Artists in 1902

Artists in 1902

  • Submitted By: jim23
  • Date Submitted: 03/15/2009 5:23 PM
  • Category: Technology
  • Words: 560
  • Page: 3
  • Views: 373

In his chapter, “On Property,” Locke seeks to discount another writer, Robert

Filmer, who claimed that divine monarchs were the rightful owners of lands

across the globe. Locke counters that common men were the rightful owners of

the lands that they labored. He uses an example of a man who picks a fruit from a

tree located on the land that he has labored; the land being his property. The man is

obviously permitted to eat this fruit since it is his property and was located on the

land that he labored. Locke’s writings, particularly on property, were instrumental

in the formation of modern institutions and concepts like free market capitalism and

democratic governance. He warns against plundering land and consuming in excess

but Locke’s opinions on property have had an unintended and devastating

consequence. It has resulted in the “freedom” or “right” to use and exploit land as

the owner has deemed beneficial to him- or herself. Corporations have destroyed

thousands of acres of natural rain forests where thousands of species used to live

and millions of humans who needed the water and medicine are not able to extract

those resources now. These practices are justified by our society’s cherished right

to property. Locke’s opinion on property does have other consequences that are

beneficial to the individual and society.

Locke wanted every man to be the master of his own body; this was the

most important property to man. The right to own one’s own body was the

foundation for his argument regarding property. Locke wanted to expel the notion

that governments could not support the people because the leader and his subjects

did not always share common interests. Locke concluded that man left nature to

create a social contract with society. A civil government could emerge from society

that would protect the people’s basic rights.

Locke’s words were powerful and...

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