Essay on Locke

In: Social Issues

Submitted By vism
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What is Locke's justification for private property? Does it work in contemporary conditions?

Locke believed that private property was a means to an end and that by investing labour into an object, the individual appropriated that object. However, Locke’s theory does not work in the modern world. The technological and economical advances have rendered Locke’s theory obsolete.

Locke believed the human race was born into a state of nature. This meant there was no government or higher authority and each individual was autonomous. Each man had the right to do what he wanted as long as he preserved peace and mankind in general. He also had the right to preserve himself and therefore, he had the right to those things that would help him and make him happy. Locke believed that God gave mankind all the resources and materials for man’s preservation and all man had to do was use them. By applying labour to the resources, man would bear the fruits of his labour and would be happy. For example, God has provided fields for mankind to use and all man has to do is farm the fields and he can enjoy the crops that are yielded as a result. Locke proposed that since individuals completely own their own bodies, it would only follow that they should own what their bodies and labour produces too. Therefore, Locke believed that appropriation came by investing labour into something. By gaining the fruits of investing your labour into property, Locke believed that private property was the means to an end. However, Locke also proposed some restrictions because God wants all of his children to be happy. Man should only take into possession something if it does not harm another in doing so. He should not take into possession more than what he can use and leave the rest for others to enjoy. Unfortunately, the world is afflicted with immoral men who violate these natural laws. To prevent…...

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