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4) Explain and Evaluate the Way in Which Locke Related His Theory of Property to His Theory of Government.

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John LockeÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s labour theory of property and government has won attention from a staggering range of interpreters. Some analysts have hailed the theory as the greatest achievement of LockeÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s political writing, whereas others have scorned it as critically misdirected and shallow. For numerous analysts both friendly and hostile, the labour theory functions as the core of Lockean individualism, but for others the theory serves as the foundation of LockeÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s Communitarianism. Many critics and supporters of Locke have found his reasoning to be firm, but some admirers and some detractors have found it to be insubstantial. Therefore our task is to critically evaluate this theory in terms of explaining what it is, how the two premises are interrelated and to consider justifications for inequality and private property.

Firstly what must be addressed is the problem of property. The difficulty is we donÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦t know what initial view of property Locke was using when he wrote his thesis. If we take the liberal view it means that Government is based on consent, monarchy and the rule of law. An alternative is the opinion of bourgeois property rights, meaning that property is given by natural rights and the government ultimately owns it. However, it is generally agreed today that the interpretation of property is the Christian view, which opens up the debate between John Locke and Robert Filmer, the main reason being that the two disagree over the notion of the Christian view. Ð'ÐŽÐ'§FilmerÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s claims were claims about the God-given rights of the crown. What he appears to have gouged out of Locke in his implicitly radical response was not just a prudential judgement about how extensive the rights of the crown should be but a horror at the idea that limitless royal power should be construed as a gift God.Ð'ÐŽÐ'Ё This is also known as the divine right of kings. In this way Filmer rejects the existence of private property, because the monarch owns all property. In what you could call a monopoly ownership of land, everyone owns land through the means of the monarch.

Locke felt it necessary to undermine this statement. He initially says that everyone is naturally free, so the governmentÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s existence is by consent alone. With all due regard to private property, he says this cannot operate simply on the basis of consent. Therefore if we use an analogy to express the two conflicting views,Ð'ÐŽÐ'ЁFor Filmer men needed a concrete continuing authority in which they could be wrapped. Like crabs they could live only in a continuous God-given shell. But to Locke they were more like hermit crabs: the shells they needed, their instincts made available to them. It was GodÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s world they lived in- but as difficult as it seemed.Ð'ÐŽÐ'Ё According to LockeÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s theory of government, consent is the basis for government, not for property and he thus claims it necessary for consistency in his theory. Before we go any further we should also note that property, in 1690 according to Locke, had a broader definition at the time, being wholly inclusive of personal rights and religious and civil liberties. So, essentially we must view relationship between property and government on these terms. The question we must now answer is how can there be private property without consent and absolute monarchy?

LockeÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s answer to this problem came in the form of the natural right to property. These private property rights are natural rights- not in saying that men are born with them but in saying that though these rights are acquired only as the result of actions and transactions that men undertake on their own initiative and not by virtue of the means of any civil framework of positive rules vesting those rights in them. Rights of private property are not God-given to the individuals that have them. Seemingly Locke believed that God favoured private property on the grounds that he created the world and its resources with the intention that humans should acquire rights over it in this way. We can see this stated in LockeÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s second treatise of government: Ð'ÐŽÐ'§God who hath given the world to men in common, hath also given them reason to make use of it to the best advantage of life, and convenience. The earth, and all that is therein, is given to men for the support and comfort of their being.Ð'ÐŽÐ'Ё God also gave humans reason, primarily to use the earthÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s resources. But the main argument for private property is the argument based on the idea that when a man labours on a resource, he puts something of himself into it. He claimed that because we mix our labour with the land, we thereby deserve the right to control the use of the land and benefit from its product. Ð'ÐŽÐ'§In LockeÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s theory, individuals are said to have a right to defend themselves, and others by means of labour. These two rights correlate with duties to others. The power one has to defend oneself and others is the origin of political power.Ð'ÐŽÐ'Ё So we can say that labour is the absolute fundamental human activity because the right for property derives itself from self-preservation. This is known as LockeÐ'ÐŽÐ'¦s labour theory. We need to understand first that there are two conditions under which the labour theory works and this is according to The Lockean proviso.

The Spoilage condition means that objects of nature must not go to waste, and thus Locke contrasts the use of a resource with its wasteful destruction. However it is not the destruction itself that can violate the spoilage condition, because we often destroy things while using them. Ð'ÐŽÐ'§What Locke means is the negligent or deliberate loss of use-value without use, so that an object becomes useless for any human purpose. If this happens, this person has prevented an existing object created by God for human use from affording satisfaction to any human need or want.Ð'ÐŽÐ'Ё The other side to the equation is the sufficiency condition. Put simply it is understood as being when you acquire property, you must leave Ð'ÐŽÐ'Ґenough and as good left to others.Ð'ÐŽÐ'¦ We can expand on this vague statement to say that the sufficiency limitation is a simple recognition, in terms of acquisition, of the right to an adequate subsistence from the resources of the world. Given a sufficiency limitation, none is liable to appropriate unless everybody can, so in this scenario, everyone must attempt to survive working on common land without any sort of enclosure. We will explain the limitations of these two conditions in due



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