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EXAM REVIEW - LOCKE.docx
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Department
Political Studies
Course
POLS 250
Professor
Andrew D Lister
Semester
Winter

Description
EXAM REVIEW Locke – The Second Treatise of Government, Ch. 1-13, 16, 18-19. • Begins with a state of nature o State where there is no government with real political power o Political equality: no superior or inferior individuals o Political power is the ability to make laws enforceable by the death penalty, and therefore all lesser punishments as well o People remain in the state of nature until they have agreed to the creation of a political authority • God created man, meaning they are his property o End goal is survival o No right to murder or suicide, or any real authority over own life o Means necessary to survival are man’s natural right, existing prior to civil government o Natural law is to not violate natural rights of other  What is naturally best for self and others • Premeditated act against freedom of others creates state of war o Self-preservation law of state of nature allows killing in self-defence o In state of war (within nature) there is no limit on proportional use of retaliation: I can kill a thief even if he hasn’t tried to kill me because he is using force without right, and I have no reason to believe he is only going to rob me. o The state of nature involves equals governed by reason, but if I am attacked I have right to war o War in society ends as soon as the force is over, because authorities of society can act retrospectively o War in nature does not end until the original aggressor offers peace and compensates the victim, otherwise the victim may continue to try and kill the aggressor o Most people enter society to avoid state of war. Limits war and increases security. • Natural liberty is right to be ruled only by natural law; social liberty only by legislative power consented to in commonwealth o Fundamentally all of Locke’s ideas rest on right to personal liberty • It is impossible to volunteer for slavery: freedom from arbitrary power is too fundamental/do not have power to destroy own life o The only legitimate slavery is an extension of state of war: a captive aggressor. • Locke’s view of human nature is that people do come into conflict, steal and act aggressively, but that reason allows them to realize their true best interests • All natural things are property of man for survival and benefit o Labour turns common property into individual property o Natural limits on property: extent of labour and spoilage o Money solves spoilage • Parents exert power over their children because they don’t have reason (thought) to serve them in nature or society o Reason leads to personal freedom o The master and the mistress of the household have power over everyone, but not absolute power (i.e. not life or death) nor political power  Locke believes that when youth have developed reason they should become their own masters, as such the political power cannot be paternal o Locke equates monarchies to paternal societies, suggesting them to likewise not possess political authority  In Locke’s time kings were compared to fathers of their subjects, and fathers usually functioned as the paternal and political center of power in the family o Neither the master/slave nor the parent/child relationship is a suitable model for civil society • Civil society: united body of individuals under the power of an executive that protects their property and wellbeing, designing legislation to govern o Thus the commonwealth combines legislative power to makes laws and the executive power to enforce laws, with the support of the people o Absolute monarchy places no common authority over all, investing all authority in one person  The monarch can impinge on property and welfare, the people lack comfort, protection and incentive, and therefore the system suffers.  No individual shoul
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