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Why Property (Including Intellectual Property) Is a Right

Adam Mossoff

Presented at: AynRandCon 2017

Date: Nov 03, 2017

Property is not merely the freedom to buy or use things, like your smartphone. It’s a fundamental political right. One of Ayn Rand’s historic insights in her political theory is that no other rights are possible in a society without the government protecting each person’s property rights. Since we are rational animals who live according to our ideas and our productive labors, Rand recognized that the right to property is the recognition of “a man’s right to the product of his mind.” In his talk, Professor Mossoff explains how this represents a historically radical perspective on property rights and why Objectivism regards the protection of property rights—including intellectual property rights—as an essential function of government.

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Parts: 1

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