The central principles of what today is broadly known as political liberalism were made current in large part by Locke's Second Treatise of Government (1690). The principles of individual liberty, the rule of law, government by consent of the people, and the right to private property are taken for granted as fundamental to the human condition now. Most liberal theorists writing today look back to Locke as the source of their ideas. Some maintain that religious fundamentalism, "post-modernism," and socialism are today the only remaining ideological threats to liberalism. To the extent that this is true, these ideologies are ultimately attacks on the ideas that Locke, arguably more than any other, helped to make the universal vocabulary of political discourse.
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.
John Locke was an English philosopher. He is considered the first of the British Empiricists, but is equally important to social contract theory. His ideas had enormous influence on the development of epistemology and political philosophy, and he is widely regarded as one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers and contributors to liberal theory. His writings influenced Voltaire and Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. This influence is reflected in the American Declaration of Independence.
Locke's theory of mind is often cited as the origin for modern conceptions of identity and "the self", figuring prominently in the later works of philosophers such as David Hume, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant. Locke was the first Western philosopher to define the self through a continuity of "consciousness." He also postulated that the mind was a "blank slate" or "tabula rasa"; that is, contrary to Cartesian or Christian philosophy, Locke maintained that people are born without innate ideas.
دوستانِ گرانقدر، این کتاب از دو رساله، دربارهٔ حکومت و دولت تشکیل شده است و میتوان گفت که مشهورترین اثرِ «جان لاکـ» پس از کتاب "رساله ای دربارهٔ فهم انسان" میباشد... پایهٔ فلسفهٔ این کتاب بر مبنایِ طبیعتِ وجودیِ انسان و سیاست میباشد و همانطور که برخی از شما عزیزان میدانید، فلسفهٔ سیاسیِ جان لاکـ، به اصطلاح برخورداری انسانها از حق مالکیتشان میباشد، آنهم مالکیتِ خصوصیِ تک تکِ آنها عزیزانم، جان لاک، انسانی خردگرا نبود و عقاید او همچون بسیاری از نویسندگانی که در ایران آنها را به اشتباه بزرگ کرده اند، موهوم پرستانه بود و از عقاید دینی سرچشمه میگرفت و در این کتاب نیز هرچیز را به موهومات و مسائل ماورائی ارتباط داده است و دریغ از ذره ای احترام و ارزش قائل شدن برای کرامتِ انسانی... بهتر بود تا اگر ارزشی برای انسان قائل است بخاطر خود انسان و قوانینِ طبیعت باشد، نه آنکه بخاطر مذهب و قوانین نامشخص از موجودی به نام ِ "خدا" باشد از دیدگاه لاک، زمانی که خداوند انسان را آفرید، انسان مجبور بود تا بر اساسِ قوانینِ طبیعی زندگی کند و تا زمانی که صلح برقرار بود، هرکسی هرآنچه که دلش میخواست انجام میداد... لاک، اینگونه میگوید که: حقِ انسان برای نگهداری و صیانتِ نفسِ خویش این است که اشیایِ مورد نیاز برای بقایِ خویش را در اختیار داشته باشد و شاد زندگی کند و تمامی اینها را خدا مقدر کرده است این نویسنده دربارهٔ مالکیتِ خصوصی انسانها مینویسد: انسان نباید در صورتیکه از عملش زیانی به انسانِ دیگری برسد، دست به تصرفِ مالی بزند، چون خدا دوست دارد که تمامی انسانها خوشبخت و سعادتمند باشند و انسان نباید بیش از آنچه نیاز دارد در جستجویِ مال و ثروت برآید، چراکه دیگران میتوانند از آن مال و ثروت استفاده کنند.. امّا از آنجا که اشخاص با اهدافِ غیراخلاقی نیز وجود دارند، انسان میبایست قوانین نگهداری و پشتیبانی از حقوقِ مالکیت و آزادی را وضع کند که این پشتیبانی و حمایت در اصل حمایت از تمامی اعضایِ یک جامعه است چنانچه حکومت از رفاهِ اعضایِ جامعه حمایت نکند، باید با حکومتِ دیگری جایگزین شود و جامعه وظیفهٔ اخلاقی دارد که در برابرِ حکومت های نالایق به کودتا و اعتراض و قیام دست بزند این نویسنده معتقد است که زمانی که حکومتِ مناسب و کارآمد تشکیل شود، انسانها و اعضایِ جامعه از نظر مادی و معنوی رشد خواهند کرد و در غیر این صورت ممکن نیست.... او معتقد است که حکومت و دولت باید متناسب با قانون طبیعی و پایداری که خداوند مقرر داشته است، در جامعه آزادی برقرار کند درکل، جان لاک، زمانی این دو رساله را نوشت که تنش ها و درگیری هایِ بسیاری میانِ مجلس و حکومتِ انگلستان وجود داشت البته دوستانِ عزیز و گرامی، جان لاک، معتقد بود که برای تغییر حکومت باید به هر کاری که از دستتان بر می آید دست بزنید، مثلاً خودش در ترورِ نافرجامِ پادشاه شرکت داشت و از نفراتِ اصلی در کودتا در انگلستان بود که برادرِ شاه به وی رحم کرد و تنها او را از انگلستان به هلند تبعید نمود ... هیچگاه نباید به انسانهایی که برای رسیدن به هدفشان حاضرند تا خونِ انسانهای دیگر ریخته شود، اعتماد نمود و برای سخنانشان ارزش قائل بود... معمولاً موهوم پرستانی که هرچیزی را به موجودی به نام خدا ارتباط میدهند، ممکن است برای خدای نامرئیِ خویش، حاضر به قتل و کشتار دیگران شوند نورِ چشمانم، همیشه از این دسته از موجودات دوری کنید، اینها برای رسیدن به بهشت و برای اعتقادات دینی و مذهبی هرکاری میکنند و اسمش را انجامِ فرامین و قوانینِ الهی میگذرانند و در بین نوشته ها و سخنانشان اندکی نیز از آزادی و سعادت انسانها مینویسند تا مخاطب و مردم ناآگاه را با روشِ مغلطه فریب دهند... تفاوتی هم ندارد که مسیحی باشند، یا مسلمان و یا یهودی... مهم این است که هرکدام به اعتقاداتِ دینی و مذهبیِ خود تعصب و ایمان دارند -------------------------------------------- امیدوارم این ریویو برای فرزندانِ خردگرا و فلسفه دوستِ سرزمینم، مفید بوده باشه «پیروز باشید و ایرانی»
100 things I’ve learned† from Ayn Rand'sJohn Locke’s “Second Treatise of Government”:
