Property Rights

Pope Francis Is Wrong. Property Rights Are Human Rights.

The pope conveniently forgets that as a property-rights-based market economy has expanded, grueling poverty has receded worldwide.


A friend of mine, who had spent many years establishing a successful printing business in the Midwest, opened his local newspaper to find a story about a fancy redevelopment project that the city had proposed in his neighborhood. How nice, he thought, until he realized that planning officials were going to put the project on top of his company's existing building.

He was one of many people I had interviewed for my 2004 book about the abuse of eminent domain—the government's right to take property upon payment of "just" compensation. The Constitution allows such takings for roads, courthouses and other public uses, but the courts have expanded that definition to allow the government to take private property if it deemed the new use more beneficial than the old one.

The U.S. Supreme Court's 2005 Kelo decision gave governments the imprimatur to do so, although Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's dissent still resonates: "The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more."

I thought of that case, as well as many sad interviews with victimized property owners in various eminent domain and other property rights disputes, after reading Pope Francis' latest encyclical called Fratelli Tutti, or "Brothers All." This pope has repeatedly diminished the importance of private property and free markets, but he usually leaves enough wiggle room so his supporters could describe what he meant in "proper context."

We need no such context this time. "The right to private property can only be considered a secondary natural right," Pope Francis explained. "Yet it often happens that secondary rights displace primary and overriding rights, in practice making them irrelevant." He added that, "the right to private property is always accompanied by the primary and prior principle of the subordination of all private property to the universal destination of the Earth's goods."

There's plenty to debunk in this 43,000-word missive—from its description of the market system as one based on exploitation, to its call to for stronger international institutions. But I'll focus on the pope's distorted view of property and his failure to grasp how this supposed secondary right undergirds those primary values of life, family, and brotherhood. As this nation's founders recognized, property is the foundation of those bigger things.

The city's taking of my friend's business devastated him—not because of some dollars-and-cents accounting. In many (but not all) of these cases, the government eventually reimburses owners for the assessed value of their properties. A business, however, is not merely the collected value of its bricks and mortar. It reflects the hard work and creative energies and vision of its owners.

From his lavish Vatican surroundings, the pope describes property ownership as something secondary and even tawdry, yet even in doing so he reinforces the primacy of property. "To care for the world in which we live means to care for ourselves," Francis wrote. "Yet we need to think of ourselves more and more as a single family dwelling in a common home." Note the reference to a person's home. One need not own a house to have a home, but ownership is the linchpin of our other freedoms—and the best assurance that we can provide for our families and help others.

That Pope Francis would erode such rights in the name of helping the poor is foolhardy. Even the pope admits that "corruption and inefficiency" are the hallmarks of politicians. To relegate tangible property ownership to intangible values (e.g., advancing human dignity, promoting equality) is to, as Justice O'Connor noted, benefit the rich and powerful at the expense of the poor.

I find 18th century British statesman William Pitt's argument far more compelling: "The poorest man may in his cottage, bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail, its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England may not enter; all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement." To help the poor, protect their right to property—so they can defy even the forces of the king.

As Pope Francis correctly noted, some people will use their resources to exploit others. But he conveniently forgets that injustices have existed throughout history. As the property-rights-based market economy has expanded, grueling poverty has receded worldwide. The population living in extreme poverty has dropped precipitously in tandem with the growth of the economic "dogmas" that the pope decries. Perhaps there's a connection.

Sorry, but property rights are not secondary. As an attorney who defended property owners from government takings liked to say, "Property rights are human rights." You can't have one without the other.

This column was first published by The Orange County Register.

NEXT: Reviews: Love and Monsters and J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius

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  1. Well, look at it from the Pope’s point of view – he personally doesn’t own a damn thing and he’s doing alright. Why can’t we all live like the Pope?

    1. “Why can’t we all live like the Pope?”

      The Swiss Guard won’t let us in.

      1. guns and walls

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      2. They carry serious firepower under those Renaissance suits.

        1. Interesting enough, I believe it was Michelangelo himself who design the Swiss Guard’s uniforms. (the artist, not the ninja turtle)

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  2. “”Yet we need to think of ourselves more and more as a single family dwelling in a common home.””

    Fuck you and your collectivist bullshit Pope Karl.

    1. And then there’s that thing about the Swiss Guard making sure we don’t get too comfortable with the whole “common home” concept.

    2. I guess “the Mystical Body of Christ” doesn’t much allow for individualism. Josh is supposed to be the head, and the rest of us just cells.

      ROME — Time, experience and reflection have “purified” liberation theology and its attempts to make clear what the Gospel says about social injustice, Pope Francis said.

