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(Property rights)-- The forgotten fundamental right
The Orange County Register ^ | 4 August 2002 | Steven Greenhut

Posted on 08/04/2002 9:31:38 AM PDT by thinktwice

Edited on 04/14/2004 10:05:19 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

The American public can easily grasp the constitutional concepts of "free speech," or "free exercise of religion," or the "right to peaceably assemble." By contrast, the phrase "property rights" doesn't have the same cachet - it just lies there like some arcane principle that must be debated by lawyers before we know what it really means.


(Excerpt) Read more at ocregister.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: billofrights; freedom; happiness; landgrab; property; pufflist; rights
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Excellent article, highlighted (imho) by the words ...

I once heard a cop say he should have every right to search my home any time he pleases. If I have nothing to hide, then I should have nothing to fear.

I'll give him credit for this much: Perfectly summarizing the philosophy of the police state.

1 posted on 08/04/2002 9:31:38 AM PDT by thinktwice
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To: thinktwice
Jefferson didn't replace 'property' with 'pursuit of happiness.' Jefferson wrote 'property' then Franklin, I think, changed it to 'pursuit of happiness' crossing out property.
2 posted on 08/04/2002 9:33:54 AM PDT by freedomcrusader
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To: thinktwice
Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.
You must sacrifice your property and labor to my vision of the greater good and fairness.
3 posted on 08/04/2002 9:58:59 AM PDT by Abcdefg
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To: *landgrab; *BillOfRights; madfly
Index Bump
4 posted on 08/04/2002 10:21:42 AM PDT by Free the USA
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To: thinktwice
bump
5 posted on 08/04/2002 10:46:43 AM PDT by quietolong
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To: Abcdefg
Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. You must sacrifice your property and labor to my vision of the greater good and fairness.

Nice try, but your out-of-a-novel quotation (?) would be a dramatic portrayal of an EVIL CHARACTER within Ayn Rand's novel, "Atlas Shrugged," and it does not reflect Ayn Rand's philosophy in any way other than representing the direct opposite to her philosophy.

6 posted on 08/04/2002 10:52:32 AM PDT by thinktwice
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To: thinktwice
Bumping for a thorough read! I can't wait.
7 posted on 08/04/2002 11:11:12 AM PDT by AuntB
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To: thinktwice
:+:+:If one pays-off their mortgage on a property, why are they only allowed to possess the property deed and never see ownership of the land title?:+:+:
8 posted on 08/04/2002 11:16:36 AM PDT by Sara Of Earth
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To: freedomcrusader
Jefferson didn't replace 'property' with 'pursuit of happiness.'
Jefferson wrote 'property' then Franklin, I think, changed it to
'pursuit of happiness' crossing out property.

I didn't know that.  The birth of PC?

9 posted on 08/04/2002 11:33:46 AM PDT by gcruse
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To: Sara Of Earth
If one pays-off their mortgage on a property, why are they only allowed to possess the property deed and never see ownership of the land title?

You'd be best advised to see an attorney, because different states have different laws; but recording a deed with County authorities is usually all it takes to establish good title.

I seem to recall that deeds are automatically title documents, and that some deeds might even be called "Deeds of Title." Check it out.

10 posted on 08/04/2002 2:36:36 PM PDT by thinktwice
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To: thinktwice
Great, great, great article. We all need to read this again and again.
11 posted on 08/04/2002 3:32:32 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: freedomcrusader
Pursuit of happiness is one of those nebulous, New-Agey concepts. Like, dude, I just wanna be happy. How exactly do courts uphold one's right to try to be happy, especially in our current world where everyone thinks they have a right to the ever-elusive goal of actual happiness?

There's a talk show host by the name of Dennis Prager who has what I think is an interesting test which, when I was a bartender, I used to use often when I was bored. He says ask someone, "Which one of these four qualities do you feel is the most important to strive for in your life: (1) to be successful; (2) to be good; (3) to be happy; or (4) to be intelligent?"

