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Property and Freedom

By Oliver DeMille

We can learn a lot about freedom by understanding how Marx wanted to establish communism. One of his ten planks of establishing communism was this:

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes…

Take away property and you take away freedom. If a man or woman cannot own land, a house, his or her own things, freedom is gone.

Note that there is more than one way to abolish property and ownership. One is to make it illegal, to not allow ownership. This is extreme, of course.

But there are other ways that are less obvious.

For example, what if it is legal to own property but only those who can afford a license, taxes, filings and attorneys to implement these things can actually own land.

This is an “abolishment,” but it is of the right rather than the left. To the person who can’t own the house, the land, or the car, however, the reality is the same.

Another way to abolish land or house ownership is simply to establish a legal-economic system where the majority cannot afford such ownership without advanced education and/or the careers which require such education.

Another is to disallow immigration so that the poor of other nations have no change to come to your nation and benefit from a system that allows ownership.

The left can abolish property ownership simply by taxing at rates that keep those with money from investing in real estate development and keep those with little money from seeking ownership.

There are many other ways to in effect abolish property ownership. Any of them hurt freedom.

Whatever your politics, it is important to evaluate each policy to ensure that you are not unknowingly supporting a Marxian reduction of freedom.


Oliver DeMille is the founder and former president of George Wythe University, a co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership, and a co-creator of TJEd Online.

He is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century, and The Coming Aristocracy: Education & the Future of Freedom.

Oliver is dedicated to promoting freedom through leadership education. He and his wife Rachel are raising their eight children in Cedar City, Utah.

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