OpinionWeekend

Weekend Words: Property

Piero di Cosimo, “The Building of a Palace” (1515-20), oil on panel, 83 x 197 cm. Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota (Image via Web Gallery of Art) (click to enlarge)

This week the Brooklyn Museum played host to the 6th Annual Brooklyn Real Estate Summit despite criticism from anti-gentrification activists.

The best ideas are common property.

—Seneca

Anarchism stands for the liberation of the human mind from the dominion of religion and liberation of the human body from the coercion of property; liberation from the shackles and restraint of government.

—Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

I am a Conservative to preserve all that is good in our constitution, a Radical to remove all that is bad. I seek to preserve property and to respect order, and I equally decry the appeal to the passions of the many or the prejudices of the few.

—Benjamin Disraeli

There is only one party in the United States: the Property party… and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat.

—Gore Vidal

Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.

—Frederick Douglass, Southern Barbarism

Property has its duties as well as its rights.

—Thomas Drummond, letter to Earl of Donoughmore

If there is anything in the world that can really be called a man’s property, it is surely that which is the result of his mental activity.

—Arthur Schopenhauer

From the business point of view — not to overstate it — intellectual property is dead; long live intellectual process. Long live service; long live performance.

—Esther Dyson

Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.

—G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday

The great and chief end, therefore, of men’s uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is the preservation of property.

—John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government

When you get divorced, you have to go through this awful thing of listing everything you own. When you actually sit down and write the list, you realize that the only good investments are art and property.

—Tamara Mellon

Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.

—Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

I told my mother-in-law that my house was her house, and she said, “Get the hell off my property.”

—Joan Rivers

Taxes, well laid and well spent, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, and promote the general welfare. Taxes protect property and the environment; taxes make business possible. Taxes pay for roads and schools and bridges and police and teachers. Taxes pay for doctors and nursing homes and medicine.

—Jill Lepore

Mediocre people have an answer for everything and are astonished at nothing. They always want to have the air of knowing better than you what you are going to tell them; when, in their turn, they begin to speak, they repeat to you with the greatest confidence, as if dealing with their own property, the things that they have heard you say yourself at some other place. A capable and superior look is the natural accompaniment of this type of character.

—Eugene Delacroix

We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

White supremacy has taught him that all people of color are threats irrespective of their behavior. Capitalism has taught him that, at all costs, his property can and must be protected. Patriarchy has taught him that his masculinity has to be proved by the willingness to conquer fear through aggression; that it would be unmanly to ask questions before taking action. Mass media then brings us the news of this in a newspeak manner that sounds almost jocular and celebratory, as though no tragedy has happened, as though the sacrifice of a young life was necessary to uphold property values and white patriarchal honor.

—bell hooks, All about Love

There is a theme that runs through my work, and that is: the toxic property of keeping secrets.

—Joyce Maynard

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