He says that 95 percent of the folks he asks this of reply "To be happy." In my bartending days, the answer to this question was 100 percent "To be happy."

I asked my daughter this question and she replied, "Well, I know what you'd want me to say. You'd want to to be good, but I just want to be happy."

12 posted on 08/04/2002 3:41:38 PM PDT by Auntie Mame
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To: thinktwice
Alexander Hamilton: "A power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will. Property must be sacred or liberty cannot exist."

James Madison: "Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions", and:

John Adams: "[t]he moment that idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the Laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.

Daniel Webster: "No other rights are safe where property is not safe."

As we know, early American common law descended from English common law. What did the English think of private property?

Magna Carta: No Freeman shall be taken, or imprisoned, or be disseised [deprived wrongfully of real property] of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any otherwise destroyed; nor will we pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful Judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land. 1297

John Locke: "The great chief end therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their Property." He also said, "Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience..." --2nd Treatise of Government, 1690 the principal absolute rights which appertain to every Englishman,"

William Blackstone: The principal absolute rights which appertain to every Englishman [are] personal security, personal liberty, and private property.

13 posted on 08/04/2002 3:51:56 PM PDT by snopercod
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To: snopercod
I agree with all of what you posted. Try telling that, when you go to the County Clerk when it is time to pay property tax.
14 posted on 08/04/2002 4:11:03 PM PDT by carenot
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To: freedomcrusader
"It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject, that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance. By an universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common, is the property for the moment of him who occupies it, but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society." --Thomas Jefferson

15 posted on 08/04/2002 4:14:08 PM PDT by Roscoe
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To: thinktwice; *puff_list
This is a MUST READ folks - it is EXACTLY what we have been talking about for years.
16 posted on 08/04/2002 4:21:51 PM PDT by Gabz
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To: Sir_Ed; Gdpleaser; Cato; Storm Orphan; EverOnward; iconoclast; Tigen; Liberty911; Peter Libra; ...
Please share this great article with someone.
17 posted on 08/04/2002 4:48:32 PM PDT by AuntB
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To: Gabz
Thanks, Gabz. BTTT!
18 posted on 08/04/2002 7:05:30 PM PDT by Max McGarrity
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To: AuntB
Share this article...good idea.
19 posted on 08/04/2002 11:55:39 PM PDT by lakey
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
You might like this one.
20 posted on 08/05/2002 2:37:32 AM PDT by snopercod
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To: thinktwice
There are plenty of self-styled conservatives who view property rights as an obstacle to progress or patriotism or to a "well-ordered" society. I once heard a cop say he should have every right to search my home any time he pleases. If I have nothing to hide, then I should have nothing to fear.

Yeah.
And, that cop's been posting a lot on FR too.

21 posted on 08/05/2002 4:30:31 AM PDT by ppaul
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To: Libertarianize the GOP; Stand Watch Listen; freefly; expose; Fish out of Water; .30Carbine; ...
ping
22 posted on 08/05/2002 7:51:27 AM PDT by madfly
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To: madfly
BTTT!!!!!!
23 posted on 08/05/2002 8:19:03 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: madfly
"If we would have civilization and the exertion indispensable to its success, we must have property; if we have property, we must have its rights; if we have the rights of property, we must take those consequences of the rights of property which are inseparable from the rights themselves. "

- James Fenimore Cooper
24 posted on 08/05/2002 8:21:05 AM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: madfly
Thanks for the heads up! IMHO, property taxes cause more erosion of these rights than anything else. Each year, the tax authorities effectively obtain an ownership interest by assessment. Just my two cents...
25 posted on 08/05/2002 8:29:17 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: lakey
BTT!
26 posted on 08/05/2002 9:23:51 AM PDT by AuntB
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To: thinktwice
There is only so much property. What happens when you want to own private property but it's all owned by others?
27 posted on 08/05/2002 9:29:37 AM PDT by Consort
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To: snopercod
William Blackstone: The principal absolute rights which appertain to every Englishman [are] personal security, personal liberty, and private property.

