Expect Another Robust Defense of Property

Junius has posted a thoughtful response to my defense of property. I’m going to write one more response to his fairly moderate critique , and then I’ll let it go at that — at least with regard to this particular debate. In my response I’ll address the problem of takings, which Junius seems to consider merely a matter of “adjusting and modifying the property regime,” although typically all of the burdens fall on particular persons, which is hardly consistent with the fairness and public goods considerations that are probably important to Junius (who is, by the way, a serious and careful philosopher with a bent toward analytical Marxism). What’s kept me from posting my response is my preparation for three lectures I’m giving this week to the Charles G. Koch Summer Fellows on 1. Analytical Foundations of Journalism and Public Policy Analysis; 2. The Intellectual History of Rights; and 3. The Institutional History of Limited Government. I have to admit that I love speaking about those topics, so I put some extra effort in preparing new lecture outlines. Other issues on my plate: preparing a Book Forum for Charlotte Twight’s outstanding new book Dependence by Design: The Rise of Federal Control Over the Lives of Ordinary Americans, editing entries for the Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, and reviewing Anthony de Jasay’s very cool and stimulating new book Justice and Its Surroundings. But expect another vigorous defense of property this week.