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Single Idea 19754

[catalogued under 25. Society / C. Social Justice / 4. Legal Rights / c. Property rights]

Full Idea

Others have spoken of the natural right that everyone has to preserve what belongs to him, without explaining what they mean by 'belonging'.

Gist of Idea

If we have a natural right to property, what exactly does 'belonging to' mean?


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on the Origin of Inequality [1754], Pref)

A Reaction

This is aimed at Locke. What Marxists will challenge is the legitimacy of property ownership, granted by patronage, enclosure, exploitation and conquest. These start as injustices, but that fades after a few generations. Locke has a labour-theory.

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.38