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Single Idea 21095

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

Full Idea

A noted author has made property the foundation of all government; and most of our political writers seem inclined to follow him in that particular. This is carrying the matter too far.

Gist of Idea

It is an exaggeration to say that property is the foundation of all government


David Hume (Of the First Principles of Government [1750], p.25)

A Reaction

This obviously refers to John Locke. Locke's idea strikes me as hideous. It says the foundation of government is the right of property owners to protect what they have against non-owners. It implies social exclusion in the constitution.

Book Reference

Hume,David: 'Selected Essays' [OUP 1996], p.25