      “Today, we old people laugh about how worried we were about liberation theology,” the pope told 30 Jesuits from Central America when he met them Jan. 26 in Panama during World Youth Day. – Crux Feb 14, 2019

      Communalism is never far from the surface of many religious thinkers. Some Catholics still yearn for the feudal order which, no surprise, put the Pope and/or the divinely-chosen king at the top of the social period. Popes used to parcel out entire countries to their favorite monarchs, as the only English pope did when he gave the English king the “Lordship” of Ireland.

      1. a HUGE part of the “mystery” of the body of Christ here on nearth is that we ARE and REMAIN individuals, each unique, NON -interchangeable, and put here for some soecific things no one else can deal with just as each one of us will. SO your base theoiry is wacko. But his is even worse…..

        he does NOT know what the Scruptires say about the matter of private property, no real surprise because for him to have become a “priest” way back when he had to give up his own right to “stuff”. So he’s living in an aritificla bubble. He’s been there so long he is like a godfish that does not even realise he is wet. Except tht ALL goldfish are like that. He’s the wierdo.

        If what he utters is al true, WHY does God command us all to not steal? Stealing is the taking of “stuff” someone else made, earned, bought, traded for, grew, built. DON”T DO IT. That man expended his life energy, goods, intellect, strangth, time, to get that ‘stuff”. And Popie thinks he can come round and just TAKE IT? What, does he think he’s a commie dictator or something? Stealing is SUCH a big deal that the punichment for it is, if you change your mind and want to “undo” the theft, yuo have to return TWICE what you stole, and if your’e caught out before you fess up, you have to return FOUR TIMES what you stole.

        This ain’t petty stuff. If I maim someone, I can be forced to lose no more than what I cost the other guy. If I destroyed his arm, no one can take more than MY arm. Not both, not my life. If I lie, bear faalse witness against another and am exposed, I must suffer the penalty the one I leid about did, or would have if my lie was believed. If my lying testimony puts someone behind bars for five years, and its found out, HE is released, and I must serve the five years he got… even if he did not serve it all. But stealing “stuff”? No. DIfferent rules.. twice, or four times, depending on whether I fess up and come clean, or have to get discoverd.

        Popie is wrong. He’d better quit smoking that funny stuff.

        1. Of course, the pope doesn’t know what the scriptures say – if you want to get rid of a Bible salesman, just tell him you’re Catholic; he knows you’ll never read it.

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    3. I wonder if we could all move into the Vatican without getting arrested and/or shot…

  3. In general the Catholic Church is in favor of property rights as they own a lot of property throughout the world. I think the property owned belongs to the bishop of each diocese, such as churches and schools. I think monasteries, convents and colleges are owned by the religious orders such as Benedictines, Franciscans, Jesuits (the Pope’s order), Holy Cross (Notre Dame), etc.

    So what does the Pope think about these properties?

    1. I don’t want to put words in his mouth but I thinks all those homeless drug addicts in CA can now camp on any Church property with the express permission of the head of the Church. Nice guy, but I suggest locking up the tabernacle before the bums get a hold of the sacramental wine.

    2. I think the property owned belongs to the bishop of each diocese
      A property search for the local parishes shows they are owned by the diocese.

    3. There’s lots of property all over the place, that has nothing to do with church activities, owned by many different religions.

    4. I’ve always been impressed with the wealth of the Catholic Church and how it contrasts with their daily service requests for money for the poor, seeing how such large amounts first go to satisfy their needs for an opulent lifestyle at the Vatican, with some left over for the poor.

      Brings to mind the movie “The Shoes of the Fisherman” with Anthony Quinn as the pope, who eventually decides to help the Chinese people. In the end, a political statement about the Church. But also, making one wonder, doesn’t the Church see communism (and common ownership of property) they promote, is what causes poverty in the first place? They foolishly pretend all men will or can be angels. When men are angels, we won’t need a government, or a church.

      1. You have to disconnect the idea of religion from the organized churches.

        Religion as an idea is about God. The organized churches are organizations built by men.

        The Pope supports keeping people in poverty, not because it serves/advances their supposed teachings about god, but because it advances the interests of the church (as an organization of men).

        All those poor Catholics breeding more poor Catholics is the base on which the power of the Catholic Church as a secular organization sits.

      2. Catholics have their own versions of communitarianism. Besides the (legendary?) voluntary communism of the early church, there was the political philosophy of Distributism , similar to political movements such as Social Credit in the UK and Canada. Don’t forget bigoted nuts like Charles Coughlin, the Depression-era “radio priest.” The hierarchy eventually told him to sit down and shut up.

