Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thomas Hodgskin on Government and Property.

Interesting quote I found while binge-reading mutualist critique of property, by one of the Ricardian socialist and minarchist mutualist Thomas Hodgskin:

"Among the legislative classes embodied into, and constituting the government, we must place the landed aristocracy. In fact, the landed aristocracy and the government are one--the latter being nothing more than the organized means of preserving the power and privileges of the former.... His [the landowner's]right to possess the land, not to possess the produce of his own labour, is as admirably protected as can be effected by the law. Another must not even walk on it, and all the wild animals and fruit it bears are said by the law to be his. Nature makes it a condition of man having land, that he must occupy and cultivate it, or it will yield nothing.... The mere landowner is not a labourer, and he never has been even fed but by violating the natural right of property. Patiently and perseveringly, however, has the law endeavoured to maintain his privileges, power, and wealth." - The Natural and Artificial Right of Property Contrasted, 1832

 I found it pretty powerful and on point.

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