Wednesday, January 6, 2010
The ethics of property
My article “Classical Natural Law Theory, Property Rights, and Taxation” has just appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of Social Philosophy and Policy. It is apparently available online for free, in both PDF format and HTML (follow the links from the table of contents). You will find in it a fairly detailed exposition of classical natural law theory and its underlying metaphysics, and an account of how certain natural rights (and certain limits on those rights) follow from natural law, of how a right to private property in particular follows from it, and of what this entails vis-à-vis taxation and related issues. This is the most up-to-date and complete statement of my current position on these topics, and supersedes my earlier writings on property and taxation. As you will see, though I have repudiated the libertarian position of some of my early publications, I am still utterly opposed to socialism, social democracy, and egalitarian liberalism. The article aims to spell out what a genuinely conservative approach to property and taxation should look like.