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Property and Freedom: The Story of How Through the Centuries Private Ownership Has Promoted Liberty and the Rule of Law By Richard Pipes

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07/30/2014Walter Block

 

Volume 5, No. 1 (Spring 2002)

 

Pipes does make a contribution to our appreciation for private property. It cannot be denied that the book starts out on a high plain. Certainly, Pipes is correct in locating the difficulties suffered by both Russia and later the U.S.S.R. in terms of the lack of appreciation for private property endemic in that society. And what could be more uplifting than to be told, with clarity and passion, that property rights promote stability, constrain the powers of government, enable people to capture the fruits of their own labor, enhance economic efficiency, and promote individuals’ sense of self-worth.  As a historian of property, throughout the centuries and all around the world, Pipes is exemplary. And this goes, in spades, for his criticism of how property is treated under both communism and fascism. It is only his economic and political understanding of the concept—particularly in regard to the welfare state—with which I wish to quarrel.

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Walter Block is the Harold E. Wirth Eminent Scholar Endowed Chair in Economics at Loyola University, senior fellow of the Mises Institute, and regular columnist for LewRockwell.com.

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Cite This Article

Block, Walter. Property and Freedom: The Story of How Through the Centuries Private Ownership Has Promoted Liberty and the Rule of Law  By Richard Pipes. The Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics 5, No. 1 (Spring 2002): 97–101.

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