By Tom Bowden
Instead of protecting property rights, the world's governments have become their chief violator. Whenever overseas oil company assets are nationalized, or local building projects are thwarted by land use regulations, or private homes are seized through eminent domain, we are reminded of Ayn Rand's warning that "without property rights, no other rights are possible."
The right to property is a principle identifying a fundamental requirement of man's life. Therefore, government should not abrogate property rights by "balancing" them against the so-called public interest or through other modern distortions such as "public property," the "police power" or "public use."
In this course, Mr. Bowden goes behind the headlines to explore how the myth of "public property" enriches oil-funded dictatorships in Iran, Venezuela and Russia; how a distorted view of the "police power" hampers land use and development in America; and how the concept of "public use" is used to rob peaceful homeowners through eminent domain.
This course focuses throughout on the cardinal principles that should govern the legal acquisition, use, and disposal of material assets in a fully free society: objective value creation, freedom from the initiation of physical force, and sanctity of contract.
This course was recorded at the 2009 Objectivist Summer Conference in Boston, MA.
(MP3 download; 3 hrs., 59 min., with Q & A, 171.62 MB)