After all, a property right is simply the exclusive right to control a scarce resource. Property rights specify which persons own - that is, have the right to control - various scarce resources in a given region or jurisdiction. Yet everyone and every political theory advance some theory of property. None of the various forms of socialism deny property rights; each version will specify an owner for every scarce resource. If the state nationalizes an industry, it is asserting ownership of these means of production. If the state taxes you, it is implicitly asserting ownership of the funds taken. If my land is transferred to a private developer by eminent domain statutes, the developer is now the owner. If the law allows a recipient of racial discrimination to sue his employer for a sum of money, he is the owner of the money.
Protection of and respect for property rights is thus not unique to libertarianism. What is distinctive about libertarianism is its particular property assignment rules: its view concerning who is the owner of each contestable resource, and how to determine this.[…]
The libertarian seeks property assignment rules because he values or accepts various grundnorms such as justice, peace, prosperity, cooperation, conflict-avoidance, and civilization. The libertarian view is that self-ownership is the only property assignment rule compatible with these grundorms; it is implied by them.