The reason why men enter into society, is the preserva­tion of their property; and the end why they choose and authorize a legislative, is, that there may be laws made, and rules set as guards and fences to the properties of all the members of the society.

—John Locke. Two Treatises of Government, 1689.

Governments that take away people’s property, or prevent or deter them from holding or creating property, are illegitimate. The politicians may seem legitimate—holding summits, parading about in suits before cameras—and the majority of the populace may even vote for more entitlements, yet it is all a farce. In the eyes of the natural law they have no more right to take people’s property than the Nazis had to take people’s lives. Recall that Hitler and his gang strutted about in splendid uniforms and saluted one another; they had plebiscites and meetings of the Reichstag; they had foreign ministers and all the other trappings of civilization. But at the end of the day, they were nothing but monsters. For whether you take a man’s life because you think your race is better than his or take his property because you think you can find a better use for it—you are taking what is not yours to take.

This article is an extract from the book ‘Principles of Good Government’ by Matthew Bransgrove