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2005/08/03

The bogus distinction between civil or human rights on the one hand and property rights on the other

My computer is my property
notes Walter E. Williams as he examines the bogus distinction between civil or human rights on the one hand and property rights on the other, saying it reflects little understanding.
Does it have any rights -- like the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Are there any constitutional guarantees held by my computer? Anyone, except maybe a lawyer, would agree that to think of property as possessing rights is unadulterated nonsense.

So where do property rights come in? Property rights are human rights to use economic goods and services. Private property rights contain your right to use, transfer, trade and exclude others from use of property deemed yours. The supposition that there's a conflict or difference between human rights to use property and civil rights is bogus and misguided.

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