How Do Market Anarchists See Property?

The issue of property is a contentious one among market anarchists, as it has been historically within the greater anarchist tradition. Ever since Proudhon’s claim that “property is theft,” anarchists have argued about the proper resolution to the question of land ownership actually is. To free market anarchists, the answer is a bit more concise. Generally market anarchists are friendly to personal land-tenure. They see individual possession of land as non-exploitative in and of itself and an absolute tenet, as even Proudhon posited, to “liberty.” Positions among free market anarchists can range: Mutualists believe in private property so long as it is based on personal occupancy and use; Cousins to the mutualists, the Georgists, envision a system of land-tenure in which people live in contractual communities whose public goods are financed from land rent; Rothbardians generally see rights to property as “human rights” that belong to all human beings.

If readers are interested in finding out more on market anarchist views of land tenure and some of the property regimes we’d recognize as legitimate in an anarchist society, you’ll find C4SS’s Mutual Exchange Symposium titled Discourse on Occupancy and Use: Potential Applications and Possible Shortcomings quite informative.

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