U.N. once flirted with property rights, demurred

U.N. once flirted with property rights, demurred

That was a long time ago. I suppose dictators and property rights, like oil and water, just don’t mix.

In 1948, property rights got their own article in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (”No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property”). But when they finally got around to turning the declaration into a legally binding commitment in 1966, property was thought to be passe, like Dean Martin and the patriarchy: neither the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights nor the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights mention property rights.

That would have been in the aftermath of WWII, when the abuses of the war were still fresh in everyone’s mind. How quickly memories fade.

Other global human rights organizations present the appearance of supporting right to property, but the rhetoric lacks teeth.

The European Convention of Human Rights says ”no one shall be deprived of his possessions except in the public interest”. The phrase ”public interest” is meaningless. What government has ever thought it wasn’t acting in the public interest? The 2006 Victorian Charter of Rights says no one’s property can be taken ”except in accordance with law” – not much of a defence from eager legislators.

Thank God for John Locke, who recognized the natural, God-given right to property; An inherent right, not a privilege that is granted only at the whim of the state. Locke provides the foundation for the American recognition of the natural right.

Eccl 3:13

.”..that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.” (NKJV)

This Biblical precept is worth pondering. “Every man” — all, without qualification — should enjoy the good of ALL his labor. One is entitled to the fruit of one’s labor, which infers the wickedness of depriving a person of his or her labor. This is theme echoed in Locke’s famous Two Treatises of Government and embedded, in turn, in our Constitution. Labor confers ownership.

2 Thessalonians 3:10

“For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (NIV)

Remember charity, but also remember that charity is yours to give, not for others to take. Charity necessitates free will, does it not? Keep up the good fight.

2010-01-11T08:00:12+00:00 By |Government, Legal issues, Property Rights|