In The Second Treatise Of Government, John Locke Offers

1637 WordsApr 28, 20177 Pages
In the Second Treatise of Government, John Locke offers a theory of human beings as owners of their own persons and labor, and of a natural right to property, which is the function of civil society to protect. In the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Rousseau argues that “private property is an artificial creation and the source of crimes, wars, miseries, and horrors” (Rousseau. p. 62). Locke and Rousseau have radically different conclusions after beginning from seemingly similar views on labor, property, and political power. While both provide clear views on issues of property with relation to political power, I believe that Rousseau makes a better argument because he argues for equality; he is against the privatization of property,…show more content…
Part One. p. 38). There was no inequality because humans traveled to search for what they needed for survival. Unlike Locke, Rousseau criticizes Locke’s notion of the state of nature because it is difficult to understand the primitive state because we are so far detached from it. Rousseau understands the state of nature as being dynamic; we can only guess what the state of nature could have been like. Humans have been around institutions for so long that we do not know what it is like to be in a state of nature anymore (Rousseau. Preface. p. 33). Rousseau and Locke had different notions of the state of nature but there were some overlapping agreement on particular issues. They both agree that the land belongs to everyone but Locke introduces a theory of property being owned by man if he mixed his labor with the land. Locke believed that God gave everyone the land and that it was not to be owned by a single person but he did believe that once labor was mixed with the land, the land belonged to the person. Locke stated “… he hath mixed his labor with, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property” (Locke. Ch. V. p. 19), meaning that he believed that labor created value which is why the land belonged to the person once someone had worked on it; it gave a right of property to those who worked the land. While he believed that worked land belonged to a person, he did not
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