Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on February 10, 2013

in Complexity & Emergence, Hayek, Property Rights

… is from page 121 of the brilliant and pioneering first volume (Rules and Order, 1973) of Hayek’s trilogy, Law, Legislation, and Liberty.  The term “several property” is the more-precise legal term for the institution that we call “private property”; it’s a term favored by the great 19th-century English legal historian Sir Henry Sumner Maine as well as, more recently, by, among others, Hayek and Randy Barnett:

But the justification of the system of several property is not the interest of the property holders.  It serves as much the interest of those who at the moment own no property as that of those who do, since the development of the whole order of actions on which modern civilization depends was made possible only by the institution of property.

Indeed so.  (I would amend the above quotation only by adding, in the first sentence, the word “only” between the words “not” and “the interest….”).

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