        1. Distributism isnt communism though. It favors each person owning their own piece.

          It was a distributist who used a dog with a bone as an example of how property goes all the way back in the natural world even deeper than human nature.

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        2. Communism, as in the early church, is an attractive idea. It can work in a small group of enthusiastic people. But when the number grows and the initial enthusiasm wears off, you get people not pulling their weight, and the hard workers resent this. Regrettable, but that’s the real world, that’s human nature.

      3. The wealth comes from millennial-old real estate holdings and contributions by kings and emperors long ago. They use it to reflect the sort of success that encourages donors to trust the Church with new donations to fund day-to-day operations.

        As such, they can’t just unload the stuff to pay for electricity, heating, a custodian, or outreach efforts. Donations would quickly dry up and then they’d be left with nothing.

        When Goldman Sachs hires a famous politician to give a speech for $1 million, they’re not just currying favor. They’re showing their account holders to trust them with more money. “Look at our success! We can hire a PRESIDENT to tap dance for us! We can make you successful!”

  4. Pope Francis Is Wrong

    No… You mean the 90 year old obese baby wearing a full body diaper and clown hat who rapes and murders underage boys every day is wrong about something? Well color me surprised.

    1. Who knew you were the pope?

    2. Careful, now, he’s on team Biden and he is mailing in his absentee ballot.

    3. He’s only 83.

  5. As a Koch / Reason libertarian, I find this current Pope a mixed bag. Of course I don’t appreciate his criticisms of economic inequality, since the entire point of my philosophy is to make billionaires even richer. OTOH Pope Francis seems sympathetic to Charles Koch’s open borders agenda. So he’s not all bad.


    1. I fucking hate your populist ass to no end, you have no idea!

      1. He’s a parody account. Though it’s pretty one trick, and for the most part that trick wore thin a long while back, he still occasionally has moments of absolute satirical brilliance.

        1. He does have his moments, and I’ve snorted a cup or two over some of his jibes.

  6. “Pope Francis Is Wrong. Property Rights Are Human Rights.”

    If I agree to this, will you agree he’s right on everything else?

  7. The Pope provides strong evidence that South Park was right about the Queen Spider.

  8. The blind spot the popes have on property rights and capitalism is astonishing. The Vatican is home to some of the oldest buildings in the world, itself a fortune, and houses an arts collections worth hundreds of billions of dollars. It is an exceptional amount of wealth for a bunch of people who claim to hate capitalists. Maybe they hate capitalists because godless heathens have made themselves richer than the clergy. Even more astonishing is how many moral people call themselves Catholics when the See has proven himself time and again to be an extremely dense and morally compromised person.

    The entire Catholic institution is corrupt and rotten. Martin Luther was right.

    1. The Vatican is home to some of the oldest buildings in the world, itself a fortune, and houses an arts collections worth hundreds of billions of dollars. It is an exceptional amount of wealth for a bunch of people who claim to hate capitalists.

      Yeah, well, the Church amassed all that wealth prior to the advent of capitalism, capitalism provided the means for others to amass wealth outside of the Church and the nobility and provided an outlet for that wealth beyond the Church, why wouldn’t the Church be hostile to capitalism? Things were so much better when people did what God wanted rather than what they wanted and what God wanted was whatever the Pope said He wanted.

      1. Serfs were very supportive of the church and they did just fine without property. Of course they didn’t have a choice, what with being surfs and all.

        1. Ducking spell check.

        2. If the people are smurfs, and the pope is Gargamel, who is Azrael (the cat)?

          1. The cat was named after an angel .

          2. Hmmm…seems someone spent an awful lot of time watching Smurfs.

            Speaking of, how do smurfs procreate?

            They smuck.

            1. Eat shit. Eat my shit.

      2. Capitalism was very much alive and well when Europeans “discovered” the Americas, and it was no impediment to the Catholic Church amassing a lot of wealth there — not to mention all of Asia and most of Africa which had no Christian presence prior to capitalism.

    2. Most of the world, where democracy has rooted, is desperately striving to return to feudalism.

      The Vatican and the catholic church are perfect representations of the old feudal world, trapped in time. Protestantism was a direct refutation of that feudal aspect at a time when the power of the people was growing.

      Of course the Vatican and the Pope want to return to feudalism. It’s what they are. Take away borders, take away property rights, take away freedoms…..from the masses. Of course, the Church will need to maintain those things. Of course the State will need to maintain those things, and certainly the proper ‘class’ of people who run things will need to hold onto their property and rights.

    3. “Martin Luther was right.”

      Except all the stuff about burning Jew homes, fields, and books, and then stealing all their property and subjecting them to hard farm labor.

