The essential characteristic of socialism is the denial of individual property rights …
There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh – get first all the people’s money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants forever. … There is a natural inclination in mankind to kingly government. … I am apprehensive … that the government of the states may, in future times, end in a monarchy.
If history could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization. There is no experience to the effect that socialism could provide a standard of living as high as that provided by capitalism.
5 billion of the world’s 7 billion people don’t have the documents to live in a particular place. To be precise, they don’t have the legal property rights required to reside, own assets or do business in their own or any other country. That’s 5 billion without any enforceable guarantee that they will not be expropriated or environmentally contaminated by powerful business, government, terrorists, or criminals. That also means they will struggle to have access to credit or the ability to raise capital since borrowers typically need to pledge some kind of property in exchange. Only 1 billion people living in the West, Japan, Singapore, and the like, and another billion in the westernized areas of developing and former Soviet nations have the documents to protect and leverage their rights.
The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the law of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.
Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.
Government has no other end than the preservation of property.
Next to the right of liberty, the right of property is the most important individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and the one which, united with that of personal liberty, has contributed more to the growth of civilization than any other institution established by the human race.