Some Remarks on Hume’s Account of Property Including One Cheer for the Communist Manifesto
Hume’s theory of property is founded upon an analysis of human nature in the context of permanent economic scarcity in all societies. This paper addresses seven questions to Hume about possessions and the nature and origin of property. Hume’s answers reveal the salient features of his liberal and individualistic theory of society. The paper concludes with a discussion of the creative destruction (Schumpeter’s term) described by Marx and Engels as a basic characteristic of industrial capitalism. It ends by pointing out a basic error in Marx’s account that Hume had no difficulty avoiding.