      Fallibility of man and all that…

      1. Hitler got the trains to run on time…

        1. No, that was Hirohito. Hitler bombed Mussolini’s army at Pearl Harbor.

  9. The Church absolutely doesn’t want to government to infringe on anyone’s property rights. As a leader of the Church, Pope Francis is merely talking about the basics of sharing what you have with others and doesn’t have anything to do with the government. The Church is all about being charitable, but anti-Catholic people love to frame him as socialist/marxist. He preaches against greed because Catholics follow Christ. Because the Dems want to go as far left as possible, the media wants Catholics to think that Pope Francis is saying it’s platform is consistent with the Church, which it is not.

    1. carrying some water there, aren’t you?

      1. Yes, because the Church is deeply misunderstood. Even if you are a non-believer, it doesn’t mean that you can’t understand the nuance between following Christ and ceding control to the government.

        1. The Church is perfectly understood. It is a political operation that cozies up with whomever will help them expand their power and increase their funding.
          John Paul was the last pope that showed clear evidence of striving to follow Christ. Since then, politicians.

          1. John Paul 2

        2. Except the part where he literally said that we should restore faith in supranational agencies like the UN and WHO. Which is fully in line with Jesus Christ’s teaching that all government is ordained by God and must be obeyed.

        3. The pontiff calls not only for the material well-being of every person, but also a promotion of their moral good. He encourages the fostering of “solidarity,” which “finds concrete expression of service.” However, he returns in the chapter to the subject of material poverty, citing St. John Chysostom’s dictum that not to share with the poor is to rob them. Meanwhile, Francis holds that basic human rights should not be impeded by borders.

          The pontiff suggests that nations’ right to their own wealth is not absolute. “The right to private property is always accompanied by the primary and prior principle of the subordination of all private property to the universal destination of the earth’s goods, and thus the right of all to their use,” he writes. “The right of some to free enterprise or market freedom cannot supersede the rights of peoples and the dignity of the poor, or, for that matter, respect for the natural environment,” he adds.

          “Seen from the standpoint not only of the legitimacy of private property and the rights of its citizens, but also of the first principle of the common destination of goods, we can then say that each country also belongs to the foreigner, inasmuch as a territory’s goods must not be denied to a needy person coming from elsewhere.”

          Certainly no hint of promoting government here, right you lying little cunt?

          1. Pope Francis calls for a “new network of international relations, since there is no way to resolve the serious problems of our world if we continue to think only in terms of mutual assistance between individuals or small groups.” Inequity, he says, affects not only individuals but entire countries and thus “it compels us to consider an ethics of international relations.”

            1. Chapter 4, entitled “A Heart Open to the Whole World,” returns to the subject of migration. Whereas Pope Francis believes “unnecessary migration” ought to be avoided, in general he says migrants are to be welcomed, protected, promoted, and integrated by host countries. He envisions the development of “a form of global governance” when it comes to migration.

              1. The Pope criticizes “the spirit of individualism” which he describes as the “danger of thinking that we have to protect ourselves from one another, of viewing others as competitors or dangerous enemies.” In a pointed political reference, the Pope says, “There are powerful countries and large businesses that profit from this isolation and prefer to negotiate with each country separately.”

                1. Regarding international politics, the pontiff believes that the nation-states are weakening before big business, and therefore still hopes for (as he stated in Laudato Si’) “stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions.”

                  To do this, the pontiff believes that the United Nations and international finance should be strengthened “so that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth.” Part of that reform would include not allowing a few powerful countries to impose their cultural demands on weaker countries. Speaking of the United Nations, he said, “There is need to prevent this Organization from being delegitimized.”

                  1. Oh look, the slimy little cunt has disappeared. Please return, cunt, and figure out a way to spin this in a way that your god-king doesn’t come out a Marxist.

                    1. “Dear Abby” is a personal friend of mine. She gets some VERY strange letters! For my amusement, she forwards some of them to me from time to time. Here is a relevant one:

                      Dear Abby, Dear Abby,
                      My life is a mess,
                      Even Bill Clinton won’t stain my dress,
                      I whinny seductively for the horses,
                      They tell me my picnic is short a few courses,
                      My real name is Mary Stack,
                      NO ONE wants my hairy crack!
                      On disability, I live all alone,
                      Spend desperate nights by the phone,
                      I found a man named Richard Decker,
                      But he won’t give me his hairy pecker!
                      Decker’s pecker is reserved for farm beasts,
                      I am beastly, yes! But my crack’s full of yeasts!