1. God gave the world to Adam, and his successive heirs.
2. Therefore, by the natural laws of succession (i.e. primogeniture), that means everything in the world should now be owned by one supreme King.
3. Hmmm. That doesn’t sound so good.
4. Hey! What’s that over there!?
5. As I was saying, everything in the world is owned in common by everyone.
6. But not like the stupid way the English do it with “Common land”, where no-one can do anything without getting everyone’s permission first.
7. If that were the natural state of things, then father couldn’t just put lots of meat on the dinner table for the whole family to eat, he’d have to tell everyone what their portion was first, and that would be madness.
8. Rather, anyone should be allowed to just take anything they want. The very act of taking it makes it theirs.
9. This is clearly how God intended things, as he commanded man to work, and thus my labour in picking up an apple makes it mine.
10. Don’t be greedy though. You’re only allowed to take anything you can actually use before it spoils.
11. This applies to land too. You can simply take as much land as you like without asking anyone’s permission, but only if you’re actually able to properly tend to it.
12. Some people claim that this is reducing the Commons, but they’ve obviously never learned how to count. Land that is well looked after produces ten times as much value as land that’s just lying idle. So if I take 10 acres and use it to feed myself, society hasn’t lost those 10 acres, it has gained 90 acres. Or maybe even 900!
13. If you have taken too much from the commons — say, too many plums — then one way to avoid having them spoil is to trade them with someone else. If someone gives you lots of, say, nuts that will last a year for your excess plums, then crisis avoided! If those plums spoil now, it’s his fault, not yours.
14. And now, better yet, get someone to give you sparkly metal for those nuts. That will never spoil!
15. Now that you have property that is rightfully yours, you’re allowed to use lethal force to defend it.
16. If someone has already managed to steal everything you own, then your recourse is to the law.
17. But if someone is actively trying to steal something — say, your coat — from you right now, then you don’t have time to go find a magistrate somewhere to stop him, so instead you’re entitled to just kill him.
18. Nature itself tells us this is obviously so. Just as you can’t reason with a wild animal, any person who resorts to force against you is no different to a beast of prey, and should be killed like one.
19. Oh, and when I talk about laws of nature, you know what I mean. I don’t want to go into detail of how that works, but anyway I don’t need to, as it’s all as obvious and plain as commonwealth law. Clearer, in fact.
20. Just like how when a husband and wife disagree, it’s obvious that someone needs to make the final decision, and naturally that will be the man.
21. So, yes, anyway, it’s the thief’s fault that I don’t have time to go find a judge, so I’m allowed to kill him if I can.
22. And when I say “kill”, I also mean that I can force him to be my slave instead. After all, he’ll be happy to be a slave instead of being dead. And any time he decides that he doesn’t like it any more, he can just refuse to do what I say, thus bringing about the death he obviously wants instead.
23..99 And now that I’ve derived from first principles that ‘society’ is just a collective formulation of all these natural rights, it’s fairly obvious how government should work…
100. Unfortunately I lost most of the first draft of this treatise, which was an excellent fisking of that ass Filmer. But, oh well, that’s probably OK, as surely no-one believes him any more anyway, and now you get to read this instead. And if this is as good as I think it is (and, trust me, it really is that good!), then the lost pages are no great loss at all.
† With the proviso that I’ve only read it, not studied it.
PS: I strongly recommend Jonathan Bennett's ‘translation’ into modern English. It makes it so much easier to see the crazinessunderstand the text.
"3. Political power, then, I take to be a right of making laws with penalties of death, and consequently all less penalties, for the regulating and preserving of [private] property, and of employing the force of the community, in the execution of such laws, and in the defence of the common-wealth from foreign injury; and all this only for the public good."
