For political and economic theory in general, libertarianism in particular, property rights are a pillar of central importance. One might describe the schools of political and economic thought solely by their approach to property rights, for example libertarianism as expansive and communism as constrained, with a fair degree of accuracy on the system as a whole.
Despite centuries of property rights philosophy, a fundamental weakness persists that can be most easily seen from a natural science perspective. Property classifications, such as between one's physical body, personal property, and other types of so-called private property, underlie much of the property rights theory, yet these classes are more of a result of technological limitations than philosophical or real economic distinctions.
We demonstrate through a lens of molecular and developmental biology how distinctions between types of property are misguided or illusory. Using the developing human embryo as the most basic example of property acquisition, we show that all subsequent examples of greater property acquisition and its use are fundamentally the same. The point is further developed with other biological examples.
Foundational concepts are of primary importance as their mistake persists through even the most elegant deductions. In order to defend itself from the political and economic attacks, the property rights ethic must be consistent and logical. For this, any artificial or contradictory concepts must be shed.
Bergland, D. (1986): Libertarianism in One Lesson.U.K.: Orpheus Publications.
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