Locke's Liberal State
> Representation and 'persons'
• Landowner's and rights
• Who's going to 'sign on' to this program?
> Majority Rule
> Libertarian Locke or welfare state Locke?
• Small government or big government
Locke's Two Radical Proposals
> Persons are rational, autonomous, equal and free by nature
• This presents the basis for liberal individualism
• Society is a collection of autonomous individuals seeking the security of central
• Society is a collection of people
> Locke is representation
• What does this mean exactly?
> The interests and opinions of the citizens are a key factor in making public
policy and legislation
> Political actors act on behalf of the citizenry
• If they fail, in this regard, this is grounds for 'eviction'
> This sounds straightforward...
> Three issues that arise here:
• Individualism as a basis for social organization, idea that society is a sum of
collection of individuals
• Property and representation
• Equality: what role does this play in the state
Individualism and Government
> Individuals for Locke:
• Atomic theory of self
• Goods acquirers of goods
• Rational agents - Practical reasoning key here
• Notions of justice and good based on individuals interests and inhibition of
• 'a state of perfect freedom to order their actions ... as they think fit... without
asking leave, or depending on the Will of any other Man'
• Limits on freedom must be justified on grounds that such limits secure our
• In fact, for Locke, law as a restriction must enhance our freedom to pursue our
interests and be safe in our property
Problems with this model
> Priority of individual over collective goods • Mills harms principle a good example
• Government has to pay attention to individuals right, that is freedom freedom
to pursue as long as you don't harm others
> Is the governments role to ensure goods for everyone, or to ensure the freedom
to pursue goods and secure the property of each person?
> Is there room on this account for communal or common goods legislation?
> "Libertarians believe that being free and independent in a great way to live. We
want a system which encourages all people choose what they want from life and
which lets them live, love work plat and dream there own way...The libertarian
way is a logically consistent approach to politics based on the moral principle of