Page:Rise and Fall of Society.djvu/92

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Government and Property

concern with its preservation needs no other explanation. But why his interest in property, with something outside of him? Why does he endanger his life or undergo hardship in order to keep and enjoy property? That calls for a definition of property and an understanding of the individual's relationship to it, which we will take up later. For the present, we need only observe that organized Government does not make its appearance until property becomes a factor in social integrations, and its authority is called upon more and more as property becomes more important in the pursuit of happiness; hence the concept of Government and the concept of property are interrelated. Would there be any need for Government if the individual had no sense of property, no concern with ownership?

The primary concern of the pioneer is with production; the need for disengaging himself from production to pursue some protective enterprise is a nuisance; there is no profit in it. The time and effort put into policing the competence piled up in his barn and pantry could be better employed, and the thought occurs to him that it would be more profitable for him to turn over his gun, his instrument of authority, to a specialist in its use. His neighbors are of like mind. Sad experience has taught them that the abundances they have accumulated are a magnet for people who seek to satisfy their desires with no investment of toil, and the concern of each with his property becomes a common concern. Thus comes the posse and the vigilante committee, the instrument of collective security. The essential feature of this instrument is the use of force to prevent behavior inimical to their business of making a living. That is Government. It is a social service established by the members of the community to do that which each would do for himself if he could, and