Often property is defined by the code of the local
sovereignty, and protected wholly or more usually partially by such entity, the owner being responsible for any remainder of protection. The
standards of proof concerning proofs of ownerships are also addressed by the code of the local sovereignty, and such entity plays a role accordingly, typically
somewhat managerial. Some philosophers assert that property
rights arise from
social convention, while others find justifications for them in
morality or in
Property, in the first instance, is a
thing-in-itself. When a person finds a thing and takes that thing into that person's possession and control, then that thing becomes a thing-for-you for that person. Once the person has that thing in that person's possession, that thing becomes that person's property by reason of discovery and conquest, and that person has the individual right to defend that property (property interest) against all others by reason of
self-help. Typically, persons join together to form a political
state which may develop a formal
legal system which enforces and protects property rights so that the individual can go to court to get protection and enforcement of that person's property rights, rather than having to use self-help. It is possible that when a person has
constructive possession of personal property, but another person has actual possession, then the person having constructive possession has bare legal title, while the other person has actual possession. Generally, the ground and any buildings which are permanently attached are considered
real property, while movable goods and intangibles such as a copyright are considered personal property. Also, property cannot be considered a
reified concept, because in the first instance, property is very concrete as a physical thing-in-itself.
Various scholarly disciplines (such as
sociology) may treat the concept more systematically, but definitions vary, most particularly when involving
Positive law defines such rights, and the
judiciary can adjudicate and enforce property rights.
Adam Smith, the expectation of profit from "improving one's stock of capital" rests on private property rights.
Capitalism has as a central assumption that property rights encourage their holders to develop the property, generate
wealth, and efficiently allocate
resources based on the operation of markets. From this has evolved the modern conception of property as a right enforced by positive law, in the expectation that this will produce more wealth and better standards of living. However, Smith also expressed a very critical view on the effects of property laws on inequality:
- "Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality … Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all."
Wealth of Nations)
In his text The Common Law,
Oliver Wendell Holmes describes property as having two fundamental aspects. The first, possession, can be defined as control over a resource based on the practical inability of another to contradict the ends of the possessor. The second, title, is the expectation that others will recognize rights to control resource, even when it is not in possession. He elaborates the differences between these two concepts, and proposes a history of how they came to be attached to persons, as opposed to families or to entities such as the church.
Classical liberalism subscribes to the
labor theory of property. They hold that individuals each own their own life, it follows that one must own the products of that life, and that those products can be traded in free exchange with others.
- "Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself." (
Second Treatise on Civil Government)
- "The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property." (
John Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government)
- "Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place." (
Conservatism subscribes to the concept that freedom and property are closely linked. That the more widespread the possession of private property, the more stable and productive is a state or nation. Economic leveling of property, conservatives maintain, especially of the forced kind, is not economic progress.
- "Separate property from private possession, and Leviathan becomes master of all... Upon the foundation of private property, great civilizations are built... The conservative acknowledges that the possession of property fixes certain duties upon the possessor; he accepts those moral and legal obligations cheerfully." (
Russell Kirk, The Politics of Prudence)
Socialism's fundamental principles center on a critique of this concept, stating (among other things) that the cost of defending property exceeds the returns from private property ownership, and that, even when property rights encourage their holders to develop their property or generate wealth, they do so only for their own benefit, which may not coincide with benefit to other people or to society at large.
Libertarian socialism generally accepts property rights, but with a short abandonment period. In other words, a person must make (more-or-less) continuous use of the item or else lose ownership rights. This is usually referred to as "possession property" or "
usufruct". Thus, in this usufruct system, absentee ownership is illegitimate and workers own the machines or other equipment that they work with.
Communism argues that only collective ownership of the
means of production through a
polity (though not necessarily a
state) will assure the minimization of unequal or unjust outcomes and the maximization of benefits, and that therefore humans should abolish private ownership of
capital (as opposed to property).
Both communism and some kinds of socialism have also upheld the notion that private ownership of capital is inherently illegitimate. This argument centers mainly on the idea that private ownership of capital always benefits one
class over another, giving rise to domination through the use of this privately owned capital. Communists do not oppose personal property that is "hard-won, self-acquired, self-earned" (as the
Communist Manifesto puts it) by members of the
proletariat. Both socialism and communism distinguish carefully between private ownership of capital (land, factories, resources, etc.) and private property (homes, material objects and so forth).
Types of property
legal systems distinguish between different types of property, especially between land (
estate in land,
real property) and all other forms of property—goods and
movable property or
personal property, including the
value of legal tender if not the
legal tender itself, as the
manufacturer rather than the possessor might be the owner. They often distinguish
intangible property. One categorization scheme specifies three species of property: land, improvements (immovable man-made things), and personal property (movable man-made things).
Dead Investment property, it is a property from which you cannot derive any profits. Scenario the property might be not in a suitable condition to use or cannot be used to earn profits. Investors also say that the properties where we stay are Dead Investments.
real property (
immovable property) is the combination of
interests in land and improvements thereto, and
personal property is interest in movable property. Real property rights are rights relating to the land. These rights include ownership and usage. Owners can grant rights to persons and entities in the form of
Throughout the last centuries of the
second millennium, with the development of more complex theories of property, the concept of personal property had become divided into tangible property (such as
clothing) and intangible property (such as
communication channels, and certain forms of
Internet domain names, some forms of
network address, some forms of
handle and again trademarks).
Treatment of intangible property is such that an article of property is, by law or otherwise by traditional conceptualization, subject to expiration even when
inheritable, which is a key distinction from tangible property. Upon expiration, the property, if of the intellectual category, becomes a part of
public domain, to be used by but not owned by anybody, and possibly used by more than one party simultaneously due the inapplicability of
scarcity to intellectual property. Whereas things such as communications channels and pairs of electromagnetic spectrum band and signal transmission power can only be used by a single party at a time, or a single party in a divisible context, if owned or used at all. Thus far or usually those are not considered property, or at least not private property, even though the party bearing right of exclusive use may transfer that right to another.