A simple question… why do we inherit the possessions of our parents? It makes sense that we would desire to do so – the evolutionary imperative and all that – but why do we see it as just? It seems in some respects markedly unfair – if you’re born rich, you become rich when your parents die, and if you’re not, you don’t, with no reflection of your own merit.
Does anyone have a good argument for why inheritance is justified?
I’m not sure, but it perhaps is related to how we see the Constitution as having authority over us even though no one alive ever voted for it. It has been handed down to us, and so keeping it preserves order – there would be chaos if we had to rewrite our constitution every generation. Similarly, there would be chaos if all wealth was redistributed constantly from generation to generation. It is better to allow us to be bound by tradition, which G.K. Chesterton actually called “the democracy of the dead”.