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Quotations about Property


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No man but feels more of a man in the world if he have a bit of ground that he can call his own.  However small it is on the surface, it is four thousand miles deep; and that is a very handsome property.  ~Charles Dudley Warner


As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce.  ~Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations


Property is organized robbery.  ~George Bernard Shaw


Few rich men own their property; the property owns them.  ~Robert Ingersoll, speech, New York, 29 October 1896


What we call real estate - the solid ground to build a house on - is the broad foundation on which nearly all the guilt of this world rests.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne


No man acquires property without acquiring with it a little arithmetic also.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Thieves respect property.  They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.  ~G.K. Chesterton


Property has its duties as well as its rights.  ~Thomas Drummond


Property is intended to serve life, and no matter how much we surround it with rights and respect, it has no personal being.  It is part of the earth man walks on.  It is not man.  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.


The right to private property meant at the same time the right and duty to be personally concerned about your own well-being, to be personally concerned about your family's income, to be personally concerned about your future.  This is hard work.  ~Mikhail Khodorkovsky


Men would live exceedingly quiet if these two words, mine and thine were taken away.  ~Anaxagoras


It is preoccupation with possession, more than anything else, that prevents men from living freely and nobly.  ~Bertrand Russell, Principles of Social Reconstruction, 1917


Private property was the original source of freedom.  It still is its main bulwark.  ~Walter Lippmann


The dichotomy between personal liberties and property rights is a false one.  Property does not have rights.  People have rights.  ~Potter Stewart


If history could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization.  ~Ludwig von Mises


Every man has a property in his own person.  This nobody has a right to, but himself.  ~John Locke


We take care of our health, we lay up money, we make our roof tight and our clothing sufficient, but who provides wisely that he shall not be wanting the best property of all - friends?  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


[T]he recognition of private property has really harmed Individualism, and obscured it, by confusing a man with what he possesses.  It has led Individualism entirely astray.  It has made gain, not growth its aim.  So that man thought that the important thing is to have, and did not know that the important thing is to be.  ~Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism


Some people talk of morality, and some of religion, but give me a little snug property.  ~Maria Edgeworth


Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws.  On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.  ~Frederic Bastiat


Property is the pivot of civilization.  ~Leon Samson


Upon the sacredness of property civilization itself depends - the right of the laborer to his hundred dollars in the savings bank, and equally the legal right of the millionaire to his millions.  ~Andrew Carnegie


The slogan of the National Association of Landlords is the commaless "We Shelter You America."  The truth of the matter is, however, that landlords shelter no one, while in fact the law shelters them... from the immediate expropriation that would occur if there were not force of gun and jail to back up this phoney, abusive, so-called property right.  ~Fred Woodworth, Rent: An Injustice


The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property.  ~John Locke


Don't you know that if people could bottle the air they would?  Don't you know that there would be an American Air-bottling Association?  And don't you know that they would allow thousands and millions to die for want of breath, if they could not pay for air?  I am not blaming anybody.  I am just telling how it is.  ~Robert Ingersoll, A Lay Sermon


As long as our civilization is essentially one of property, of fences, of exclusiveness, it will be mocked by delusions.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


So long as the great majority of men are not deprived of either property or honor, they are satisfied.  ~Niccolo Machiavelli


It is the lash of hunger which compels the poor man to submit.  In order to live he must sell - "voluntarily" sell - himself every day and hour to the "beast of property."  ~Johann Most, The Beast of Property


Just as man can't exist without his body, so no rights can exist without the right to translate one's rights into reality, to think, to work and keep the results, which means: the right of property.  ~Ayn Rand


The things you own end up owning you.  It's only after you lose everything that you're free to do anything.  ~From the movie Fight Club, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk


"Whatever is not nailed down is mine."  This is the motto of the exploiter.  "Whatever can be pried loose is not nailed down."  This is the second maxim in a country where people are rich, caring little in their present prosperity what shall become of the future.  ~David Starr Jordan, 1910


As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights.  ~James Madison


Whenever there is a conflict between human rights and property rights, human rights must prevail.  ~Abraham Lincoln


An argument fatal to the communist theory, is suggested by the fact, that a desire for property is one of the elements of our nature.  ~Herbert Spencer


No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session.  ~Author Unknown


So great moreover is the regard of the law for private property, that it will not authorize the least violation of it; no, not even for the general good of the whole community.  ~William Blackstone


By abolishing private property one takes away the human love of aggression.  ~Sigmund Freud


Religion, the dominion of the human mind; Property, the dominion of human needs; and Government, the dominion of human conduct, represent the stronghold of man's enslavement and all the horrors it entails.  ~Emma Goldman


Individual possession is the great entering wedge, which has split society into eight hundred million fragments.... It virtually, practically, and theoretically denies the brotherhood of man.  ~Hiram Stafford, The Liberator, 8 September 1844


I am what is mine.  Personality is the original personal property.  ~Norman Brown


Intellectual property has the shelf life of a banana.  ~Bill Gates


Theories are private property, but truth is common stock.  ~Charles Caleb Colton


Our houses are such unwieldy property that we are often imprisoned rather than housed by them.  ~Henry David Thoreau


By avarice and selfishness, and a groveling habit, from which none of us is free, of regarding the soil as property, or the means of acquiring property chiefly, the landscape is deformed, husbandry is degraded with us, and the farmer leads the meanest of lives.  He knows Nature but as a robber.  ~Henry David Thoreau


Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers.  ~Aristotle


The earth is the general and equal possession of all humanity and therefore cannot be the property of individuals.  ~Leo Tolstoy


Property, n.  Any material thing, having no particular value, that may be held by A against the cupidity of B.  Whatever gratifies the passion for possession in one and disappoints it in all others.  The object of man's brief rapacity and long indifference.  ~Ambrose Bierce


Justice is the insurance which we have on our lives and property.  Obedience is the premium which we pay for it.  ~William Penn


I told my mother-in-law that my house was her house, and she said, "Get the hell off my property."  ~Joan Rivers


If property had simply pleasures, we could stand it; but its duties make it unbearable.  In the interest of the rich we must get rid of it.  ~Oscar Wilde


The love of property and consciousness of right and wrong have conflicting places in our organization, which often makes a man's course seem crooked, his conduct a riddle.  ~Abraham Lincoln


The preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance to the public than all the property of all the rich men in the country.  ~John Adams


The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society.  From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not anyone have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, "Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody."  ~Jean Jacques Rousseau, A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality



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