Property Rights: A Fundamental Human Right


Excerpt from Imprimis: Property Rights and Religious Liberty

"James Madison wrote an essay on property in 1792 in which he connects property rights to all human rights, including freedom of religion, speech, and the press. Madison defines property as 'every thing to which a man may attach a value and have a right, and which leaves to every one else the like advantage' (emphasis in original)—the italicized words distinguish the natural rights of the Declaration of Independence from the kind of rights proclaimed by socialism, such as the right to a guaranteed income or to free education, which by definition make claims on the property of others...

Madison concludes: 'In a word, as a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.' ...

Knowing the horrors of modern war, Churchill hated and feared war all his life. Yet he made this speech to rally his cabinet, as he would rally the British nation, to war. Why? Because he was possessed of the knowledge of the nature of the human being—the fact that we are made in God’s image to confront the eternal questions from inside a mortal body, and that our rights to our property and our rights to conscience and religious liberty are aspects of the two parts that integrate to make the human being. Churchill thought the human being was a thing produced by nature and by God and that no man, not even Adolf Hitler with his vast divisions, could ever conquer that. He fought for that belief. I think we are going to have to fight for it too."

Ref.

Property Rights and Religious Liberty
December 2015 • Volume 44, Number 12 • Larry P. Arnn, President, Hillsdale College
imprimis.hillsdale.edu/property-rights-and-religious-liberty/