John Locke : A State Of Nature Essay

John Locke : A State Of Nature Essay

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The quote “Where there is no property, there is no justice” reflects the immense amount of weight John Locke places on property when developing his arguments in the Second Treatise of Government. Similar to Hobbes, Locke believed that there was a State of Nature and a State of War. However, contrary to Hobbes, Locke did not equate the two states, Locke believed that the State of Nature was habitable, but the State of War was “a sedate settled design upon another man’s life,” (pg.14); making it unbearable. Furthermore, in a State of Nature, Locke believed that man had the inalienable rights of Life, Liberty and Property and under certain conditions these rights could be maintained in a State of Nature. However when man entered a new age, such rights are no as easily maintained; entering man into a State of War. Despite this, Locke provides man with a solution, in leaving the State of War, which is full of inconveniences. He uses property and it’s elements of labour, money and consent to unveil that a limited government can direct man out of the State of War and into a peaceful and democratic society.
Locke begins his argument by defining the origin and legitimacy of property. In doing so, he must demonstrate that the common property given to man by God can become private property “without any express compact of all the commoners.” (pg.18). He starts of by establishing “that God gave the world to Adam, and his posterity in common,” (pg.18). However, reason then guides man towards self preservation (Law of Nature) and for man to achieve self preservation he must use labour as a means of appropriation. To do so, man must use his physical and mental being to create private motions (that belong only to himself) to generate labour. Thi...

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...sent was a just form of consent) to money, allowing an unequal accumulation of property, therefore contributing to capitalist principles and contradicting socialist principles. Locke uses property and it’s need of consent to shine light on unequal accumulation, and therefore the need for a limited government.
In conclusion, Locke signifies the importance of property by introducing the elements of labour, money and consent. He begins by introducing the importance of labour and its ability to shift common property towards private property. He then initiates the need of a natural limit in the state of nature and the need of positive laws (established by a government) after the admittance of money. It is then concluded that consent is a vehicle in the creation of a political society, in which political power is the rightful power of executing laws for the public good.

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