„It is not true that the legislator has absolute power over our persons and property. The existence of persons and property preceded the existence of the legislator, and his function is only to guarantee their safety.“

Source: The Law

Last update June 3, 2021. History
Frédéric Bastiat photo
Frédéric Bastiat33
French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and… 1801 - 1850

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Yoweri Museveni photo

„In 1972, Idi Amin expelled 80,000 [Ugandan] Indians and confiscated their 4,000 properties. Now, after returning those properties to their rightful owners, we have ensured that security of persons and property are guaranteed under the constitution.“

—  Yoweri Museveni President of Uganda 1944

As quoted in "President Museveni Highlights Ugandan Achievements for Americans: Ugandan leader proud of political opening, economic growth in his country" https://web.archive.org/web/20050927025054/http://news.findlaw.com/wash/s/20050923/200509231521551.html (23 September 2005), by Jim Fisher-Thompson, Washington File, FindLaw
2000s

Adam Smith photo

„The tolls for the maintenance of a high road, cannot with any safety be made the property of private persons.“

—  Adam Smith Scottish moral philosopher and political economist 1723 - 1790

Source: (1776), Book V, Chapter I, Part III, Article I, p. 786 (See also.. Public-private partnerships).

John Adams photo

„As long as Property exists, it will accumulate in Individuals and Families. As long as Marriage exists, Knowledge, Property and Influence will accumulate in Families.“

—  John Adams 2nd President of the United States 1735 - 1826

Letter to Thomas Jefferson (16 July 1814)
1810s

Thomas Jefferson photo

„The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen, in his person and property, and in their management.“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826

1810s, Letter to H. Tompkinson (AKA Samuel Kercheval) (1816)
Context: The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen, in his person and property, and in their management. Try by this, as a tally, every provision of our constitution, and see if it hangs directly on the will of the people. Reduce your legislature to a convenient number for full, but orderly discussion. Let every man who fights or pays, exercise his just and equal right in their election.

Frédéric Bastiat photo

„Each of us has a natural right, from God, to defend his person, his liberty, and his property.“

—  Frédéric Bastiat French classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French assembly 1801 - 1850

Samuel Adams photo
Samuel Adams photo
Karl Marx photo

„Private property has made us so stupid and one-sided that an object is only ours when we have it, when it exists for us as capital“

—  Karl Marx German philosopher, economist, sociologist, journalist and revolutionary socialist 1818 - 1883

Early Writings, translated and ed. by , p. 159. https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/epm/3rd.htm
Context: Private property has made us so stupid and one-sided that an object is only ours when we have it, when it exists for us as capital or when we directly possess, eat, drink, wear, inhabit it, etc., in short, when we use it. Although private property conceives all these immediate realizations of possession only as means of life; and the life they serve is the life of private property, labor, and capitalization. Therefore all the physical and intellectual senses have been replaced by the simple estrangement of all these senses – the sense of having. So that it might give birth to its inner wealth, human nature had to be reduced to this absolute poverty.

Leszek Kolakowski photo

„It seems to us that the past is our property. Well, on the contrary — we are its property, because we are not able to make changes in it, while it fills the whole of our existence.“

—  Leszek Kolakowski Philosopher, historian of ideas 1927 - 2009

Klucz niebieski albo opowieści biblijne zebrane ku pouczeniu i przestrodze
Original: "Otóż przeciwnie – to my jesteśmy jej własnością, ponieważ nie jesteśmy w stanie dokonać w niej zmian, ona natomiast wypełnia całość naszego istnienia."

James Madison photo
Peter Kropotkin photo

„The millions of laws which exist for the regulation of humanity appear upon investigation to be divided into three principal categories: protection of property, protection of persons, protection of government.“

—  Peter Kropotkin Russian zoologist, evolutionary theorist, philosopher, scientist, revolutionary, economist, activist, geographer, writer 1842 - 1921

Source: Law and Authority (1886), IV
Context: The millions of laws which exist for the regulation of humanity appear upon investigation to be divided into three principal categories: protection of property, protection of persons, protection of government. And by analyzing each of these three categories, we arrive at the same logical and necessary conclusion: the uselessness and hurtfulness of law.

Friedrich Engels photo
Alastair Reynolds photo

„I’ll argue to the death against stupid legislation, but some rules exist for a reason.“

—  Alastair Reynolds, book On the Steel Breeze

Source: On the Steel Breeze (2013), Chapter 5 (p. 43)

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John Adams photo

„Property must be secured, or liberty cannot exist.“

—  John Adams 2nd President of the United States 1735 - 1826

No. 13
1790s, Discourses on Davila (1790)
Context: Property must be secured, or liberty cannot exist. But if unlimited or unbalanced power of disposing property, be put into the hands of those who have no property, France will find, as we have found, the lamb committed to the custody of the wolf. In such a case, all the pathetic exhortations and addresses of the national assembly to the people, to respect property, will be regarded no more than the warbles of the songsters of the forest. The great art of law-giving consists in balancing the poor against the rich in the legislature, and in constituting the legislative a perfect balance against the executive power, at the same time that no individual or party can become its rival. The essence of a free government consists in an effectual control of rivalries. The executive and the legislative powers are natural rivals; and if each has not an effectual control over the other, the weaker will ever be the lamb in the paws of the wolf. The nation which will not adopt an equilibrium of power must adopt a despotism. There is no other alternative. Rivalries must be controlled, or they will throw all things into confusion; and there is nothing but despotism or a balance of power which can control them.

Abul A'la Maududi photo

„[Islam] leaves no room of human legislation in an Islamic state, because herein all legislative functions vest in God and the only function left for Muslims lies in their observance of the God-made law.“

—  Abul A'la Maududi Indian theologian, politician and philosopher 1903 - 1979

1960s
Source: 1967 Islamic Law and Constitution, Mawdudi's writings collected and translated into English by Khurshid Ahmad, p. 77; quoted in: Charles J. Adam, "Mawdudi and the Islamic State," in John L. Esposito, ed., Voices of Resurgent Islam, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1983) on page 125.

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