Man reaches his fullest potential when he lives in a society whose organization is based on the seminal structure of rights – security in your person, individual liberty, private property - embodied in the Bastiat Triangle. The exceptionalism of America was launched on such a structure of rights.
Perhaps the link most difficult to appreciate in that triangle of rights is between liberty and private property. UCLA economist Armen Alchian (1914-2013) was celebrated by his fellow economists, and recently died before having been awarded his well-deserved Nobel (Nobelist von Hayek was one of his many supporters for this award). He was considered a member of the ‘Chicago School’ of economics, and wrote extensively on the role of economics in providing humans a fulfilling life. He penned a piece on property rights for The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (D.R. Henderson, 2008) from which the following excerpt is taken -
One of the most fundamental requirements of a capitalist economic system—and one of the most misunderstood concepts—is a strong system of property rights. For decades social critics in the United States and throughout the Western world have complained that "property" rights too often take precedence over "human" rights, with the result that people are treated unequally and have unequal opportunities. Inequality exists in any society. But the purported conflict between property rights and human rights is a mirage. Property rights are human rights.
The definition, allocation, and protection of property rights comprise one of the most complex and difficult sets of issues that any society has to resolve, but one that must be resolved in some fashion. For the most part, social critics of "property" rights do not want to abolish those rights. Rather, they want to transfer them from private ownership to government ownership. . . .
Any restraint on private property rights shifts the balance of power from impersonal attributes toward personal attributes and toward behavior that political authorities approve. That is a fundamental reason for preference of a system of strong private property rights: private property rights protect individual liberty.