Principium Volume II, Book 7, Quote 749

749. (3-30-2010) (Here we go on a new perspective regarding property)ATJ The absence of property in land deprived Russians of all those levers by means of which the English succeeded in limiting the power of their kings. Since they required no taxes because all the land paid them rents and rendered them services, the tsars had no need to convene parliaments. Legal institutions which everywhere accompany property were rudimentary and served mainly as instruments of administration. The notion of individual rights was totally submerged by the notion of duties to the monarch. It was only in 1762 that the Russian crown exempted its upper class from compulsory state service, and as late as 1785 that it granted it title to its estates. It was only in 1861 that Russian peasants were freed from serfdom. And it was only in 1905-6 that Russian subjects received civil rights and a voice in legislation (quickly taken away by the Lenin, Stalin, communist movement 1917)ATJ. Thus the history of Russia offers an excellent example of the role that property plays in the development of civil and political rights, demonstrating how its absence makes possible the maintenance of arbitrary and despotic government.

- Richard Pipes – Property and Freedom, 2000

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