Episode 40: Property and Political Philosophy

Episode #040
(46:10 min 42.2MB)
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Dr. Emmanuel de Dios, dean of the University of the Philippines School of Economics, examines the development of the idea of property rights in western philosophy. He explains that the rationale for property rights can be summed up into two opposing thoughts: the natural rights view and the welfare or utilitarian view. The natural rights notion is that property rights are absolute. They are intrinsically linked to the individual’s aim for liberty, well-being and progress, and they cannot be tampered with.

The utilitarian notion, on the other hand, is that they are relative and can be modified to aim at social improvement. He explains that this welfare view is what fuelled Karl Marx’s position. Marx believed that it is desirable to actually re-arrange property rights, tinker with the market, and realize a net social gain by crafting better arrangements through revolutionary politics. However, history has proven Marx wrong. The economic collapse of Socialism showed that stable property rights and a functioning market work far, far better than political command-and-control systems that only direct economies into inefficiency, waste and stagnation.

The music is provided by Dieter Bachmann and Dan-O.

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