America's Founders and Founding Principles

Property Rights

If we have no right to the property we own, we have less freedom.  our government is designed so that no other man, or the govenrment itself can seize property or the services of another person.  Many philosophers and economists have recoginzed property rights as one of the hallmarks of a successful and free society.

Without property rights, men and women cannot be sure that when they "mix their labor with the soil" (John Locke), that the produce will remain with them.  They can count on the trading the fruits of their labor in free market. They can be sure that the value of their services will not be discounted by a government authority. The government will protect them from theft by another person through the law and the courts and the government itself will not seize the property.

The Fifth amendment of the constitution annuciates this well

V......nor shall any person deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

If men and women can't be secure on their own property, they will find it hard to exercize any other right.  Those who seek to redistribute property through force of law to satisfy a misguided and incorrectly defined vision of "justice" are acting in unjust ways. The injustice of distriubuting property through force and not trading it in a free market erodes society and leads to dictatorship.