So I finally have read political philosophy that makes sense. This is the philosopher that Thomas Jefferson and James Madison swore by and who is essential to understanding modern democratic governance. With this treatise, which was a polemic against absolute monarchy, you see the project started by Aristotle in his Politics finally reach its conclusion--for the most part.
This book is not a relatively long read when you consider its subject matter so I will not have to go into a extended summary on it. Basically, humanity starts out in a very free, very equal state of nature were everything is shard with every one and the law of nature which is reason rules all. If you cause conflict you go into a state of war and all just measures can be used to subdue you. It is constant in nature, and after it, that preservation of yourself (first) and others is key which means slavery is not allowed of yourself or anybody else.
When you start to acquire private property though, the state of nature is not a very good place to be any more and this is where [hu]man start[s] to make a civil society and all the laws that come with it. Civil society, while nice, is not perfect and it is when your government starts messing with your ability to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of property then you have a right to revolution.
This treatise, of course, is really known for its establishment of what we now call liberal government. It is the main reason I feel this to be the best work of political philosophy I have read. Locke says that in the end it does not matter what form of government you have. The reason is that two principles have to be in place: a.) the government relies on the consent of the people or citizenry and b.) that the government acts in a limited role, doing only what is necessary for the well-being of civil society. This last point is easily the most confusing because what any society considers necessary is not set in stone.
This is just a very short, abridged and inadequate summary of some of the knowledge in this book. The reason I don't go into more detail is because it is much better that you read this book yourself than hear it second hand. This goes especially if you live under a government that is theoretically limited in its role and based on the consent of the governed because you are basically living in John Locke's commonwealth. If you had to read one book on political philosophy, this is the book.
This book was assigned reading for the "Social and Political Philosophy" class at Loyola University Chicago. It's a rewarding, yet easy, read.
John Locke's Second Treatise has long been mentioned as a major factor in forming the mindsets of the authors of the Constitution of the USA. There is certainly, as Wittgenstein would put it, "a family resemblance", but a study of the library contents of the period indicates that actually it may not have been much read at the time. It certainly wasn't his most popular book. In any case, when the framers spoke and wrote, their references were much more often to the idealized days of the Roman Republic than to the theories of Locke or any other roughly contemporary political philosopher. Still, the kind of thinking enunciated by Locke was apparently in the air and his arguments regarding governmental legitimacy are powerful--at least to those of us indoctrinated since childhood with such ideals as that governments require legitimization beyond brute force or tradition.
The basic idea is this: governments derive legitimacy from the consent of the governed--in other words, they are contractual arrangements. Any notion that this is historically descriptive is certainly dubious, but the idea is certainly relevant to the founding of this republic years after his death. It was also, during that period, apparently both realistic and practical, the existence of the American frontier allowing adults the possibility of opting out such contracts.
Of course, Locke has his blindspots. He does deal with the issue of children, endorsing the idea that young men upon attainment of their majority ought be able to become outlaws. Tho young boys remain coerced, they have the prospect of freedom. He does not, however, at least to my recollection, give thought to girls and women. Nor does he think of those adult members of the community who are, owing to physical or mental disability, unable to fend for themselves. Most egregiously, however, he neglects the native inhabitants of the American and of all other habitable frontiers of his and of our later revolutionary age.
Still, it is a powerful idea and an attractive one. So powerful and constituative is it of the secular American religion that the loss of the frontier, of any realistic way to opt out of the American system, out of any governmental system, constitutes a radical challenge to the very foundations of the claim that the United States of America is in any way specially sanctioned.
I should very much like to live in a society in which this, the matter of governmental legitimacy, was an issue of actual concern, rather than of pious mythologization. Any government worthy of our respect must needs include among its functions the maintenance of real means to escape its authority. Indeed, making allowance for race and gender blindness, our government, and that of our Britannic parent, used to act with some mind to just that when the mythic frontiers of America and of Australia seemed quite real. Oh, it was half-assed and self-serving, but frontiers were seen as social safety valves and these, and other, governments did make some efforts to make it possible for citizens to get away from noxious authority by such means as the Northwest Territories and Homestead Acts. Nowadays, however, while rugged individualism and frontier virtues are still invoked by the political priesthoods, the actual fact is quite the contrary. Our government grows ever more intrusive, ever more oppressive, ever more inescapable and ever more disrespected while it should, at least, be striving to engage with the other powers and principalities in order to create the conditions for all of them to obtain and maintain legitimacy. This can be done.
Science fiction writers has dealt with this issue for decades, solving the problem of legitimacy in various ways. On one extreme there is the vast body of literature about pioneers in space, usually just hi-tech versions of sixteenth through eighteenth century colonists, pioneers, adventurers, pirates and the like. These pictures are, of course, unrealistic, given the technologies involved and the capitalization that they would entail. On the other extreme, and more realistically, there have been some who have envisioned futures when vast areas of our planet have been depopulated in order to allow for outlawry. As I recall, Huxley makes a wilderness Australia the alternative to his dystopian brave new world and a private retreat the haven for psychedelic pilgrims in his Island. Neither work out, but they could. Here, in the Midwest, we have created a national park in the Indiana Dunes by exemplary intention.
