Paul Babie, ‘The Future of Private Property’

Using the theory of inequality developed by Wilkinson and Pickett in The Inner Level: How More Equal Societies Reduce Stress, Restore Sanity and Improve Everyone’s Well-being, this review essay canvasses two recent normative contributions that claim a way forward for the concept and law of private property: Alexander’s defence of private property as fostering human flourishing through the living of a good life, as advanced in Property and Human Flourishing, and Posner and Weyl’s radical liberal overhaul of the very content of property found in Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society. The essay assesses Alexander’s focus on the role of obligation as a component of private property necessary to fostering the living of a good life, and Posner and Weyl’s proposal that private property be replaced with a new ideal-typic form of property known as ‘partial common ownership’. It concludes with a reflection on the ubiquity of inequality in any proposal one might adopt for either the overhaul or the replacement of private property.

Paul Babie, The Future of Private Property, Sydney Law Review volume 40:33 (2018).

Leave a Reply