                      So Dear Abby, that’s just a poetic summary… You can read about the Love of my Life, Richard Decker, here:
                      Farmers kept refusing to let him have sex with their animals. So he sought revenge, authorities say.
                      Decker the hairy pecker told me a summary of his story as below:
                      Decker: “Can I have sex with your horse?”
                      Farmer: “Lemme go ask the horse.”
                      Farmer: “My horse says ‘neigh’!”
                      And THAT was straight from the horse’s mouth! I’m not horsin’ around, here, no mare!

                      So Decker the hairy pecker told me that, apparently never even realizing just HOW DEEPLY it hurt me, that he was all interested in farm beasts, while totally ignoring MEEE!!

                      So I thought maybe I could at least liven up my lonely-heart social life, by refining my common interests that I share with Richard Decker… I, too, like to have sex with horses!

                      But Dear Abby, the horses ALL keep on saying “neigh” to my whinnying sexual advances!
                      Some tell me that my whinnying is too whiny… Abby, I don’t know how to fix it!

                      Dear Abby, please don’t tell me “get therapy”… I can’t afford it on my disability check!

                      Now, along with my crack full of yeasts… I am developing anorexia! Some are calling me a “quarter pounder with cheese”, but they are NOT interested at ALL, in eating me!!! They will NOT snack on my crack!

                      What will I DO, Dear Abby?!?!?

                      -Desperately Seeking Horses, Men, or ANYTHING, in Fort Worth,
                      Yours Truly,
                      Mary Stack / Tulpa / Mary’s Period / “.” / Satan

          2. I had some things to do, sorry for the delay in replying to your comments. I don’t care what you cite. Pope Francis is talking about following Christ, not the government. Just because following Christ might intersect with some governmental agencies is of no consequence. The Church is in no way promoting more government control. He’s appealing to the individual, not the government. I don’t see what you see. Do you really think that the Church would want to cede its property to the government? You may be a prick, but I’m not a lying cunt.

            1. Dude, you are simply refusing to read the Pope’s words plainly. The truth is this particular Pope is a raging Marxist. Promoting the UN and any other government is inconsistent with Biblical teaching. The Pope is promoting Marxism and, ultimately, promoting what he believes will empower the church.

              1. Dude, I’m not refusing to see anything. People that are anti-Catholic read so much into everything he says. He hasn’t changed one thing since he’s been pope. He’s not against capitalism, but he speaks about greed, so he references the danger of “unbridled capitalism”. He doesn’t want more government regulation, but he wants the individual to be more charitable. It’s easy to make the mistaken correlation if you hate the Church or don’t know a lot about its history.

        4. The catholic church does a miserable job of representing the work and teachings of Christ. The papacy was NOT established with Peter despite the catholic scripture twisting and has always been a corrupt and mostly political organization.

          I bet hell is full of former popes.

          1. “The papacy was NOT established with Peter”

            I’d like to know your reasoning.

    2. Yes. This Pope is not a Marxist. He’s a Peronista which is like a retarded Marxist.

    3. Ha, ha, this Pope is an awoved neo-Marxist who appeals to the neo-progressive mindset with his criticism of property and capitalism and his support of Globalism and toleration of pedophilia.

    4. As I explained below, the pope is a fascist, not a Marxist, because he doesn’t want to own everything, because ownership implies property; he merely wants to control everything.

    5. If that was what the Pope was “merely talking about”, he could have been a lot clearer about it. Instead, he was quite clear the other direction. Charity to those in need is indeed a virtue – and this encyclical goes far, far beyond it.

  10. Property rights are not human rights. Property isn’t human.

    Soy you want some rich cunts to buy everything to boycott and coerce your descendants forever?

    Better to recognize that you can’t take it with you.

    1. Bare assertion.

      Expletive-laden strawman.

      Non sequitur.


      1. Throwing out a few logical terms at random doesn’t refute anything.

    2. So what’s your solution, take people’s stuff?! Motherfucker, you try to take my stuff, and I’ll blow you head off SO FAST! Extremely fast. Thieving socialist scumbags.

      I pity the chumps who’ll keep working and paying taxes while their thieving “fellow citizens” take half their stuff. Better to let the socialist bums take care of you with the chumps’ money while chilling.

      1. “Your stuff” is only what you’re allowed to have dipshit. Try owning a WMD and see who’s head gets blown off.

        Human rights are what EVERYONE needs to live and grow, with all that entails.

        The earth’s resources belong to all humanity.

        Yours is the perspective of a slaver.

        1. I’ll be over your house later to get my dinner, fuck my wife, watch my TV, and use my shower.

          Since you’re cool with it…

          1. Good luck demonstrating that your invasion of my right to privacy is required for your life and growth.

            You better talk fast.

    3. “Speech” doesn’t have rights. Humans have the right to speak freely. They also have the right to own and use property. Take your equivocation with you.

