For all of the virtues that the principle of Liberty bestows upon a people, the principle is nothing more than an intangible idea unless its natural byproduct, the principle of Private Property, is respected equally by all members of society. The concept of Private Property is the basis for any and all productive activity which takes place on the earth, from sowing a field to building a wells to provide access to clean water.
Beyond the ownership of one’s person, which should go without saying, a person or group of persons must be able to lawfully possess property, which they may choose to work and share as they please, with the expectation that they will be able to both employ and enjoy the fruits of their labors.
In the same way, the principle of Private Property comes with the obligation to care for and maintain the property that one is entrusted with. The principle itself provides the incentive for the property to be maintained as persons will naturally care for something that they will either enjoy themselves or prepare for sale to another free individual.
In order to be both productive and well maintained, Private property must be held at the individual, family, or community level. If property is held by the government or another large entity, it will be exploited in the same way that property is today exploited by large corporations, who have no direct incentive to care for it after they have extracted the wealth from it.
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