Comparing Thomas Hobbes And John Locke's State Of Nature

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Hobbes and Locke have very different ideas on property, which is a result of their views on the state of nature. In Hobbes’ state of nature, no one owns property but rather they live and maintain whatever land they are capable of. This is because Hobbes’ state of nature is under the mindset that every man is for himself and against all other men. These ideas are what leads Hobbes’ state of nature to be described as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” (Hobbes). On the other hand, Locke’s state of nature is not the everyday war of Hobbes’, but rather a place where everyone was to get along and respect the rights of others. In Locke’s state of nature it is possible to own property and it was quite easy to do so. Therefore, the difference …show more content…

Property was able to be acquired in Locke’s state of nature because he believed that people were their own property and were able to acquire more property by applying labor into common resources. For example, if a man was to find a piece of land that was unclaimed, he could build a house on it and it would become his property. Unclaimed land being so easily claimed as property is important to Locke as he believed that cultivated land is more valuable than unused land, especially once people are in society. Hobbes believed that people leave the state of nature to join a society to “preserve himself, his liberty, and property,” which are rights that Locke believed people were born with. Those rights are how the idea of exchanging property came about. Instead of every man supplying everything they need, in a society they would be able to exchange property amongst the other (Locke). For example, a farmer could trade corn for wool, now the farmer is no longer dependent on just himself and his property. Exchanging property was also a good motivator for the people of the society has profit could be made from these exchanges. Locke also believed it was the right of the individual to own their property without worrying about the government. The government was not able to take over someone’s property without their consent, but they were allowed to place a taxation over property only if it was necessary to preserve the government. Hobbes believed that individuals had the right to own property whether it be physical goods or land and that these rights existed in the state of nature and in society, under a government where the government’s purpose was to further protect the individuals’

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