The genesis of private property has been a recurring theme in political philosophy since ancient times. In his essays on the five senses the French philosopher Michel Serres proposes a “smelly theory of private property”:
Accordingly, disgusting smells deter us from approaching the property of others:
The privatization of the common and the appropriation of space do not occur only by yelling or spitting; sometimes excrement is enough. (…) Those who see only public space have no sense of smell. (…) The first one who, having shit on a terrain, then decided to say, this is mine, immediately found people who were disgusted enough to believe him. They distanced them selves from his territory, without war or treaty.