A history of whiteness, masculinity, and the intellectual history of private property from the seventeenth century onwards in the anglophone Atlantic world. Private property and the fear of social chaos studies what people imagine it means to live in a world where private property is dominant and their fears (and sometimes hopes) about living in a future world where private property has disappeared.
This is a close reading of some of the dominant theorists of private property in the Anglophone world - Locke, Burke, Marx and Engels, Harry Truman, Thatcher - as well as more obscure figures like the pro-slavery ideologue George Fitzhugh. Taken as a whole, all of these disparate figures show how modern conceptions of private property always have racial and gendered logics and a fear of the mob operating within them.
About the Author
Aidan Beatty teaches at the Honors College of the University of Pittsburgh