Private Property – As Viewed by James Madison and a Facebook Friend

Private PropertyThe concept of private property — that which belongs to an individual and ownership of which is protected by government – appears several places in the United States Constitution, most prominently in Amendment V: “…nor [shall any person] be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”

The Papers of James Madison contain an excellent essay on private property. Here is a quote,

Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.

That said, that the only real function of government is to protect the property of individuals – including life and liberty, the ultimate expressions of property – Madison goes on to warn readers how government could fail.

That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest.

That is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where arbitrary restrictions, exemptions, and monopolies deny to part of its citizens that free use of their faculties, and free choice of their occupations, which not only constitute their property in the general sense of the word; but are the means of acquiring property..

A just security to property is not afforded by that government, under which unequal taxes oppress one species of property and reward another species: where arbitrary taxes invade the domestic sanctuaries of the rich, and excessive taxes grind the faces of the poor..

The United States is awash in taxation; subsidies to everybody and his uncle; monopolies in the media, utilities, on-line “stores,” farming (think Monsanto). It would be safe to say that Madison would consider such a profile as of that of a government least prepared to defend anyone’s private property.

Here are more quotes. Not from one of our distant Founding Fathers, but from a current Facebook Friend commenting on a post asking “What do you dislike most about taxes?” Note the connection made between taxation and private property, as James Madison discussed.

money bagThe majority of the public don’t know anything about taxes, other than taxes come out of their pay check. The government performs thievery and then makes themselves look good by “giving it back” to the people. They take our money and then decide how it would be best spent, with our best interests in mind (hilarious!!!!). For example, let’s take a look at education. We pay school taxes (if owning property) and then the government decides, for us, how it’s best spent (ie. curriculum). They take the credit for offering educational services, WITH OUR MONEY! On top of that, they pick what we have learned and what future generations will learn (for as long as the Dept of Education exists). What better way to control the population by stealing their money and using it to teach them that stealing their own money is completely fine. It’s genius, actually.

Owning property. We don’t own shit. You buy a home and call it yours, but it’s not yours – we’re on a short leash. Pay off your mortgage and you’re still paying another, endless mortgage, in the form of taxation. Pay off your mortgage (“own” your house) and don’t pay your taxes… bye-bye house! But how? I thought you owned it? Ha. The public, in general, is uneducated and the highly sought after dream of being a home owner is a facade. The government wants you to own a home, so they can take more money from you.

Another Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, conveyed what our Founders intended as a form of government.

“A Republic, if you can keep it.”