By Tom Rhodes, 7/20/2013
As I and many others have pointed out, the historic norm for mankind is for a few ruling elite living in relative luxury at the expense the vast majority of people who live in privation. The one thing that historically differentiates the haves from the have-nots is the ability to acquire and control property. The most fundamental property being one's self. Owning your self is not the norm for most people throughout human history. In fact, even today through most of the world property rights are minimal.
Your right to vote, or right to go to church, or right to speak your mind, is all meaningless if you don't have the right to own stuff. If you own something, provided you don't infringe upon somebody else's property rights you should be able to use that property or dispose of it as you see fit. If you own a computer and want to smash it into little pieces you can it's your computer. If you own yourself then the product of your labor is yours, to trade, use, or give away as you see fit. If you own yourself then what you put into your body is your business, if you choose to put poison and destroy yourself, like smashing your computer with a sludge hammer it's your property use or misuse it as you see fit. Of course if you have a right to private property so do others, and you have no right to their property except through voluntary trade.
We know what cultural traits and behaviors lead to success: People who get an education and do their best in school, then get a job, don't use alcohol or drugs more than occasionally, don't engage in criminal behavior, go to church, and get married before having kids. These are the common behavioral norms of people who are successful in modern cultures. We also know that the best way to promote and reward these behaviors is the equal application of the rule of law; allowing people to prosper or suffer depending on how well they voluntarily serve their fellow man. The one common thread to success for individuals and society is protecting and establishing property rights. Protecting and establishing private property rights has lead to more wealth creation and a higher standard of living everywhere it's been established. From the USA to Chile to China nothing has ever created a higher standard of living than private property rights and the economic freedom that resulted from protecting private property. The middle class doesn't exist and never existed until private property rights for all people under the equal application of the rule of law was established. No country without strong private property rights has a strong middle class.
Now the problem, utopian thinkers who emotionally want everybody to be happy and well off look at the objective truth that not all people use the private property they have and amass property wisely, thus not every person generates enough private wealth to be well off. This unequal outcome is primarily result of observable actual differences in peoples physical, emotional, and intellectual abilities, and secondarily the result of interference from government in their use of private property. All people are not in reality equal, we all have different needs, wants, desires, drive, and abilities. Utopian thinkers don't deal with how things are, they deal with how they think things ought to be. Nobody should go hungry. Nobody should have to live without XYZ, etc. Because the emotions tied with seeing some people do better than others, they ignore the behaviors and other natural differences and think that "only if everybody would XYZ" then nobody would suffer. Because not everybody makes wise decisions or has the same natural ability of others, they think that some "enlightened" people should make the decisions for everybody thus nobody would be allowed to make bad decisions and the result is nobody would suffer and everything would be alright.
They believe that their good intentions and desire for a good outcome and their superior insight should be enough for everybody to accept their dictates. Thus they outlaw fast food in certain neighborhoods because people might choose to eat unhealthy. Thus they outlaw cooking with lard in restaurants. Thus they mandate you wear a helmet when you ride your bike. They think that because you might not use your body (or other property) in a manner they deem wise, that their wisdom supersedes your property rights, thus negating your right to use or dispose of your property as you deem best.
They also notice the unfair advantages that some people have and want to fix it too. It's not fair that you were born 6'8" tall and can run, jump, and accurately throw an object better than others. It's not fair that your natural ability is so good at running, jumping, and throwing objects that lots of people are willing to pay to watch you run, jump and throw stuff. You ability to parley your superior natural talents into wealth results in an unequal distribution of the wealth, thus to make things fair the utopian thinkers take a disproportionate amount of your amassed wealth that you earned through fair trade with your fellow members of society and gives it to those who can't run, jump, and throw as well, so that they don't feel slighted. They feel that they know better who should have what, and that the private trade of individuals for their private property should be controlled by those with superior insight, because protection of private property and freely trading your property with others will result in unequal distribution, and they equal distribution regardless of ability and effort.
The very idea that everybody should have equal protection under the law and have the ability to own and control private property doesn't sit well with the old ruling elite. Be they kings or popes or pharaohs or dukes or emperors or dictators they work under the assumption that they have the right and authority to determine how all property, including the labor of those who live in the area they control should be used. By divine right or merely through the right of might they work under the assumption that what those who live in their sphere of control are under their complete control. The idea is that the rules they impose upon the masses are for the masses and not the ruling elite. The words "We The People" and the idea that the government is a servant to the masses, not the other way around is repugnant, and a slap in the face to the ruling elite by mere peasants. The ruling elite have been trying for 2 centuries to eliminate the idea that the people can or should have control of private property because private property and the ability to pass it down to progeny, dramatically reduces the power and influence of a governing sovereign. Paying off cronies with the property of serfs has been a favored way of amassing power for the ruling elite for all of history.
Today we have utopian leftists and corporate cronies working together creating a system of rules that apply to the masses and not the enlightened ruling elite to reduce private property rights and once again put concentrate power it the few ruling elite who are enlightened and know best how the masses should live. The stagnation and decline of the middle class and perpetual dependency of our poor is because of the effective denigration of property rights. Progressive asses are the useful idiots manipulated by corporate pachyderms to concentrate power and wealth in the hands of a despotic oligarchy and return mankind to her natural state of a few ruling elite living in relative luxury at the expense the vast majority of people who live in privation.