Cochin, India
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Ahead of the next Cafe on Tuesday October 18th at The Gate, we thought you might like to try this poll.

It seems that, alongside the right to vote, the right to private property is almost universally accepted as the basis of a democratic society. Yet in all such societies, economic inequality appears to be a feature. Are such inequalities

  • unfair features of societies whose economic life is centred on the private ownership of goods,
  • or simply the fair outcome of many individual choices and actions, for which individuals are ultimately responsible?

Vote below on whether or not you think private property necessarily leads to injustice.  Comments, reflections (or criticisms of the poll question!) can all be added beneath this post, and the latest results will be displayed after you vote.

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2 thoughts on “Poll: What’s the point of private property?”

  1. The idea that private (exclusive, asymmetric) occupation of key resources necessarily impoverishes by dispossessing one part of society as it simultaneously enriches the other is an observation that may be traced at least as far back as St Augustine and Aristotle.

    Wish I could be there for the very timely talk!

  2. I’d disagree with the second question. It’s never a ‘fair’ outcome of individual choices and outcomes because all too often the extent to which we can access the common resources we should all be sharing in is the result of nothing more than the accident of our birth. While some may come to possess more as a result of hard work, others will have nothing as a result of being born at the wrong time and in the wrong place. How can that ever be fair?

    I’d also add that for many the point of private property is to define themselves as human beings in ways which are fundamentally unhealthy. ‘I shop therefore I am’ etc … The ‘haves’ derive much comfort from the fact that the ‘have-nots’ exist. The destitution of others makes the ownership of private property all the more enjoyable. Sad world.

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