Political Theory of John Locke Essay

Decent Essays
John Locke: Account of Political Society

What would the American government be like today if it was not for the mind and political theory of John Locke? Some historians and philosophers believe that without John Locke our government would only be a shadow of what it is today. Arguably, one of his most important political and philosophical works was his Two Treatises of Government. There he argues that the function of the state is to protect the natural rights of its citizens, primarily to protect the right to property. John Locke, in many eyes, can be viewed as one of the father’s of Democracy. He embraced many of ideas in his theories on the state of nature and the rise of political society today. In Locke’s political society,
…show more content…
This in essence means that all members of the society should be equal under the law of justice, and that no man is better than another, since all men are created equal, and all are equal before the laws of nature. “Everyone as he is bound to preserve himself, and not quit his station willfully; so by the like reason when his own preservation comes not in competition, ought he, as much as he can, to preserve the rest of mankind, and may not unless it be to do justice on an offender, take any, or impair the life, or what tends to the preservation of the life, the liberty, health, limb or goods of another,” (Locke pg 117, 6). That means that no individual has the right to take away the rights of another. As a result, if a person commits a crime, the people have a right to punish him. For example, if one man kills another man's sheep, then the people have the right to kill one of his sheep without committing a crime. Besides the right to self-preservation, Locke also believed that all individuals had a natural right to property, “the labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may say, are property his,” (pg. 128, 27). This natural right carried with it two preconditions of natural law. First, since God gave the earth to all individuals, people must be sure to leave enough property for others to have, the second
Get Access