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Locke On Property Essay

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Political Philosophy

2. Explain and critically examine the role of property in Locke’s political theory. You should focus especially on Locke’s argument about the natural (i.e. pre-political) origin of property and its consequences for equality and freedom in civil society.

John Locke was one of the influential political philosophers of modern period (1632-1704). At his works he supported the claim that men are by nature free and equal against the claim that God had create all people naturally as a subject to monarch. Moreover, in his work Two Treaties of Government he argued that people have rights such as the right to life, liberty, and property that have a foundation independent of the laws of any particular society.

Locke supports the right of the people to overthrow rulers who betray them; he asserts that if a leader violates the community’s trust, the people can and should replace him immediately.

Similarly, if the government does not fulfill the needs of the people, it should be dissolved and replaced with other form of government which people think is the best.

Locke’s treatment of property is known as one of the most important contributions in political thought, but it is also one of the aspects of his thought that has been most heavily criticized. Locke defines political power as the right to make laws for the protection and regulation of property, in his view these laws only work because the people accept them and because they are for the public good. Locke claimed that the earth itself can be considered as a property of all the people in the world to use for their survival and benefit by natural reasons. However, Locke also critically claimed about individual property, he says that in order to existence for individual property there must be a way for individuals to take possession of the things around them. Locke explains that the best theory of right to ownership and natural origin of property is rooted in the fact that each person owns...

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