Liberty Quotation: Locke on Property and Labor

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Locke“Every man has a property in his own person.  This nobody has any right to but himself.  The labor of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are properly his.”

John Locke, Second Treatise of Government [1689]

Liberty Quotation of the Day: Hayek on Good Fences and Good Neighbors

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95d39/huch/1889/09“The understanding that ‘good fences make good neighbours,’ that is, that men can use their own knowledge in the pursuit of their own ends without colliding with each other only if clear boundaries can be drawn between their respective domains of free action, is the basis on which all known civilization has grown.  Property . . . is the only solution men have yet discovered to the problem of reconciling individual freedom with an absence of conflict. . . . There can be no law in the sense of universal rules of conduct which does not determine boundaries of the domains of freedom by laying down rules that enable each to ascertain where he is free to act.”

F.A. Hayek, Law, Legislation, and Liberty: Rules and Order, vol. 1. [1973]

Liberty Quotation of the Day: James Madison’s Essay on Property

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James Madison“This term in its particular application means ‘that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.’

In its larger and juster meaning, it embraces every thing to which a man may attach a value and have a right; and which leaves to every one else the like advantage.  In the former sense, a man’s land, or merchandise, or money is called his property.

In the latter sense, a man has property in his opinions and the free communication of them.

He has a property of peculiar value in his religious opinions, and in the profession and practice dictated by them.  He has a property very dear to him in the safety and liberty of his person.

He has an equal property in the free use of his faculties and free choice of the objects on which to employ them.

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.

Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses.  This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.”

James Madison, “Property,” The National Gazette, 29 March 1792