Property Rights or Human Rights

Should society (through its institutions such as the government) defend property rights or human rights? That question is of course meaningless if one of the sets includes the other as a proper subset. But let’s assume for the moment that they are indeed distinct, and therefore the question makes sense.

I believe I have an answer to that but I will not go into it. For now, I’d like to pose a related question. Should society (through its institutions such as the military) commit resources to defending its weapons prior to defending the lives of its citizens? To put it more concretely, should society choose to build bomb-proof missile silos or build excellent bomb-proof shelters for its citizens, assuming that the society does not have the resources to build both?

Feel free to leave your answer in the comments.

{Followup to this post Human Rights are Property Rights.}

Author: Atanu Dey

Economist.

3 thoughts on “Property Rights or Human Rights”

  1. I would go with “first build bomb-proof shelters for citizens”.

    Rationale: The main purpose is to save citizens. If all the adversaries were rational/logical, building bomb-proof missile silos is also an option as the adversary will be concerned about his/her own annihilation. However, it is very human to get irrational. Hence I prioritize building bomb-proof shelters for citizens.

    PS: I am very excited to see how Atanu builds up this topic. Thankyou Atanu for making my life more interesting.

    Like

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