Essay: Property Rights in the Scenario the Youngest

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Property Rights

In the scenario the youngest son Danny says to the other children: "You're all forgetting that this property isn't yours! it's Mom's! She and she alone should decide what she wants to do with it. This whole conversation should not have taken place, and I won't be a party to any further discussion of the division of Mom's property." Danny's words echo the philosopher John Locke's statement that it is the individual who has the right to administer his or her property. Property ownership is part of every human being's intrinsic or natural rights. All human beings have a right to life, liberty, and property, free from pressure from the sovereign or any other administrating government authority. In other words, a person should be free to make good or bad decisions with his or her property. If a wealthy eccentric wants to leave his or her estate to their beloved companion dog, that is their right under American law, which has its roots in British common law, according to Louis Wright. According to Locke, the American government cannot decide that there are better uses for a piece of privately owned property, so the law protects Lillian's right to property.

Even though Edna may have helped her mother more than the other siblings during Lillian's final years, Lillian may have other considerations that she wishes to address when dispensing of her property and that is also her right. Lillian should not be pressured by the children to leave her property to one child over the others, according to Locke's view of natural rights. This pressure might cloud her judgment, as she does not want to create family discord during her final days even though she has agreed to go along with what her children think is best. Adopting a 'hands off' policy would be the fairest thing for the children to do, and in keeping with Locke's philosophy of government that a government should take a 'hands off' policy in regards to property in most instances.

Of course, even an objective observer might want Lillian to have more sensitivity to the needs of her some of the children more than others. Locke also stresses the impact of the community on protecting individual rights, given that it is the community that produces the government and the system of laws that enables property rights to be enforced. Without Edna, Lillian probably could not have kept her property after her husband died. The elderly woman could not have lived alone and managed such a large house without assistance. However, under the law Lillian is not obliged to follow Edna's wishes. The laws that free us from the dangers of living in a state of nature and a state of 'survival of the fittest' described in "The Second Treatise on Government" give human beings the rights of property ownership, and the right to dispense with property, without it being taken by a sovereign to serve his own purposes, the purposes of the state, or the purposes of church morality, without due cause. Edna might have a moral right to property, but not a legal right, particularly since she has lived rent-free, along with her husband while caring for her mother. Frank S. Meyer in "Western Civilization: The Problem of Political Freedom" would also add that the state has no business in determining who is morally fit to possess property, the state should only exist in a limited capacity to support property rights from being seized by force, which might happen in a 'state of nature' when a wealthy parent dies.

However, if Lillian is not willing to chose between her children and take sides, Locke would likely suggest that a 'majority rules' system apply, similar to that which Mike suggests. Two… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Property Rights in the Scenario the Youngest.  (2008, September 30).  Retrieved October 16, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/property-rights-scenario-youngest/564345

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