Unless nature forces the issue by radical depopulation, such an effort will not yield immediate results. If the nations unitedly decided to create a frontier of, say, Australia (assuming it would be big enough and clement enough to be a real alternative to those not liking the existing social contracts available elsewhere and willing to bear the hardships of independent outlawry), it would have to occur over time given the interests of its current inhabitants. Otherwise, one might consider global efforts to reduce the human population and perhaps concentrate the remainder so as to allow ever-increasing frontier areas everywhere, frontiers offering freedoms ranging from weekend excursions to lifelong escape. Or, and this I just have a glimmer of, perhaps future developments in computer technology, the world-wide web and self-induced altered states of consciousness will allow our descendents other dimensions of freedom barely imaginable to us now, but real enough to them as to serve as alternatives to unwanted authority.
In any case, John Locke, way back in the transitional years of the 17-18th centuries, got me started worrying about this stuff. Quite an accomplishment!
I think that the best description for this book is that it formed much of the Founding Fathers' source code behind their political thought, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. Now, we largely take it for granted that all men are created equal and are endowed with natural rights. In 1690, in a time when the Divine Right of Kings was still very much in acceptance, Locke's contention that all men are have the same natural rights was a revolutionary notion which he developed in justification of England's Glorious Revolution which overthrew King James II.
Because of Locke's major influence on Thomas Jefferson, I read this book. Surprisingly, Locke forms many of his beginning basis of his arguments on natural rights from the Bible --- something that I was not told about in either high school or college in their mentions of his political philosophy. Probably not a good book for a weak reader, but definitely worth the effort for anyone seeking to learn the background from which America's greatest patriots drew their principles during and after the American Revolution.
This is Locke’s most famous political work, in which he explains the role of legitimate government and the basis for legitimate revolution.
Locke argues that the people have the right to dissolve the government if it is usurped by a tyrannical executive power, or if the government ignored its own duties. Then the people have the right to reform the structure of government so that it protects against future abuses of power or breaches of trust. Locke wants to show that his argument for a right to revolution will not lead to excessive unrest, so he emphasizes that as long as people have a reliable way to change their laws, they are unlikely to resort to force to overthrow the government.
There’s also a chapter on the rights of parents over their children (Chapter 6: Of Parental Power), in which Locke argued criticized the prevalent idea that "the power of parents over their children [is] wholly in the father, as if the mother had no share in it; whereas, if we consult reason or revelation, we shall find, she hath an equal title."
Locke’s discussion of slavery allows for one way that he says slavery can be legitimate: The state of slavery can result from a continued state of war between the winning side in a just war and the defeated aggressors, in which the winner has the right to enslave the captives in return for sparing their lives. There’s a clear contradiction between this theory and slavery as it actually existed, since Atlantic slavery was hereditary.
I reread this book in the Well-Educated Mind Histories Group. I haven’t looked at any secondary sources except the Stanford Encyclopedia article on Locke - the section on the Two Treatises of Government can be found here:
It feels sort of like Hobbes for optimists, except he places a much higher emphasis on personal vs. collective property rights, which comes across as the precursor to most of the capitalist-oriented d-bag philopshy that's sprouted up in the past century. The notion that not being able to personally own something makes it useless and trifiling to us gets its foundation here. I could see Karl Marx frothing at the mouth and writing some bitter diatribe after reading something like this. I was also surprised at just how much of this is grounded on cherry-picked scriptural references, probably explains why it's almost obnixously upbeat. If nothing else his writing style is waaaaay easier to get through than Hobbes's Leviathan.
Even if all of the concepts in this book are bullshit it is still an important read because powerful people thought it was important.
I enjoy the idea that property is a product of labour, but it really doesn't hold up in most circumstances, and especially not in our world of scarce resources (I can't just pick a plum and claim it mine).
I like the idea of a 'state of war' in which all the rights and duties fly out the window. But, when do I know if I'm in a state of war. And, furthermore, if by breaking my 'rights' the opposition enters into a state of war with me, what substance do those rights have?
And then so much of what is right and wrong is defined by those in power, so unless there's a serious and obvious breach, I have no 'right' to declare that those Powers have entered into a state of war.
Locke created an ultra-rational basis of government and authority that doesn't work in our unkempt world. But it is still a basis of some sort, and it was apparently influential on the constitution of that one country who's international influences distorts everyone's reality.
This sort of work is powerful because it gives people the 'rational' justification to do what they want to do. It's something that everyone should read. And, really, I did enjoy the read, and I won't judge a book by its influence for good or bad (as any important book could be construed in which ever way you want to interpret its influence).
note: I was extremely confused by his stance on slavery. At one point it seems like a slave is his/her master's property, but in another point Locke seems to say that an individuals liberty (liberty being a type of property) can never be sacrificed. I don't understand how I can justifiably become a slave, and if I can't then no slave is justifiably property (which would be congruent with modern notions of human rights).
