5 Reasons We Should Still Read Cicero
by Paul Meany
Cicero was one of the first major social and political thinkers to extol the sanctity of private property and its role in society. Cicero writes about private property most prominently in book two of On Duties. According to Cicero, one of the important functions of government is the creation and protection of private property rights.
"The men who administer public affairs must first of all see that everyone holds on to what is his, and that private men are never deprived of their goods by public acts."
Later, in the final book of On Duties, Cicero states his own version of the famous harm principle of John Stuart Mill (that the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others). Cicero says, “Each should attend to what benefits himself, so far as may be done without injustice to another.”
Cicero was far ahead of his time on the topic of private property.
CICERO WAS FAR AHEAD OF HIS TIME ON THE TOPIC OF PRIVATE PROPERTY