The recognition and enforcement of private property rights are the founding pillarsof a free-market economy. Private property means that individuals have absolute,exclusive and permanent rights on what they legally own: they can do whatever theylike with their property, nobody can interfere with their decisions, and there isnobody to whom these rights must be returned after a given time period. Thus,under this regime each individual engages in unfettered voluntary exchange, subjectto his/her compliance with the freedom-from-coercion principle (no violence and nocheating are allowed), and insofar as he/she respects the private property of the otherindividuals. Put differently, the legitimacy of private property and the freedom-from-coercion principle specify the moral foundations of a free-market economy.By contrast, the illegitimacy of private property and the limits to private propertydefine the features of the centralised economies, regardless of the political format --dictatorship or social democracy.
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