Quyển sách thích hợp cho mọi sinh viên bắt đầu các ngành học về khoa học chính trị (political science), quản trị nhà nước (state governance), luật pháp (law), cũng như sau này họ trở thành các luật gia, luật sư (lawyer, attorney, counsellor), chính trị gia, nhà hoạt động nhà nước (politicians, statesmen). Ngoại trừ phần đề cập đến Kinh Thánh vốn là nền tảng của tri thức cho đến thời điểm mà tác phẩm được viết ra và xuất bản, người đọc ngày nay, nhất là một xã hội phi Thiên chúa giáo như Việt Nam, thì điều này có thể lướt qua, trong chừng mực coi nó như một tiên đề trong Toán học (dù vậy, viện dẫn đến Kinh Thánh để biện hộ cho Luật tự nhiên là hết sức xác đáng), thì những luận điểm trong Khảo luận này đề cầp hết sức đầy đủ, chặt chẽ về MỌI vấn đề liên quan đến chính quyền và quan hệ của chính quyền với người dân. Đặc biệt những chương cuối trong khảo luận đề cập đến phạm vi hiệu lực của chính quyền hay trách nhiệm, sự phản kháng của người dân đối với chính quyền trong các trường hợp chinh phạt, tiếm quyền hay chế độ chuyên chế là những lập luận vững chắc không thể bác bỏ. Cho 5 sao nếu tôi đọc ở lứa tuổi sinh viên như đã nói ở trên, khi việc học đi liền với hành trong cả cuộc đời về sau. Cho 3 sao khi sách này không còn giá trị hành đối với tôi nữa, mà chỉ để bổ sung thêm, lấy thêm luận cứ cho các hiểu biết đã thành hình của tôi. Sách đã đọc xong, bạn nào ở tuổi sinh viên và dự định tìm hiểu về các cơ chế của chính quyền có thể nhắn tin để tôi nhượng lại.
الدولة إنما نشأت لحماية حقوق طبيعية كانت قائمة وتنازل الفرد عن جزء من حقوقه إنما ليضمن لنفسه ما تبقى من حقوق وحريات أساسية ،، وليس في وسع الأفراد منح الحاكم سلطة غير محدودة لأنهم لا يملكون هذه السلطة وبالتالي لايمكن أن تكون سلطة الحاكم مطلقة إذ هي محدودة بطبيعتها وإذا حاول الإستزادة من سلطته أو أساء استخدامها كان من حق الشعب أن يخلعه ، لذلك كان هدف الكتاب الدفاع عن النظام الدستوري فهناك فرق بين الحكومة والدولة ،، الحريات والحقوق أساس في كل هذا ،، الجميع حكومة وبرلمان مسئولون أمام الشعب
Kendim için belirlediğim yeniden okunması gerekenler listesinin bir diğer kitabı da Yönetim Üzerine İkinci İnceleme idi. Zamanında Birinci İnceleme'yi okumadan okumuştum büyük kısmını, bu sefer önce Birinci İnceleme'yi okudum. İkinci İnceleme'yi okumayı düşünenlere öncelikle Birinci'sini okumalarını tavsiye ederim. Okurken ne demek istediğimi anlayacaksınız, bazı şeyler kesinlikle çok daha net olacak kafanızda.
Locke, Tabii Hukuk okulunun önemli yazarlarından biri. Hobbes'la benzer yönleri olmakla birlikte iktidara yükledikleri anlam bakımından farklılıklar gösterdiğini söylemek mümkün. Locke da Hobbes gibi insanların ilk başta savaş durumunda yaşadığına, toplum sözleşmesiyle birtakım yetkilerini devrederek barış durumuna geçmeye çalıştığına inanıyor. Locke da insanların eşit olarak doğduğunu düşünüyor, insanlar ona göre eşit ve özgür; fakat özgürlük tanımı Hobbes'unkinden biraz farklı. Hobbes, kişilere sınırsız bir özgürlük yüklerken Locke'un özgürlüğü kişinin her istediğini yapabilmesi değil. Locke'a göre, bir kişi sadece diğerlerinin yaşam alanına, özgürlüğüne, sahip olduklarına zarar vermeden özgürlüklerden faydalanabilir. Eğer bir kimse, diğerinin özgürlüğünü zedeleyecek olursa, özgürlüğü zedelenen kimse, özgürlüğünü zedeleyen kimseyi yargılama hakkına sahiptir; fakat, elbette, kişiler kendileri ya da yakınları söz konusu olduğunda objektiflikten uzak kararlar verebilirler. Bu sebeple de bu yargılamayı tarafsız bir şekilde yapacak bir güce ihtiyaç vardır.
Bunun yanı sıra, Locke da Hobbes gibi dünyadaki her şeyde hakkımız olduğunu düşünmekte; ancak kişi eğer "şey" üzerinde emek sarf ederek onu başka bir "şey" haline getirmişse, ortaya çıkan yeni "şey" onun mülkiyeti altında olacaktır. Yani boş bir toprak parçası üzerinde A'nın da B'nin de hakkı vardır; ancak A, o toprak parçasını ekip dikmeye başlarsa o, A'nın mülkiyeti altına girmiş olur. Locke, dünyada herkese yetecek toprak parçası olduğunu söylemekte ve kişinin sadece kendisine yetecek olanı sahiplenmesi gerektiğini belirtmekte. Peki bunun sınırı ne? Locke'a göre sınır, eğer ektiği topraktaki ürünü toprağının genişliğinden dolayı toplayamıyorsa, ektikleri çürüyorsa o kişi gereğinden fazlasına sahip demektir ve fazla kısım onun mülkiyetinde sayılamaz. Yani kişinin ortak mala emeğini katması sonucu ortaya çıkardığı yeni mal onun mülkiyeti altında kabul edilmelidir; ancak ona emeğini katan herkes bundan kendi payına düşeni almalıdır. Burada Locke, ekmek yapımı örneğini veriyor. Ekmeğin yapımında tarlasında buğday yetiştirenden tutun buğdayı toplamaya yarayan aletleri yapana, fırıncıya kadar birçok kişinin onda payı olduğunu da belirtiyor.