Ah yes, Blackstone. But the problem is that even Blackstone when using absolutist language about Property then listed 500 exceptions and modifiers to Property Rights in law as pointed out by Forrest McDonald so well in Novus Ordo Seclorum.

Russell Kirk was always careful to use the term "Prescriptive" when discussing Property.

"Third, conservatives believe in what may be called the principle of prescription ["that is, of things established by immemorial usage, so that the mind of man runneth not to the contrary"]. Conservatives sense that modern people are dwarfs on the shoulders of giants, able to see farther than their ancestors only because of the great stature of those who have preceded us in time."
It took me a long time to fully appreciate why he did this. As Sowell points out in "A Conflict of Visions" a mere battle of Rights in a metaphysical sense will always have the right held by one overcome by the right held by many, yeilding an situation where property will always suffer. It is one of his areas where he criticizes doctrinaire libertarian thought as being inconsistant.

The author of this makes the same point about the conflict of Rights.

Property is the foundation of all civilized society and therefore metaphysical constructs hold no sway in overruling it. It is only modified by usages and settled changes over a long period of time--such as common law and statute law allowing rights to water access in certain situations and similar modifiers that have been settled for half a millenium. Prescription is rarely mentioned and is a obtuse issue. But it is just the foundation upon which Property rests.

28 posted on 08/05/2002 9:29:44 AM PDT by KC Burke
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To: thinktwice
Stretching the "purfuit of happineff" to cover private property pertaining to real estate is murky. The controlling Amendments are the 4th and 5th, and the other basis is the 8th Commandment of Mosaic Law. All implied, nothing explicit.

Take such a murky concept and further subdivide it into public property and private property, and there is the second degree of murkiness -- murkiness to a murky power.

This is the absolute source of debate in the world and such poor definition cannot lead anywhere than continued chaos in law and in government. Civilizations rise and fall because of this, and always will.

29 posted on 08/05/2002 9:32:17 AM PDT by RightWhale
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To: Jimer
There is only so much property. What happens when you want to own private property but it's all owned by others?

You do one of the following:

A....Pay a price established by a willing seller.

B....If the Owner is not able to defend his ownership against all forces, you change the Government's basic function of defending his Ownership.

C....Come up with a Right you, and possibly many others, hold that Trumps his Right and in the battle of Rights, you steal his property.

30 posted on 08/05/2002 9:52:02 AM PDT by KC Burke
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To: RightWhale
Dr. John C Eastman traced some of that issue in May and that Constitutional legal scholar says:
In one of the most famous Federalist papers, Federalist 10, James Madison wrote that the first object of government was the protection of the diversity of the faculties of men, from which the rights of property originate. The right to acquire and protect property was considered to be one of the fundamental, inalienable natural rights of mankind, and it is recognized as such in most of the original state constitutions and nearly all of the subsequent state constitutions. Pennsylvania's Constitution of 1776 is fairly typical, recognizing "That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and inalienable rights, amongst which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety."
In other words, the Pursuit of Happiness issue is only murky in the Delaration...it wasn't murky to the founders. It was clearly a settled matter.
31 posted on 08/05/2002 10:05:54 AM PDT by KC Burke
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To: KC Burke
It was clearly a settled matter.

Which is the problem. So settled that it isn't mentioned explicitly in the federal Constitution, almost inexplicable considering the presence of the Bill of Rights. There has been an unending process of backfilling ever since, especially with defining public versus private property. The Mining Law of 1872 is one example.

32 posted on 08/05/2002 10:13:24 AM PDT by RightWhale
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To: Jimer
What happens when you want to own private property but it's all owned by others?

The best was is to arrange your affairs to enter the market and buy property. Otherwise, you might become a politician and unethically take property using government's coercive powers. Last resort tactics -- not recommended -- involve taking property by force, fraud or theft.