      1. Human speech is part of human life and growth.

        The land and its resources don’t belong to anyone.

  11. I think I’d need to see this concept of “secondary natural rights” fleshed out a bit. The pope conflates Christian morality and ascetical spirituality with institutional activist politics without even coming up for air.

    1. Tough to exercise freedom of the press if the state (or a mob) forbids you from owning and operating a printing press, a radio or TV station, or equipment and software to set up a website. We have many rights that are null and void if we can’t own property. Ownership hemmed in by too many regulations isn’t even really ownership, which is the corporatist and fascist alternative to outright confiscation. If a business owner doesn’t want to build weapons for the state, a dictatorship will just take the factory over, even if the “owners” still hold the deed. The businesses that converted their production lines to make PPE earlier in the year may have been co-operating because the Feds were a paying customer when their normal clientele wasn’t ordering anything, but the Defense Production Act allowed the government to force them to turn out masks, etc. Who is the “owber” when that mailed fist emerges from the velvet glove?

  12. Like all leftists his assertions require no proof, just unquestioning belief. It’s not a joke to say leftism is a religion.

    1. Property isn’t human.

      Is that not “proof” enough?

      Who’s the bigot?

      1. Property is the result of human action on the material world. It is a human thing.

        1. The earth is not the result of human activity.

      2. Speech isn’t human. Self defense isn’t human. Movement isn’t human. Clothes aren’t human. Food isn’t human. Literally nothing is human except humans. Are you claiming that the only human right is life itself and that anything we choose to do with that life is justly subject to coercion from other people?

        1. Please keep in mind here that you are dealing with Rob Misek, who doesn’t deal with facts, logic, or human conventions. Rob Misek is a holocaust denier, and he makes no bones about it!

          Arguing with him is like arguing with a rock!

          1. Right, but then you’re a retarded Marxist Hihn.

            1. Wow, what clever wit! Did your mommy help you write that?

        2. PS… “Food isn’t human.” It is if you are a cannibal!

          Is cannibalism OK if the victim agrees to it? Maybe Rob Misek could explain for us! Only non-human “logic” can parse this, so Rob Misek will be your go-to guy!

 (Victim agreed to be eaten case).

        3. Humans need to live and grow. Civilized people recognize that which enables life and growth is a human right.

      3. We’re talking about the human right to own property, not about property itself. The distinction appears to confuse you.

        1. The earth doesn’t belong to anyone. It belongs to everyone.

          You don’t own it.

          1. Repeating bullshit ad nauseam doesn’t make it not bullshit.

            1. What bullshit?

      4. You are a bigot.

  13. I own my myself; body, mind and soul. Therefore I own the products of my labors, both mental or physical. Those products may be services I exchange to others or objects I produce (property). Property rights are inherently part of the right life.

    It sounds like the Pope doesn’t believe people have a right to life.

    1. I own my myself; body, mind and soul.

      That’s not a valid proposition within Christianity. Nevertheless most Christians are not Marxists like the pope.

      1. The old trope is that Marxism is Christianity with the ghod wrung out of it. That might not be strictly true, but the Commies certainly wanted to immanentize the eschaton, institute the dictatorship of the proletariat and welcome the kingdom of ghod on earth attain the withering away of the state.

      2. Fine. You (rhetorical) are a child of God, and as such, responsible for what YOU do with your mind, body, and soul. YOU are to do what you are able to further the kingdom of God. This makes you God’s “designated agent” to control your “gifted” existence, ergo no one else has title to use your existence WITHOUT God’s direction.

        Technically: Christians don’t “own” themselves.
        Effectively: They do, or at least have exclusive claim to their existence until told otherwise by God.

        1. Rank sophistry that misrepresents both Christianity and libertarianism and still manages to acknowledge in its second paragraph that there is absolutely no concept of self-ownership in Christian thought.

          1. Pompous, sockpuppet handle and no argument: I’ll take your comment for all it’s worth.

    2. Ah, but where did you get the material inputs which your labors converted into …. things?

      I agree that if you owned the material inputs, then you owned the material outputs. But how did you come to own the material inputs?

      It’s a difficult circular question.

      1. It’s not. All of these material inputs you mentioned must have been traded at some point with the person’s labor. Nobody gives you anything for nothing. So all comes back to the self.

        1. All those inputs had to come from somewhere. If I traded my time for somebody else’s resource, that person must have owned the resource. How did they manage that?

          At some point, every resource transitioned from unowned to owned. How did that happen?

          If it’s an empty continent or planet, or even a very small island, that’s one way — finders keepers. But it has to be stated. It’s not a natural outcome of self-ownership, for instance.

