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8 T AYLOR

idealistic hero a presidential candidate who says that he is not sure whether or not property rights exist; an age in which a real-life President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, invoked in his inaugural address “Justice, Liberty and union” as this nation’s founding principles, and characterized justice as “the promise that all who made the journey would share equally in the fruits of the land.”

What has happened to the right of property? It seems to be very clear that life, liberty and property were once considered to be interconnected aspects of a new view of the proper relationship of man to the state. Has the concept of rights been repudiated in the intervening years? No, it has not. Everyone in American political life is for rights. It is merely hard for people to agree on exactly what they are. The answer to the question, What has happened to the right of property in American political thought? is the explosion of the truism that politics is the art of compromise. It is because politicians and theoreticians were willing to compromise on an issue of rights in the early years of our history that we face today a split concept of rights—property rights are considered in opposition to “human” rights, the rights to life and liberty.

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