Private property rights are really important in that respect, as well as many others.
View Dr. Lombard’s full presentation here: