When Plymouth Colony was founded in Massachusetts in 1620, the Pilgrims at first held their property in common. They were on the verge of starvation when ownership was privatized in 1623. The change succeeded. It "made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been," William Bradford reported. The communal arrangement had not worked because it "was thought injustice."
More recently, a vast experiment in life without private property was conducted in the Soviet Union. It lasted for seventy-four years, and it conclusively showed that transferring the control of property to the state is a formula for social impoverishment. There wasn't much in the way of justice either. As for liberty, that was lost completely. An Iron Curtain had to be constructed north-to-south in Eastern Europe, and a wall divided Berlin.
Few concepts have been more important for human survival, yet maligned as unjust by intellectuals, as the concept of private property rights. Since at least the time of Aristotle, the superiority of private property over collective ownership in generating incentives to use scarce resources effectively has been recognized. It was a core idea of the Scottish Enlightenment thinkers such as David Hume and Adam Smith, as well as the American Revolutionaries such as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.