In this antagonism of interests, growing out of scarcity, the institutions of property, of the family, and of the state, all have their common origin. No one, for example, thinks of claiming property in anything which exists in sufficient abundance for all. But when there is not enough to go around, each unit of the supply becomes a prize for somebody, and there would be a general scramble did not society itself undertake to determine to whom each unit should belong. Possession, of course, is not property; but when society recognizes one’s right to a thing, and undertakes to protect him in that right, that is property. Wherever society is sufficiently organized to recognize these rights and to afford them some measure of protection, there is a state; and there is a family wherever there is a small group within which the ties of blood and kinship are strong enough to overcome any natural rivalry and to create a unity of interests. This unity of economic interests within the group is sufficient to separate it from the rest of the world, or from other similar groups among which the natural rivalry of interests persists. Saying nothing of the barbaric notion that wives and children are themselves property, even in the higher types of society it is the desire to safeguard those to whom one is bound by ties of natural affection, by sharing the advantages of property with them, which furnishes the basis for the legal definition of the family group.

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