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Property and Freedom

by Richard Pipes

  • ISBN: 9780375704475
  • ISBN10: 0375704477

Property and Freedom

by Richard Pipes

  • List Price: $17.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Publish date: 06/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780375704475
  • ISBN10: 0375704477
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Description: Property, asserts Richard Pipes, is an indispensible ingredient of both prosperity and freedom, and it is one of the main masons for the rise of the West to the position of global economic preeminence. Pipes suggests that the concept of personal property began with the ancient Greeks and was codified into law by the Romans. The major break away from communal attitudes about property began with the rise of individualism, and individual prosperity came to be seen as a reward of a rational life. And it was in England that property became a central part of society, and a direct result of economic developments in trade and industry. In Russia, however, the absence of property in land deprived its citizens of the levers by which the English succeeded in limiting the powers of their kings. Pipes also describes the attitudes toward property of Communist Russia, Nazi Germany, and Fascist Italy, and shows how in the United States the phenomenon has been a major contributor to the common weal. Acquisitiveness, he states, is a universal trait, rooted in the instinct of self-preservation, but it also has an important psychological dimension that enhances the feelings of self-assurance and competence.
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