POL200Y1Y L5101 1
L24: Locke II
July 30, 2009
•Ch 5: Property
•Rebuilding the Claims of Paternal Authority
•Disentangling the Political from the Familial
•A Lockean "Two-Step"
•Ends of Commwealth
Ch 5: Property
•He summons by using the resources of revelation and reason: god gave the earth to
mankind in common not to Adam individually. SO, how could any single individual
come to own privately a piece of land? Fillmore pressed this earlier. God-given donation
of the earth did NOT create private property, but equally private property did not come
about from the consent of all men. How did private property arise then?
oDivine dispensation in a novel way (new from Fillmore). God gave human
beings all the earth for their use (support, nourishment).
oWhat does Paragraph 34s say?. Nobody can dispute it by saying that we need
the consent of all humans before we eat a banana, that’s absurd.
oPerhaps a reflection of Machiavelli's theory. The prince viewed the land as
something to be used and exploited. What else could the world be for? (perhaps to
appreciate?. Jeez Machiavelli. Should humanity's view towards the earth be
contemplative? Or appreciate? Not using?) whatever else you might say about
divine donation of the earth, Locke thinks that every individual has property
rights to his own person.
Libertarians. Strong proponents of individual private property rights
and freedom from the state. Robert Nozick. Anarchy State and Utopia
oMixing Labour, making something his own. Making it private property. [Para
27] this gives him an exclusive right to it.
•But there are limits. We can use and enjoy BUT NOT destroy
•Paragraph 27 is very important "enough end as good as is common????" something
oAll people have a right to a share of private property in the SON
•He says that god command humans to use effort and make the land productive. But
also, rationality says that man has to cultivate the land due to his condition.
•In paragraph 37, the cultivator of land increases the size of land available.
oUsing our talents, and imposing our wills upon the natural world, has some
individual good but also social good in increasing productive capacity!
oLabour makes the greatest increase in value possible in land.
POL200Y1Y L5101 2
•A sort of distributive justice
•Paragraph 49 "thus in the beginning all the world was America"
•But Locke knew that inequality of property had to eventually occur
oLocke was rich enough to possess enough land beyond what an one individual
•Man agreed to place value on money
oThis enabled men to amass power and money and gives them the right do
oSo individuals overstep their bounds and allotted rations by having too much
•In other words, with the invention of money we see that overstepping/transgressing
the boundaries of natural necessity is not defined by the size of the possession. Through
the invention of money: (which occurs in the state of nature)
•Locke is building in a lot of features in the state of nature. A lot of cultural features
•But people can collect large amounts of money without having it spoil and therefore
not doing injustice directly to others
oMoney only has value because of consent (Para 50)
oBut it does have a social convention even though it seems like other things in
the state of nature.
oBy agreeing to money we allow improper distribution of the earth
•On the basis of this chain of reasoning
oHe justifies economic inequality by starting with god given natural equality
is truly just
•Four big points on Property for Locke?
Locke emphasizes property as a way to create convenience and
comfort for humans on earth. Reduce anxiety and worries about sacricity
•So in this way it is an extension of Hobbes. So Locke agrees that we
should use our intellectual, creative, technologies in order to reduce
suffrage and anxiety.
Locke would agree with Hobbes that the good for human beings is
essentially pleasure. YET, in contrast, Locke focuses on a particular means
to guarantee pleasure and comfort - Property! Hobbes was too general.
Property is how to guarantee.
We should use your intellectually crat
Property is a means to
Locke's account of natural property does raise the specter of collapsing
into the Hobbes SoN. The proviso about leaving enough for the good of others
may not be satisfied. There will therefore be competition and a SoN that is
very competitive and uncertain. A less rational and more Hobbesian state.
Are Locke's provisions for property equality are fair?
POL200Y1Y L5101 3
•Locke says that nature intends increase and a developed economy
creates a better standard of living for poorer members even.
[Para 41] Is this perhaps trickle down economics? Enable the more
energetic and talented to expand the economy so that the poor and SoL will
•But this will work?
Whatever we think of this, the money that inspired inequality
provides the motivation to create civil society. Civil society will protect the
holdings of very talented people who work hard to make more for themselves.
At worse, this means that civil society exists to protect the sufferers. But
even at best, politics becomes a way to maximize property.
•But if this is true, where is the value of citizenship? Has Locke
demeaned politics by turning it into an instrument of economic growth?
•You can conclude that Locke's theory would be very friendly to Locke's fellow rich
landowners. The idea develops that owning property is not simply a matter of luck but
rather fairness and justice. This becomes good for the community as even day labourers
•But does this theory accord with the god-given state of equality in the SoN?!
Rebuilding the Claims of Paternal Authority
•In these sections, religious arguments are dropping out of account. It becomes clear
that Locke wants the political that Locke wants it to be based on the rights, duties and
interests of human beings (reason) rather than revelation.
•The sphere of the political, Ch 6-7, is disentangled here. Think back to Filmer, it
advocated unlimited authority based on patriarchy and the divine distribution of power
oLocke's concern was to distinguish paternal and political power. Human
beings are NOT born with irresistible obligations?
Think of how children are born into families, subject to the authority
of their parents
Locke needs to provide an alternative account of paternal power
oThis paternal political switch may be useful
oPeople are accustomed to the idea of one man rule because they are
accustomed to live in families
But Locke argues that despite what we may think, it is worth
distinguishing the paternal from the political. In section 63, he argues that
power is distributed to both parents and not the father. This defuses the
arguments for paternal authority