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Locke and Libertarianism

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Gary Foster

Locke and Libertarianism NOV 5 /13 1) Locke’s Political Theory 2) The Entitlement Theory 3) Patterned Theories 4) The Proviso 1) - John Locke (1632-1704) - disagrees with *Hobbes (1588-1679) gov’t is accountable to the people+ - as a gov’t that is accountable to us, not an absolutist gov’t, a purpose of our rights - but the gov’t that interferes in our lives, we have the right to revolt and go against the gov’t Locke’s Importance 1. Profound influence on the framers of the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution 2. A key alternative to Hobbes’ absolutism Hobbes and Locke on Rights - We are all equal in the state of nature in virtue of: Hobbes: the relative equality of power among agents. (we have the right to everything) Locke: our common origin in God. (equally valuable Morality in the state of nature - Locke: there ARE moral principles binding on us in a state of nature. We may not act without constraint there. (moral standards, we may not do anything we see fit, god also imposed moral constraints on us, we will be punished if we don’t follow, gods property so we have obligations) - Hobbes: we not only may but should Locke: The importance of Labour (people are involved in labour rather than fighting) - origin of property, putting together a government - We all own our bodies. - We also own the fruits of our bodies (what our bodies make). (taking the time to chop wood, farm, make something etc = it’s mine) - Therefore, if you “mix your labour” with some of the common stuff, you are fully entitled to that stuff. - God gave us the world, we own it, we cut slices by mixing our labour with, x is taken out of the common pot and becomes mine, hers, yours, etc. - NOBODY, including governments, can take it away from you once you’ve worked for it. - It’s yours because of the labour you put into it *we only transfer the rights we think the gov’t needs for our wellbeing * our rights that cannot be taken away from us right of…life, liberty & state(things we own) – grouped together called property What follows? The right to revolution over unjust taxation - taking away something that you’ve worked for 2) The Entitlement Theory (Libertarianism) Key exponent: Robert Nozick (1938 – 2002) Distributive Justice - “How scarce goods, like money and pro
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