Understanding the Concept of Property
Having the right to possess or use a thing is part of the concept of property. However, the meaning of property can vary, depending on the type of property. There are two main kinds of property. The first is called tangible property. This is generally anything of physical existence. Other forms of property include intellectual property and intangible property. Intangible property includes patents, copyrights, trademarks, and securities.
The other type is private property. This is usually the kind of property that individuals own. This can also include intangible assets such as bank accounts, patents, and intellectual property rights. The ownership of these properties differs by society. Often, people assume that the government owns these assets, but this is not the case. In fact, the state is the owner of some types of public assets, such as schools, hospitals, and parks. It is important to understand the differences between these different types of property.
Traditionally, the term “property” was used to describe land. Throughout the centuries, societies have developed different theories about what property is. Some philosophers believe that property is a natural law that arises from morality. Others think that it is a social convention.
In the early 1790s, the French Revolution caused a mass confiscation of land. This led to a large number of claims from dispossessed individuals. In response, a rethinking of the concept of property began. This rethinking was inspired by the rise of commerce in early modern Europe.
During the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the government began to assume the ownership of private property. This included real property (such as land) and intangible property.
These theories were later criticized by Karl Marx. He cites historical events in which large numbers of peasants were removed from the land and used for commercial ventures. This, in turn, created a sizeable un-landed class. He sees this as a major part of the creation of English Capitalism.
The idea that property is a legal title is a central aspect of western legal theory. Many societies have laws that govern the ownership of property. Those laws may involve retaining collateral, contractual rights, and risks of jeopardy of collateral. In addition, the judiciary can adjudicate on these matters.
Various scholarly disciplines may treat the concept of property more systematically. For example, anthropology studies the different types of ownership systems in different societies. In these cases, the definition of property is often described by the code of local sovereignty.
Some societies have developed a system of collective property. These systems are more common than other systems. For instance, a society that has a system of collective property will have a group of people who own the same property and share it. This is not an ideal situation, but it is a possibility.
Some of these societal rules can be found in the book Capital by Karl Marx. He cites the idea of “Primitive Accumulation” as a major part of the creation of the English Capitalist society. In his analysis, he explains that peasants were legally entitled to land under the Feudal Law. In the end, the restoration of monarchy led to claims by those who were dispossessed. He also argues that property is inherently linked to political power.