Saturday, March 24, 2012

The US Civil War, Property Rights and Adam Smith

Adam Smith -- Champion of Freedom (Photo: James Hooper)

The Confederate States of America (CSA) mistakenly believed that they were making a stand on behalf of property rights when they seceded from the Union.  It was Lincoln's Union, however, that affirmed the genuine property rights of free men.

Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations (1776) wrote, "The property which every man has in his own labor, as it is the original foundation of all other property, so it is the most sacred and inviolable."  Where slavery exists, property rights are forever compromised. Only when property rights are respected can man be truly free.

As PJ O'Rourke wrote, "Property rights are not an invention of the rich to keep poor people off their property.  Property rights are the deed we have to ownership of ourselves."  P.J. O'Rourke, On The Wealth of Nations, 2007.

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