Property Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 557 quotes )
Property breeds lawyers, I said, forbearing to add a belief that unfortunately property now seemed the only thing palpable enough to demand the respect of governments, and perhaps was the generating clout against encroachments on the spiritual protections for speech, assembly, and so on. It might turn out that without the right to possess we are not sure we really have the right to speak and to be.
Property is no longer about power, personality andcommand. It's not about vulgar display or tasteful display. Because it no longer has weight or shape. The only thing that matters is the price you pay. Yourself, Eric, think. What did you buy for your onehundred and four million dollars? Not dozens of rooms, incomparable views, private elevators. Not therotating bedroom and computerized bed. Not the swimming pool or the shark. Was it air rights? Theregulating sensors and software? Not the mirrors that tell you how you feel when you look at yourselfin the morning. You paid the money for the number itself. One hundred and four million. This is whatyou bought. And it's worth it. The number justifies itself.
Funny thing how it is. If a man owns a little property, that property is him, it's part of him, and it's like him. If he owns property only so he can walk on it and handle it and be sad when it isn't doing well, and feel fine when the rain falls on it, that property is him, and some way he's bigger because he owns it. Even if he isn't successful he's big with his property. That is so.''But let a man get property he doesn't see, or can't take time to get his fingers in, or can't be there to walk on it - why, then the property is the man. He can't do what he wants, he can't think what he wants. The property is the man, stronger than he is. And he is small, not big. Only his possessions are big - and he's the servant of his property. That is so, too.
We say that the most dangerouscriminal now is the entirely lawless modern philosopher. Comparedto him, burglars and bigamists are essentially moral men; my heartgoes out to them. They accept the essential ideal of man; theymerely seek it wrongly. Thieves respect property. They merely wishthe property to become their property that they may more perfectlyrespect it. But philosophers dislike property as property; theywish to destroy the very idea of personal possession. Bigamistsrespect marriage, or they would not go through the highlyceremonial and even ritualistic formality of bigamy. Butphilosophers despise marriage as marriage. Murderers respect humanlife; they merely wish to attain a greater fulness of human life inthemselves by the sacrifice of what seems to them to be lesserlives. But philosophers hate life itself, their own as much asother people's.
You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.
Christ represents originally: 1) men before God; 2) God for men; 3) men to man. Similarly, money represents originally, in accordance with the idea of money: 1) private property for private property; 2) society for private property; 3) private property for society. But Christ is alienated God and alienated man. God has value only insofar as he represents Christ, and man has value only insofar as he represents Christ. It is the same with money.
All the property that is necessary to a man for the conservation of the individual and his propagation of the species is his natural right, which none can justly deprive him of; but all property superfluous to such purposes is the property of the public, who by their laws have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the welfare of the public shall demand such disposition. He that does not like civil society on these terms, let him retire and live among savages.
We cordially believe in the rights of property. We think that normally and in the long run the rights of humanity, coincide with the rights of property... But we feel that if in exceptional cases there is any conflict between the rights of property and the rights of man, then we must stand for the rights of man.
As I understand it, I am being paid only for my work in arranging the words; my property is that arrangement. The thoughts in this book, on the contrary, are not mine. They came freely to me, and I give them freely away. I have no "intellectual property," and I think that all claimants to such property are theives.
Thus, it is a political axiom that power follows property. But it is now a historical fact that the means of production are fast becoming the monopolistic property of Big Business and Big Government. Therefore, if you believe in democracy, make arrangements to distribute property as widely as possible. Or take the right to vote. In principle, it is a great privilege. In practice, as recent history has repeatedly shown, the right to vote, by itself, is no guarantee of liberty. Therefore, if you want to avoid dictatorship by referendum, break up modern society's merely functional collectives into self-governing, voluntarily co-operating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Government.
We are accused of being obsessed by property. The truth is the other way round. It is the society and culture in question which is so obsessed. Yet to an obsessive his obsession always seems to be of the nature of things and so is not recognized for what it is. The relation between property and art in European culture appears natural to that culture, and consequently if somebody demonstrates the extent of the property interest in a given cultural field, it is said to be a demonstration of his obsession. And this allows the Cultural Establishment to project for a little longer its false rationalized image of itself.
Just as sex is a God-given instinct for the prolongation of the human race, so the desire for property as a prolongation of one's ego is a natural right sanctioned by natural law. A person is free on the inside because he can call his soul his own; he is free on the outside because he can call property his own. Internal freedom is based upon the fact that "I am"; external freedom is based on the fact that "I have." But just as the excesses of flesh produce lust, for lust is sex in the wrong place, so there can be a deordination of the desire for property until it becomes greed, avarice, and capitalistic aggression.