Since you don’t live alone on an island
If a single man is alone on an island, there is no need for rules of property ownership. Even when the second person arrives if there is plenty of everything for both people, then there is still no need for rules of ownership. The two will simply use what they need from the abundance around them.
When there is scarcity of any desirable thing, ranging from pineapples to fishing nets, it is critical that the two agree upon social norms of property ownership in order to avoid and minimize conflict.
How do we decide who owns what?
Property ownership is a fundamental tenet of a civilized society. In his talk, Property and the Social Order, Hans Herman Hoppe addresses why. (see video below)
Creating the norms of property ownership is the challenge of social order. Norms reduce the possibility of conflict between people. While reducing conflict is not a norm of all social orders, it is a norm of civilized social orders; therefore, it is a desirable good thing.
Logical principals that are intuitive and or logically deduced underpin the idea of property ownership. By way of example, one fundamental idea about self-ownership is that everyone can move his body to any place he chooses, if no one is already standing in that unique place.
Logical rules of ownership
There are other logically derived rules of ownership.
- First, every person owns his own body.
- Second, every person is the private owner of all nature given goods that he has perceived and used before another does so.
- Thirdly, the person who uses his body and his goods to produce another good, owns that good he has made as well.
- Fourth, such new product can only be transferred through a voluntary exchange.