Does a person own him or herself? The Rights of a Private Property differ with the different schools of economic thought;
· Socialism's fundamental principles are centered on a critique of this concept, stating, among other things, that the cost of defending property is higher than the returns from private property ownership, and that even when property rights encourage the property-holder to develop his property, generate wealth, etc., he will only do so for his own benefit, which may not coincide with the benefit of other people or society at large
· Libertanian Socialism generally accepts property rights, but with a short abandonment time period. In other words, a person must make (more or less) continuous use of the item or else he loses ownership rights. This is usually referred to as "possession property."
· Communism argues that only collective ownership of the means of production through a polity (though not necessarily a state) will assure the minimization of unequal or unjust outcomes and the maximization of benefits, and that therefore private property should be abolished.
Both communism and some kinds of socialism have also upheld the notion that private property is inherently illegitimate. This argument is centered mainly on the idea that the creation of private property will always benefit one class over another, giving way to domination through the use of this private property. Communists are naturally not opposed to personal property which is "Hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned" (Communist Manifesto), by members of the proletariat (Source: Wikipedia).
During my microeconomics class the issue arose about the test for full private property rights. The professor asserted that the ultimate definite test for full ownership of anything is if you can see that good or your share in that good.
This brought John Locke’s quote to mind: “Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.”
Back to my question: Does a person own him or herself?
If that is true, should a person be allowed to sell themselves or take his/her own life?
Or on a less drastic scale, should people be allowed to sell their organs to the highest bidder when they can in fact choose who to donate their organs to?
And whatever your answer is, who decides? Should the government decide? Society? Or each person?
I have conflicting thoughts on private property rights. I have my religious perspective leaning one way, societal perspective running along the religious thought although not completely similar. Then there is the economist in me, that comes up with a whole different answer.
As I am writing down my answer, conflicting reactions spring up, showing that even for me, a person who thought about this for a while, studied it even, the matter is not so clear cut. So for now my answer will have to wait!
I am curious to read other people’s thoughts and see if they vary in a place as small as Bahrain.