Whose Property?: The Deepening Conflict Between Private Property and Democracy in Canada


242 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-8186-X
DDC 323.4'6'0971





Reviewed by Jeffrey Moon

Jeffrey Moon is head of the Documents Reference/Data Centre at Queen’s


Whose Property?, by the late Roy Vogt, examines the debate over how
property rights should be defined in our Canadian democracy. In the
introduction, titled “Rethinking Property Rights,” Vogt identifies
capitalism as a major factor in this conflict. While private property is
seen as a basic tenet of capitalism (with the former initially thriving
on the latter), history has demonstrated that, over time, capitalism
seems to “erode the property base” that is essential for a
democratic society.

The book has three main sections. The first section provides a sweeping
overview of property rights, from the last ice age to modern times. The
second section, which considers property rights in transition, consists
of three well-chosen case studies dealing with family, aboriginal, and
citizen property. The third section looks at “new” property rights
in the workplace in terms of jobs and social investment. The final
chapter examines restructuring property rights and presents a logically
reasoned argument for shared property rights and broader worker

Vogt’s well-written and jargon-free book includes a subject and name
index, along with detailed references and notes. Whose Property? is a
must-read for students of democracy, social justice, and the
redistribution of property rights.


Vogt, Roy., “Whose Property?: The Deepening Conflict Between Private Property and Democracy in Canada,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/30422.