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Lecture

POL200Y1 Lecture Notes - Slow Hand, John Locke, Legislature


Department
Political Science
Course Code
POL200Y1
Professor
Rebecca Kingston

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POL200 (March 26, 2014)
Intro
Executive prerogative given a lot of power
People in power can do damage in the name of their legitimacy
While Locke has theory of sov that changed nature of how we understand political world,
he also has a cautious narrative of when the people can be justified in exploring their
power
Power of people significantly reduced
For Locke, sov made peace bc ppl being governed by laws of nature
Locke and Hobbes’ laws of nature very diff
People need to be concerned not only of their own preservation, but preservation of all
humans
Locke speaks to limit of civil associations (re: families, enjoyment of property)
For Locke, purpose of gov is to enjoy secure property
ii. Breakout
State of nature: Locke wanted to portray a more peaceful state of nature, allowing for
promises and property and gave to individuals a form of political power. Individuals had
power and right to enforce law of nature. Whereas for Hobbes natural law didn’t apply in
state of nature; it only allowed people to get out of state of nature.
For Locke, there is a thing as justice in state of nature. Justice gives people individual
rights. Gives something that allows political order to be judged. But for Hobbes, law is
something that is created by political order.
“reparation and restraint” are only reasons why ppl can punish ppl in state of nature for
Locke
Possibility of war inevitable in Locke’s state of nature that creates move into political
order
Individuals responsible for enforcement of law of nature also inclined to either have diff
of opinion or misapply it in their own case or in case of others
Duty of individuals to enforce state of nature, but ppl come to it with diff states of nature

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Breeds moment of conflict bc who’s to say whether or not they broke state of nature
when everyone’s state is diff
For locke, war is ultimate outcome of state of nature but in contrast to Hobbes, it doesn’t
give unlimited state of nature in order to preserve oneself
Ppls fear of death propels ppl out of nature and into state of nature in Hobbes
Importance and purpose of gov is for preservation of property: locke
Idea that ppls property is under threat
Locke understands property: your body, your life, your actions, your fate. These all under
threat in state of nature so gov established to protect property
iii. The Contract – Easy Persuasion
Locke claims theres a historical basis for his state of nature
Can be either a historical or juridical act
Historical: we may forget our origins and consent and does not have to be expressed or
written but can be tacit also
Juridical: state of nature individuals have two central powers or rights: 1) self-
preservation, the right to ruse one’s self and possessions as one wishes in accordance
with natural law and right season; 2) punishing of the breaches against the law of nature
(see ss. 11-13 ch 2)
Establishment of society happens in two stages for Locke as opposed to one stage in
Hobbes
2 stages:
When we consent to society, we give up right to enforce law of nature entirely to the
community. The community becomes common judge and this is moment of popular sov
bc natural power each individuals has becomes collective political power (s 130 ch 9).
Right of self preservation not given up altogether, but limited, not only by law of nature
but also by laws expected to be developed by social order. Ability to preserve yourself
limited by community (s 129). Person consents to have laws of community regulate their
persons, property. Essentially ppl give up power to community.
Agreement bw ppl and gov where they decide what kind of gov they want. Ppl can set up
depending on where they want legislative power: will power reside in one person or
many? Diff between monarchial, oligcharcial or democratic form of gov. Once form of
gov formed, while 1st part is unanimous as everyone must agree, but majority role kicks
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