The Liberal Perspective of Property.

The liberal concept of property is largely the invention of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The foundation of this concept was laid by John Locke and the theory was supported by Adam Smith, Bentham, James Mill, J.S. Mill, Blackstone, legal With the maturity of capitalism and its criticism by the socialists from the latter half of nineteenth century on wards.

This concept of properly began to change. Properly began to be associated with social responsibility. This was expressed in the writings of Hobhouse, Harold Laski etc.

According to Laski the possession of property means security, “The man of property is protected form the fear of starvation”. Laski writes that it is held that man needs properly because it provides an incentive to labor. Laski has discussed the concept of property under some headings

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  1. The present system of property.
  2. Moral basis of property.
  3. Property and effort.
  4. Property and theory of industrial organization and
  5. Property and the new social order.

After rejecting the traditional doctrine of property, Laski offers a new basis for the need of property in the society. Lash is totally again the hereditary wealth because it produces a class which is free from legal obligation to labor.

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Inheritance is always justified where it means the provision of an income for widowhood and the children. In short the only justification of properly according to Laski is that

  • it is entitled to exist where it results from personal efforts and
  • it is rational when it is the outcome of functions.
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