İşte iktidarın amacının kişilerin mülkiyetine karşı zarar gelmesini önleyecek yasalar çıkarmak olduğunu savunuyor Locke. Eğer bir kişi diğerinin mülkiyetine zarar verecek olursa zarar vereni yargılayanın bir başka güç olması gerektiğini belirtiyor. Ayrıca iktidarın sadece ve sadece kamu yararına hizmet edebileceğini, yasaların kamu düzenini ve kamu yararını hedeflemesi gerektiğini, iktidarın kendi kişisel çıkarlarına hizmet etmeye başladığı an yeniden savaş durumuna dönüldüğünü anlatıyor. Kralın da yasamanın da koyulan yasalara uygun davranmakla yükümlü olduğunun da sık sık altını çiziyor. Ayrıca yapılan yasaları yürüten bir güç olması gerektiğini de belirterek aslında "kuvvetler ayrılığı"ndan da bahsettiğini söylemek mümkün.
Locke'un Hobbes'a oranla biraz daha anlaşılabilir olduğunu düşünüyorum. Hobbes'un daha edebi bulduğum bir dili var; ancak Locke okumayı düşünüyorsanız bazı şeylerin daha rahat anlaşılması için öncelikle Leviathan'ı okumanızı öneririm. Tüm bunlara ek olarak "zulme karşı direnme hakkı" konusunda da çalışma yapmak isteyenlerin mutlaka Yönetim Üzerine İkinci İnceleme'yi okumalarını tavsiye ediyorum.
Easier than I thought... I mean I always thought classical philosophy texts are hard to grasp but this one actually wasn’t. Many parts of it have lost validity over centuries; there is a part where he mentions “there aren’t many examples of people abolishing their political bonds to create a new body politic” and I am pretty sure when Jefferson was reading those lines he was like “bitch, sit back and watch!” However, there are key notions to it which are still valid: political consent, state of nature, liberty, body politics, giving up on rights in favor of preservation of property. Locke defines these concepts masterfully and for me, it would have been futile to read Jefferson and Madison without having read Locke. There are lots of biblical examples and also a lot of facts from Native Americans and remote lands which is obviously pure nonesense because Locke in his days had no sort of grasp of those societies and his references to those kind of communities are definitely groundless. When speaking about appropriation of land and the reference that he makes to America as being how the rest of the world originally developed and how basically the portion of a land where a man works on becomes their belonging shows how clueless he is about the situation in America ignoring the fact that the land there was actually inhabited; reminiscent of Frederick Jackson Turner three centuries later but well, with a totally different twist. Overall, I am glad I’ve read it!
Whether or not Hegel was right that history is inevitably moving in a positive direction, he was most assuredly right that History is moving a direction that can limelight past social contradictions. When we look at Locke we see Hegel’s claim completely vindicated. His Second Treatise is both revolutionary for its time, and conservative for ours. Moreover, Locke, while challenging mainstream Political Theory of his day (e.g., Men are beasts in a state of war, and Kings have divine rights, and Monarchies are good forms of government), simultaneously leads along a path that would have us owning people, abusing animals, and ignoring the concerns of the commons. How does Locke do this? Knowing the answer to this question is paramount, as Locke more than anyone influenced the American founding fathers, and sons of liberty, in their propaganda and political ideals.
Locke begins his Second Treatise with some interesting claims. Man is born into a state of nature, where all he obeys are the laws of nature. These laws of nature are in fact reason, granted to us by a deity who owns us. Reason, without any deep argumentation, convinces us all that we have a right to life, liberty, and property. Unlike Hobbes, Locke does not believe we are born into a state of war; it’s only when someone transgresses against the laws of nature, which we find ourselves in a state of war. Being too irrational to defend ourselves, or at least defend ourselves utilizing a proper punishment and retribution, we desire a common and neutral judge. That judge is the state.
In order to defend the notion of protecting property via the state, Locke has to demonstrate how we come to own property. At first the earth is teaming with sustenance, and provisions. As man begins to labor over the earth, so that which he labors over becomes his. After all man owns his laboring appendages, and therefore, he mixes his ownership with the earth’s goods, and comes to own them too (but doesn’t God own man, and thus his appendages…). Since we are in a state of nature though, where preservation of life is paramount, we cannot take more than we need, or as Locke calls it, let things spoil or go to waste. Then, without the slightest justification, Locke states that therefore the work of our servant belongs to us. How the hell does someone labor over a man for him to become our servant? This is never justified, but given Locke’s private affairs, and personal life, it’s no doubt he’d have to sneak this line in to his political treatise. Locke for instance sat on the board of many companies that employed children, and enslaved foreigners. He thought children should be put to work at the age of three. But I digress…. Man also somehow can labor over an animal and thus own it too. Odd. Locke is confident that the earth will reap us a greater harvest, the more we work it, therefore, despite the fact the commons, in the state of nature, provides us with plenty, we can have even more plenty by labor. To a degree this is true, but it’s increasingly becoming clear that our industrial labors are having the opposite effect on the planet, destroying what once was plentiful.
