One ideological claim is that private property is theft, that the natural product of the existence of property is evil, and that private ownership therefore should not exist... What those who feel this way don't realize is that property is a notion that has to do with control - that property is a system for the disposal of power. The absence of property almost always means the concentration of power in the state.
... legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property... Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions or property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there are in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right.
Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. But if unlimited or unbalanced power of disposing property, be put into the hands of those who have no property, France will find, as we have found, the lamb committed to the custody of the world. In such a case, all the pathetic exhortations and addresses of the national assembly to the people, to respect property, will be regarded no more than the warbles of the songsters of the forest.
But if we are to retain freedom, then we can only do so by keeping the determining mass of the citizens the possessors of property with personal control over it, as individuals or as families. For property is the necessary condition of economic freedom in the full sense of that term. He that has not property is under economic servitude to him who has property, whether the possessor of it be another individual or the State.
A product of your life and liberty is your property. Property is the fruit of your labor, the product of your time, energy, and talents. It is that part of nature that you turn to valuable use. And it is the property of others that is given to you by voluntary exchange and mutual consent. Two people who exchange property voluntarily are both better off or they wouldn't do it. Only they may rightfully make that decision for themselves.
There is something that governments care for more than human life, and that is the security of property, and so it is through property that we shall strike the enemy.... Those of you who can break windows--break them. Those of you who can still further attack the secret idol of property, so as to make the Government realize that property is as greatly endangered by women's suffrage as it was by the Chartists of old--do so. And my last word is to the Government: I incite this meeting to rebellion!
Property is, after all, a social convention, an agreement about someone's exclusive right to use a thing in specified ways. However, we seem to have forgotten this. We seem to think that property belongs to us in some essential way, that it is of us. We seem to think that our property is part of ourselves, and that by owning it we therefore make ourselves more, larger, greater.
I want everyone to keep the property that 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. This is the crucial matter. The Third Reich will always retain its right to control the owners of property.
As to the Income Tax, my opinion is that the needful revenue would be fairly and most fairly raised if paid by property, and by individuals in proportion to their property...A Property Tax should be an assessment upon all land and buildings, and canals and railroads, but not on property such as machinery, stock in trade, etc. The aristocracy have squeezed all they can out of the mass of the consumers, and now they lay their daring hands on those not wholly impoverished.
In the nature of things, those who have no property and see their neighbors possess much more than they think them to need, cannot be favorable to laws made for the protection of property. When this class becomes numerous, it becomes clamorous. It looks on property as its prey and plunder, and is naturally ready, at times, for violence and revolution.
It is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from nature at all. It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance. By a universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common is the property for the moment of him who occupies it; but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society.
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