January 23, 2006

Property Rights Historically Good For Agriculture

Nick Szabo, a doctoral law student at George Washington University, writes on his blog about the historical relationship between security, property rights, and the success of agriculture. He argues pretty persuasively that the real transition from hunter-gatherer tribal societies to successful feudal-style agricultural ones depended on protecting crops at a certain scale, by force and/or legal rights.

So the very idea, turning into a paradigm, that "I own this piece of land and only I can take food from it," could have been an important key to the turn from neolithic life to "civilization" - for better or for worse.

Posted by steev at January 23, 2006 06:24 PM