Now that we have a super abundance, Locke needs to justify why we can step away from his old rule of the taking of no excess, and hoarding to the point of spoilage. For this Locke augments his shoddy labor theory of value. Man comes to agree that money, be it gold, or paper, which cannot spoil, than represent that which we trade it for. Now instead of hoarding my home with 100 apples, 90 of which will rot, I’ll keep 100 apples worth of gold on reserve. Of course Locke never actually explained how money came to share an equivalent value with the goods it is exchanged for. Mere agreement does not allow for universal equivalent of value. For this, we must consult Marx. Moreover, it’s completely unclear that people did unanimously come together and ‘consent’ to using a common currency. Again, consult Marx.
Oddly this prospering and industrious society has all taken place prior to the erecting of a state. The Marxist truism that bourgeois thinkers read their own society back into history, and implore their own categories of thought – which derive from material circumstances – as timeless tools for analysis, is vindicated when one reads Locke. Man now requires a state to protect his property. No longer does man owe himself to the common lot, but uses the state to augment his own affairs, relying on the state to protect the commons, but the only protection the commons needs is preservation of property, and defense against transgressions. We went from a land of plenty, with our fellow man in mind, to find ourselves in a land of property, where the plenty is sectioned off, people are owned – without justification – and our only duty to our fellow man is to leave him alone. If he cannot make his way in society, it’s clearly his own fault. Funny how we all have a right to property, but only extreme minorities actually has it.
Thus Locke is both a revolutionary and a conservative. An enlightener, and a charlatan. A man of liberty and a man who sanctions owning humans. Despite his contradictory nature, he earns a small round of applause for those in favor of democracy. Locke is convinced that legislation can only be consented to when it passed by a majority, and not by a king. A king is literally in the state of war at all times, a man who sets the law, but completely operates outside it.
In regards to the essay on liberation, it’s a perfect example of what Zizek refers to as Liberalism’s inability to tolerate what it deems extremism. That is, liberals pretend to be for an open society, of tolerance, and religious expression, until you encroach on what they deem to be intolerant, and radical. Locke thinks all religions ought to be tolerated, except Catholics and atheists. The Catholics are beholden to the pope and thus cannot be loyal to the society they live in. And atheists can lie. That’s right, the reason you cannot trust atheists, is that they can lie. Stupid. One wonders how Locke didn’t instantly realize everyone can lie!
Read Locke, and if you cannot generate a critique, you’re long lost to liberal ideology. If you can generate a critique, socialism embraces you.
I think my favorite thing about this is how subtly subversive it is. Clever Locke says one thing, then immediately contradicts it several chapters later, but in a sneaky way so that his anti-Hobbesian readers wouldn’t notice.
“You can’t kill yourself, but if you’re unhappy with your life you can commit suicide.”
“We are all creations of the Creator and everything is his. Except property. That is ours and ours alone and no one better take that from us.”
(Clearly not direct quotes, but Maggie summaries 😉)
I found Locke to be much more complicated than I realized, especially when combined with his other writings (Letter on Toleration, exhibit A) and he can’t be categorized as either a good or bad influence.
I've been aware of John Locke for a while now - you could even say I was a bit of a fan of his - so when I saw The Second Treatise of Government in a library, it immediately caught my eye. I swiftly read the introduction to the work and made the decision to carry on reading. Now, I’m not saying that the introduction (written by editor, Thomas P. Pearson) was particularly interesting, in fact it was quite the opposite, but I was intrigued by the fact that the introduction seemed to point out some possible flaws in Locke’s ideas.
For those who aren’t in the know (I’m so cool,) John Locke is a highly influential 17th century philosopher and enlightened thinker who was famous for his ideas regarding liberty, natural rights, and the role of government. Perhaps most impressive, Locke directly influenced Thomas Jefferson’s idea for the Declaration of Independence, with many historians making claims that essentially stated Jefferson all but quoted Locke. The Second Treatise of Government is the work of Locke that has had the most influence throughout the years, and, as such, it tells us a great deal about what would become the foundation for most American political philosophy. Locke based his ideas upon the concept of limited government control and innate rights, both of which became key topics in the world of political soon after he helped popularize them with The Second Treatise of Government, which makes this book extremely historically important.
The biggest thing that The Second Treatise of Government has going for it is its importance. Even today, it’s still incredibly relevant to a good portion of political discourse in America. I am a firm believer that reading up on Locke’s ideas is a great way to further your understanding of a lot of contemporary American thought. Aside from contextualizing modern issues, it is also a very interesting read, with many unique ideas and perspectives that aren’t seen commonly in modern times. As a whole, it’s an entirely different experience from any modern expression of political ideals.