          1. Yeah, everyone trade their effort, labor, etc. for those of other people. But once you own it, it’s yours. That doesn’t make that ownership illegitimate in any way, or “circular”, or whatever you were trying to imply.

            1. You haven’t answered the question. Materials, the inputs, are initially unowned. Using your labor and time to transform them to property you can sell is fine — but someone had to transform the material from raw iron ore or trees or what have you into owned property. Who did that, and how?

          2. At some point, every resource transitioned from unowned to owned. How did that happen?

            Mostly by violence and unlibertarian means.

            You can’t transition from a state of nature directly to libertarianism.

    3. You own only what you’re allowed to. If you doubt that, try owning a WMD.

      You have the right to live and grow until it conflicts with the same rights of others.

      Then you have the right to work together and share.

  14. Property Rights are derived from the idea of each person belongs to themself, or least belongs to no one else but God, if you are of a religious mindset. Belonging to oneself is bare on free will. Any economic system can be exploitive, the idea that market economics are inherently or especially prone to exploitation reeks of the taint of Marxist claptrap.

    1. Especially in light of the last 103 years of world history…

    2. “The only thing worse than being exploited by capitalism is not being exploited by capitalism.”

  15. The current pope is a socialist. And all socolists are wrong. Bring back jpii

    1. How about we try not having a Pope for a while, just to see how it goes. If the world suddenly descends into chaos we can always appoint a new one.

    2. No, he is a fascist. Socialists want to own everything; fascists want to control everything. Owning implies property; the pope is against property and the concept of owning it. The pope himself doesn’t own diddly squat; he merely controls a heck of a lot of it. He is a fascist.

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  17. How many divisions can the Pope make?

    1. I’m pretty sure those Swiss Guards could take on a couple of platoons, maybe a company.

      1. Which company? Google? Amazon? Facebook? Oh, I get it …. all companies!

  18. “As the property-rights-based market economy has expanded, grueling poverty has receded worldwide. The population living in extreme poverty has dropped precipitously in tandem with the growth of the economic “dogmas” that the pope decries. Perhaps there’s a connection.”

    I’d like to see that “connection” explored a bit; I suspect the pope doesn’t really like the fact that the world is less poor? If he cannot rail against inequalities, he doesn’t have much to go on and the less people “need” him to do so.

    Also, the Church really doesn’t care about prosperity; they* would be perfectly happy if everyone was equally poor. Except them, of course. And their donors.

    In saying this I am no anti Christian. I am in fact a practicing Christian. But personal spirituality and following things like the 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule are one thing; church leaders are quite another.

    1. I always find it ironic that the “pope” claims to be the authority on Christianity…

      Pope: from the Greek meaning “father”
      Matthew 23:9 : “And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.”

    2. If one uses “relative wealth” as a standard of poverty, instead of some standard of living enough above subsistence to allow people to live a decent life, then The poor you will always have with you. right? (Matt 26:11) Yeah, if you keep redefining “poor.” The devil can cite scripture for his purpose, as the Bard had it.

  19. sell the Vatican.

  20. I think only John Paul II had it right. His legacy is not properly covered. He had just as much to do with the wall coming down as Reagan.

  21. Only slightly off topic, I’m currently watching Medici on Netflix. Pretty good show. Not sure exactly how historically accurate the details are, (don’t want to ruin the show by researching it until I’m done watching) but it gives a pretty good picture of what the pope really was in the 1400’s.

    1. The Popes of old were first class mother fuckers.


  22. The problem comes from the name; it should really be called the human right to own property. Too many people take the lazy mental shortcut into thinking property itself has rights.

    I think of it this way: it is a crime to hold a gun to my family and enslave me long enough to manufacture a chair for them. And if I make a chair on my own which someone steals, the end effect is the same. Theft is temporary slavery; slavery is permanent theft.

    Self-ownership provides the basis for property, except that it assumes the existence of property in the first place. If I use my time, my tools, and my wood to build a chair, the chair is also mine. “My time” is naturally mine. But whence came “my tools” and “my wood”? The tools are easy, I built them from scratch. I used a rock to turn other rocks into knives and axes. But where did those other rocks come from? Where did “my wood” come from? You have to go back to the first humans to arrive in an area.

    It’s easy to be lazy and argue thusly that no one owns any resources. It’s especially easy to argue so when you are the pope, the guy who doesn’t “own” anything, but controls so much. It’s like people who try to differentiate socialism and fascism. Socialism owns the means of production while fascism merely controls it. Same end effect. Is the pope arguing for socialism or fascism? No difference.

    1. “Too many people take the lazy mental shortcut into thinking property itself has rights.”

