Essay about Natural Equality and Civil Society

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Natural Equality and Civil Society According to John Locke in his "Second Treatise of Government", natural equality is an essential component of the state of nature; the ‘state of nature' being one of peace, tranquility, and equality, where there is no common power guided by reason. However, the lack of common power also supplies an inconvenience for the state of nature– the aptitude to fall into a state of war with no means to escape it. To avoid this "inconvenience", Locke finds it a necessity to form civil society ruled by a common authority of law. For a such government to preserve its legitimacy, the transition into civil society must maintain some degree of equality. The origination of property, the introduction …show more content…
If all human beings are to use the earth to their ‘best advantage' and the earth is the common property of all, someone somewhere will have conflicting interests with another human being over the possession of some thing. The only remedy is to sacrifice his/her equality by consent (It is not likely that one would surrender equality to another) OR to enter a ‘state of war.' The only protection against the state of war in John Locke's opinion is to enter into civil society governed by a common authority. By taking this measure, Locke insists humankind can better protect itself against war and preserve the right to enjoy what one possesses, ". . . because no political society can be, nor subsist, without having in itself the power to preserve the property" [pg. 18]. Entering civil society requires handing over one's executive rights and submitting to a common authority by law. So, according to Locke's definition of equality, giving up one's natural executive rights means natural equality is no longer truly existent. Though we are all still ‘born to the same advantages of nature', and we still ‘share the same faculties', and we still do not gain the right to ‘subordinate' another human being, we consent to subordinate our personal freedoms and liberties to a common law for our own welfare. By
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