Bethell on Property and Prosperity

  • Walter E. BlockEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Classical Liberalism book series (PASTCL)


There once was a little girl with a curl. According to the nursery rhyme, “when she was good, she was very, very good; when she was bad, she was horrid.”

Much the same can be said about this book.

What are the very, very good parts? It is a thorough, lively, and almost encyclopedic defense of private property rights. In this benighted age, there are not too many of those around. Ranging far and wide, Bethell shows the benefits of private property throughout history and in virtually every corner of the globe. He demonstrates how the institutions of private property can solve environmental problems, were responsible for the success of the industrial revolution in England, and how the lack of them accounted for the failures of the USSR, feudalism, and the third world. His explanation of the Irish famine is alone worth far more than the price of admission. Standing head and shoulders over many purely economic defenses of this institution, Bethel’s book also demonstrates the virtues of property rights on political and moral grounds.


Bethell Property and Prosperity Self ownership rights Economic efficiency 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Loyola UniversityNew OrleansUSA

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