      I doubt even the dumbest of dumb think “property rights” implies property has rights.

      1. Lots and lots of marchers hold signs saying “property before people” which sure ignores the distinction.

  23. “This pope has repeatedly diminished the importance of private property and free markets”

    You’re going to criticize him the one time he sounds like Jesus?

    1. Jesus challenged the concept of private property?

      Even God assigns property ownership in either two or three of the Ten Commandments (if you separate some of the commandments).
      – Thou shalt not steal (taking another person’s what? Property)
      – Thou shalt not covet (house, ass, slaves, ox, etc. or anything that BELONGS to your neighbor)

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  25. He’s no Pope John Paul II.

    He’s more Lenin.

    1. Pretty much what I was thinking. JP II must be rolling over in his grave listening to this communist crap.

      1. He’s actually still alive. There was so news a while back about he really dislikes the new Pope and he’s been working to undermine his authority; specifically because of his raging Marxism.

        1. JP II died in 2005. Benedict XVI is still alive.

  26. Start seizing the Church’s property and see how his tune changes.

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  28. “But if Providence has seen fit to test us today – to punish for decades of moral and doctrinal deviations – giving us a drunken Noah for a father (Gen 9:20-27), it is nevertheless our duty to cover his nudity with filial piety, without however denying the intoxication of the half-undressed old man. Once he has regained sobriety, he will bless those who have laid the cloak of Truth and Charity over his shame.”

  29. We’ve had fornicators, pedophiles, rapists, murderers, fascists, racists, and con men as popes; why not a communist or two as well?

    It appears that the pope mainly exists to test the faith of Catholics.

  30. It’s already been said but I will say it again: “THALL SHALT NOT STEAL” IMPLIES PERSONAL PROPERTY.

    Hell is paved with the skulls of bishops. I hope this Bishop of Romes’ head is ground to dust under the feet of demons. Bergoglio is a communist and an evil man that spreads confusion. Every pope up until this reject has railed against communism. Personal property is literally how poor people build wealth! But no, Bergoglio had a sodomite sign a SECRET DEAL with China and takes billions of dollars from China to prop up his corrupt sodomite kingdom. Every person he has surrounded himself with is evil. As a Catholic I say the entire Vatican should be burned to the ground for the crimes that have been committed against His church and all of humanity. Until the bishops put on hair cloth and cover their faces with ashes they are not welcome. I was RELIEVED when I was told the bishop couldn’t come for my sons confirmation.

    Vivat Jesus

    1. The original Hebrew is usually interpreted to refer to human beings, making “thou shalt not kidnap” a more accurate rendering.

  31. Property rights are an individual right, but so too a public right. The economic reality of the commonwealth is an integral PART of the constitution.

    There is no constitutional property right for a corporation, all the more so for eminent domain. In fact land is the public portion of the public private hybrid.

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  33. The pop is a Marxist from a Marxist leaning country. None of this should be a surprise for anyone. What is hard for me to believe is that people still take organize religions seriously. It’s completely illogical.

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  36. Property has always been a blind spot for anglophone pseudo-libertarians. Its most absurd pinnacle is probably the US court decision that granted personhood to property, but one needn’t go that far. For a start, you cannot have a right to property without a state – a law – to confer it. Without law, an “owner” is just a man standing over an ex-owner with a smoking gun in his hand – what stops a good man with a ploughshare is anyone whatsoever with a sword. And since the state ultimately confers property rights it by necessity has the capacity to revoke those rights. Quibbling about rectitude in the face of capacity is impotence.

    And where is your “right” to land when the land is all someone else’s property? Americans, of all people, should understand the problem with this after their age of expansion came of riding West into unpropertied pasture and killing whatever non-white, non-Christians contested the “unpropertied” part of the fantasy. What right is there to property when property is mostly passed on by heredity, or is owned by fictitious legal persons which are themselves property? Where did these “natural” rights to fence off the world arise, when all ancient peoples lived with extensive systems of common rights, and what one man left lying on the plane was taken by anyone following? The Parliamentary Enclosures and Highland Clearances explain the convenience of this sleight of state, as the commoners across an entire country were driven off their ancestral land to secure the “rights” of entrepreneurs who bought Acts of Parliament creating property “rights” out of the very peat under farmers’ feet.

    If the blinding contradictions and misanthropy in the concept of property rights are not enough, it’s not working. The states most bedazzled by property rights in today’s world, the anglophone nations, are miserable failures. The USA is basically a failed state. The dream of property ended with Reagan. Your chances of dying wealthy in property are almost exclusively determined by your wealth at birth, and the middle class has died. This is not only a sick concept, it is a failed one.

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