Private Property in the USA
In the USA civil and property "rights" are legally organized into a hierarchy, as shown in the diagram. Although the USA constitution guarantees civil rights in the Bills of Rights (Amendments 1-10), the constitution does not guarantee property rights per se.
amendment of the US constitution, private property is mentioned
when it says "nor shall private property
be taken for public use without just compensation."
Read an article on "Private Property in America: An Ever Evolving Idea" by Harvey M. Jacobs.
Evolution of the Concept of "Property"
in Western Civilization
2) Roman law recognized private ownership of land (at least for the elite) and its absolute powers over the land and all things of value attached to it. As Roman law spread across Europe, the doctrine of "private" property came in conflict with the older, local notion of "common" property.
3) In the 17th century, John Locke included "one's own person, one's capacities, one's rights and liberties" under property rights. These non-material aspects were actively (by the State) reduced to material property as a capitalistic economy developed. This material sense of property was beneficial to owners of capital, which was mainly in the form of land; but it excluded people without capital.
Up the 17th century, common and private
concepts of property co-existed:
Despite the narrowing of the concept of property, it remains the social web of behaviors and attitudes that recognizes a defined status relationship between the persons and land. Even private property is fundamentally socially defined and socially enforced!
Humans need two kinds of property:
Societies define themselves by the values that
inform how they answer these questions:
Think of property as "communities of
place" versus "communities of interest."
The human ecology conception of rights
is that all rights are collective and multi-generational. And rights are
linked to responsibilities.
For conservatives, individual behavior equals public welfare. Rights express responsibilities in "communities of interest" -- Property rights over the civil rights of other people.
For liberals, individual rights must be regulated to assure the public interest, because individuals do not always do the best thing for others. Another example of "communities of interest." Civil rights for all people with limited material rights as well support for property rights.
For radicals, private property is the fundamental problem in resource access and resource management. Rights and responsibilities are matched in "communities of place" -- Material rights as well as civil rights for all people over property rights.