What are the views on property ownership and land use?

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Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many different views on property and land ownership. Three common political views are: the liberal view, the conservative view, and the socialist view. The liberal view emphasizes the relationship between labor, autonomy, and property. A fundamental idea in classical liberalism is that each individual owns their own body and their own labor. While classical liberalism does allow for the private ownership of capital, ownership of one's own body and labor provide a basis for equality, dignity, and self-actualization. The classical liberal understanding of property was articulated by Adam Smith in his book The Wealth of Nations

Economic conservatism emphasizes the ownership of personal property and the ownership of capital in pursuit of happiness. Private ownership of capital should be respected and protected under the law. Economic conservatism holds that private ownership and personal accumulation of wealth are important aspects of social stability and personal freedom.

Economic socialism de-emphasizes private ownership of capital and promotes collective ownership of capital instead. Traditionally, socialism acknowledges personal property (such as material objects), but calls for shared ownership of resources such as capital, land, and natural commodities.