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(ReadWith) PropertyRights


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Quora Answer : Freedom: Consider property is equal to life (you spend life to gain property) – Is it wrong then to value your property above the cloud of remaining humans?

Nov 27, 2012

The (standard Libertarian) equation of property with life is just wrong.

You can acquire property WITHOUT spending your life. Eg. if you inherit it. Or win it in a lottery. Even when you are spending your life to work to earn it, the amount of property your life corresponds to varies according to a whole diffuse, holistic context that includes how many rivals there are in the market, exchange rates etc. etc.

In fact, if Libertarians really believed that property equalled life they'd subscribe to some version of the Labor theory of value which, in practice, they utterly reject.

So they don't really believe it. The ONLY reason that Libertarians make the claim that property is equivalent to life is as a rhetorical trick to try to convince you that property rights should be elevated to the same moral status as humanist rights such as the right to life, health, freedom of speech etc.

My advice is just not to fall for the rhetoric. Life, health, freedom are a whole different kind of right than mere property. And, yes, it's wrong to prioritise the latter over the former.