33 posted on 08/05/2002 10:16:54 AM PDT by thinktwice
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To: AuntB
Am sending this thread via e-mail.
34 posted on 08/05/2002 10:34:06 AM PDT by lakey
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To: Sara Of Earth
Land in America is held under co-allodial title.
35 posted on 08/05/2002 11:22:06 AM PDT by B4Ranch
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To: snopercod; thinktwice
snopercod -- thanks for the ping!

And -- thinktwice -- thanks for posting this excellent opinion piece by Greenhut!

36 posted on 08/05/2002 11:27:32 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: All
This is the sixth in a series :

Summer of Freedom:
Essays on Liberty

37 posted on 08/05/2002 11:31:50 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: RightWhale
The reason that property rights aren't directly mentioned in the Constitution is because the founders provided an indirect method on insuring property rights.

Originally, only land owners could vote. If only land owners control the government, property rights would likely be kept quite safe.

38 posted on 08/05/2002 11:39:36 AM PDT by Knitebane
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To: RightWhale
The reason that property rights aren't directly mentioned in the Constitution is because the founders provided an indirect method on insuring property rights.

Originally, only land owners could vote. If only land owners control the government, property rights would likely be kept quite safe.

39 posted on 08/05/2002 11:39:53 AM PDT by Knitebane
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To: Knitebane
A valid point. Maybe it wasn't fair to all persons, but it was workable. What we have now has been undermined and in process of collapse.
40 posted on 08/05/2002 11:42:27 AM PDT by RightWhale
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To: Knitebane; RightWhale
I think in my post above we see the place that Property played in the State Constitutions and the founders saw the state arena as the place for Property, contract law, statute and common law and even capital crimes. The formation of the Federal Government was done with a very limited scope planned for that creature.

Federal protection and action would have been a lessening of State Government and its local responsiveness and control that would have been unthinkable.

We don't need to add protection but instead, we need to limit Federal involvement and "takings".

41 posted on 08/05/2002 12:13:36 PM PDT by KC Burke
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To: freedomcrusader
And Walton has named us all peasants with no rights........
42 posted on 08/05/2002 2:29:42 PM PDT by Eustace
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To: thinktwice
Exactly. And that is the basic premise behind probable cause. If you have nothing to hide, then why do they need to search?
43 posted on 08/05/2002 4:26:32 PM PDT by Free Vulcan
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To: madfly
thanks for all of the pings
44 posted on 08/05/2002 5:14:42 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: thinktwice; Eustace
I just got Claire Wolfe and Aaron Zelman's(wow, a gentile and a Jew joining forces-I Love It!) new book, "The State Vs. The People" and they have a very nice "mission statement" of the Single Core Philosophy of a Police State.

Advocates of a police state believe that anything not under government control is,
by definition, out of control.

I think you can see this expressed repeatedly by our resident statists and in the remark of that cop.

You all take care,
CATO

45 posted on 08/05/2002 8:35:50 PM PDT by Cato
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To: Roscoe
Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society

Evidently not a popular viewpoint, but reality is often not popular.

46 posted on 08/05/2002 8:40:36 PM PDT by RightWhale
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To: thinktwice
BRAVO!!! Love that OC Register! Thanks for this!
47 posted on 08/05/2002 8:45:06 PM PDT by dcwusmc
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To: thinktwice
If it's my flag on my property then I can burn it if I darn well please.

Substittute "dog" or "child" for "flag" to see ow ridiculous this statement is.

48 posted on 08/05/2002 11:17:22 PM PDT by TopQuark
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To: RightWhale
The free lunch crowd thinks that our carefully evolved systems of property rights just appeared by magic.
49 posted on 08/06/2002 1:14:14 AM PDT by Roscoe
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To: TopQuark
Substittute "dog" or "child" for "flag" to see ow ridiculous this statement is.

What is ridiculous is the liberal assignment of setinent qualities to non-sentinent articles.

50 posted on 08/06/2002 3:19:43 AM PDT by brityank
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