…is from Page 31 of the Liberty Fund edition of James Buchanan’s 1975 book The Limits of Liberty: Between Anarchy and Leviathan:
In a world without interpersonal conflict, potential or actual, there would, of course, be no need to delineate, to define, to enforce, any set of individual (family) rights, either in the ownership and use of physical things or in terms of behavior with respect to other persons. I use “conflict” rather than “scarcity” here, because even if all “goods” that might be “economic” should be avaliable in superabundence, conflicts among persons might still arise. Social strife might still arise in paradise. Total absense of conflict would seem to be possible only in a setting where individuals are wholly isolated from one another, or in a social setting where no goods are scarce and where all persons agree on the precise set of behavior norms to be adopted and followed by everyone. In any world that we can imagine, potential interpersonal conflict will be present, and, hence, the need to define and enforce individual rights will exist.