The Right to Private Property Essay

The Right to Private Property Essay - RUNNING HEAD THE...

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RUNNING HEAD: THE RIGHT TO PRIVATE PROPERTY The Right to Private Property Travis L. Drewyor National University November 16, 2016
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2 The extraordinary recognition of the societal construct of private property continues to permeate philosophical discussions. The right to private property is defined by the principle that human beings shall not be prohibited from acquiring or holding valued items that do not belong to others. (Machan, 2016) Some would argue that the appropriation of small corners of unoccupied land by individuals is an inherent human right. Others would argue that private property is merely a societal creation. John Locke stresses the necessity to allow individuals to bear the fruits of their labor through the ownership of private property. According to Locke, a man’s liberty, livelihood, and wealth are dependent on the individual’s ability to control his private property. Karl Marx, however, suggests that private property is responsible for separating classes of society and oppressing the poor, and would like to abolish private property completely. Marx’s theory correlates the ownership of private property to exploitation and oppression. “Between 450 and 400 B.C., the Greek philosopher Socrates taught the children of Athens, including Plato, that wisdom begins with an understanding of one’s own self. Socrates was sharply critical of what most people considered common knowledge.” (Reilly, 2007) Socrates devoted his life to continuously questioning traditional ideas and developing individuality. The Greeks of Aristotle’s time, in the fourth century B.C., were so interested in individuality that they invented a new type of literature: biography. (Reilly, 2007) Obviously, the ancient Greeks laid the ground work for individuality. The right to private property should be respected and upheld by every society because it hinges on our individualism. People are individuals entitled to their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. This means they own the product of their labor.
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