Thursday, 19 September 2019

"If you surround property with state restrictions, interfere with free trade and any part of the open market ... make compulsory arrangements for tenant and landowner ... you will weaken the motives for acquiring property, and blunt the edge of the most powerful material instrument that exists for your own advancement" #QotD



"And through it all avoid that favourite, that much loved snare of the politician, by which he ever seeks to rivet his hold upon you, refuse to attack and weaken in any manner the full rights of property. You, who are workers, could not inflict on your own selves a more fatal injury....
    "If you surround property with state restrictions, interfere with free trade and any part of the open market, interfere with free contract, make compulsory arrangements for tenant and landowner, allow the present burdens of rate and tax to discourage ownership and penalize improvements, you will weaken the motives for acquiring property, and blunt the edge of the most powerful material instrument that exists for your own advancement.
    "Only remember—as we have said—that great as is your material interest in safeguarding the rights of individual property, yet higher and greater are and ever will be the moral reasons that forbid our sanctioning any attack upon it, or our suffering state burdens and restrictions and impediments to grow round it. True liberty—as we said—cannot exist apart from the full rights of property; for property is—so to speak—only the crystallised form of free faculties.
    "They take the name of liberty in vain, they do not understand its nature, who would allow the state ... to play with property. Everything that is surrounded with state restrictions, everything that is state-mutilated, everything taxed and burdened, loses its best value, and can no longer call out our energies and efforts in their full force.
    "Preserve, then, at its best and strongest the magic of property; leave to it all its stimulating and transforming virtues. It is one of the great master keys that open the door to all that in a material sense you rightly and proudly wish to do and to be."
~ Auberon Herbert (1838-1906), from his 'Plea for Voluntarism,' included in his essay collection The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State
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