Locke's Second Treatise: "The Right to Property"
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This paper examines the political philosophy of John Locke, focusing on his work known as "The Second Treatise" and his perspectives on property. First, the paper elaborates on the ubiquitous influence of Locke on democracy in the West. In particular, the paper notes how Locke's writings touch on almost every conceivable tangent of political thought and governmental responsibility and rights, remaining highly relevant and highly controversial even today. Next, the paper approaches Locke's view on property in light of the "Second Treatise" as a whole. The paper cites Locke's belief that money and the unequal distribution of property is an established and therefore correct feature of human society, and that equal distribution is neither an inherent human right nor a political necessity. It also notes Locke's statements about the unimportance of money and the monetary system. The paper concludes by stating that according to Locke, the right to property is one of the essential foundations of government and like everything else must derive from the consent of the majority.
From the Paper:"In the fifth chapter of the second treatise, Locke asserts that "men have agreed to a disproportionate and unequal possession of the earth...by receiving [land] in exchange for the overplus gold and silver." Locke is saying, fairly directly, that the system of monetary exchange and the physical pieces of money--essentially worthless items such as gold and silver--work by the long held implied agreement of their usage. In effect, Locke is saying that money and the unequal distribution of property (in this case useful and wealth-generating land) is an already established and therefore correct feature of human society, and that equal distribution is neither an inherent human right nor a political necessity. This in no way implies, however, that "greed is good," to quote Michael Douglas. In fact, a more careful reading of this passage reveals Locke's true beliefs concerning wealth and the distribution of property."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Locke, John. The Second Treatise of Civil Government. 1690. Accessed 12 July 2009. http://www.constitution.org/jl/2ndtreat.htm
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Locke's Second Treatise: "The Right to Property" (2011, December 07) Retrieved June 22, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/locke-second-treatise-the-right-to-property-149345/
"Locke's Second Treatise: "The Right to Property"" 07 December 2011. Web. 22 June. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/locke-second-treatise-the-right-to-property-149345/>