As much as I enjoyed The Second Treatise of Government, it was a bit of a slog to get through. The writing falls on the denser side of the literary spectrum, with certain passages requiring a few takes to fully comprehend. The language is also obviously outdated, due to being written some odd three hundred years ago and the same can be said for some of Locke’s concepts. A few of Locke’s ideas aren’t as applicable to modern times as they were to the 1700s, which can create a bit of a disconnect among 21st century readers. Along with that, there are times when the writing becomes repetitive and drags, creating some immensely boring stretches, but these are in the minority, with the majority of the book being quite interesting.
The Second Treatise of Government definitely isn’t for everyone and it surely has its flaws, but I would highly recommend it if you’re interested in contemporary thought or the founding ideals of America.
A book much talked about (sometimes maligned) but rarely read. There are several good reasons, namely Locke articulates a rather clear and logically coherent theory of resistance--but more on that later.
Like Hobbes and Rousseau, albeit with different and more godly conclusions, Locke analyzes man in his state of nature. What is this state of nature? It is men living together in reason without a common superior (III.19). If that is so, then why would anyone surrender a portion of his liberty and authority to incorporate into a state? Locke gives a clear, if not entirely consistent answer: men incorporate together because of the precariousness of solitary existence. Agreed, but if the state of nature is what it is, then why do men have to worry?
Labour as Distinction and Valuation:
Labour creates a distinction between “his” and “common.” Labour begins the distinction of property. Whatever a man cannot use for himself returns to the realm of “common” (V.29). Locke argues, contra later libertarians, that things have an intrinsic value, though not absolutely so (V.37). Their value depends on their usefulness to the life of man. Labour puts the difference of value on everything (V.40). Labour puts the value on land. Labour gives the right of property (V.45).
Money, however, has subjective value (V.47). It Has value from the consent of men. I think Locke has struck a good balance here. His emphasis on labour and the land maintains a healthy work ethic (a point Adam Smith capitalized on, much to the anger and ire of the Misesian School).
He ends his treatise with a discussion of representative government and the right and limits of resistance.
I should preface this by saying that you should only read this book if you are a huge political science geek, going to take POL200 with Clifford Orwin at the University of Toronto, or only have 2 days to live and want it to feel as long as possible.
I think that people might be really upset at me for disliking this book, or claiming that it was 149 pages of drudgery, but my gosh was this boring. Not boring in a 'you just don't understand it' type way, boring in a ‘rip your eyes out, countdown the seconds’, type way. Though, perhaps, that is just the type of thing that a person who 'just didn't understand it' would say.
As for what it concerned, mostly it was a more English, politics-centered, and easier to read than Machiavelli 'Prince', book. It was about the formation of civil societies and was a stew of Hobbes, Machiavelli, and Rousseau. It concluded, ultimately, the difference between a rebellion and a revolution, and when and under what circumstances either would be acceptable/ justified. By using Hobbes to get to Machiavelli, avoid the state of nature and rebel against religion(including all those who only heard who's)!
At the end of the day, it helped me realize with certainty that political science is not what I want to study-yay-, but if you only have 20 minutes to live, just read a chapter of Hobbes' Leviathan and you might just find that you even have time to brew yourself a tea before you die.
This is one that I’ll definitely have to come back to. When you come away from a classic with an entirely different opinion about it than much of Western civilization and many people whose opinions you greatly respect, the problem’s probably with you and not everyone else. That said, I think his entire philosophy is built on unbiblical and unchristian foundations. The Bible is clear that man’s state of nature is political. Taking the Garden of Eden by itself, it’s not all that clear; but Christ, as the second Adam and the Son of Man, is ruling as king, and there is clearly hierarchy in heaven (Matt 20:21-23, Rev 4:4 to name a few references) which means a biblical state of nature is political. Therefore, Locke’s whole project of getting us from a state of nature to political society is rejecting Scriptural truth. He also tries to build political authority from the bottom up, saying that the authority of a ruler comes from the individual. This contradicts Christ’s claim that all authority has been given to him (meaning that the individual has no authority to give to a ruler), and Paul’s claim that political authority comes from God. I think that a Christian who accepts Locke’s social contract theory is trying to answer the question of how we know who has political authority, but ends up with a wrong answer to a very different question about the nature and origin of authority. His philosophy is deist at best, and I don’t believe it can be reconciled with biblical truth.
I've "read" this one twice now and apparently have the same reaction to it. Whereas before, when I read this as a wee bitty freshman in college, and I am now more seasoned to see even more bullshit in this text than before.
Unfortunately, Locke and I will never get along. I understand the pertinence of this text in relation to the ultimate project of America's Founding Fathers. I understand that Locke's analysis of property is essential in understanding modern day capitalism - especially as it relates to land rights and Manifest Destiny. I even understand that Locke sets the foundation for the justification of colonization and chattel slavery.
And I still don't like him.
There's nothing that wins out. He's not only a racist hypocrite, his writing isn't that hot (even Hobbes is better). Very boring. The concepts are interesting but I will have to go with Hobbes' take on the state of nature. Locke's faux concern with democracy is also frustrating, since he obviously does not care about most folks having a say in government. Blah blah blah Locke.
The gist of Locke's political philosophy is amazing, especially in the context of when it was written, but I was disappointed with his fuzziness in a few areas:
Property rights: What if property rights protection causes more harm than benefit to an impoverished local population? Locke's defence of property rights is based, after all, on his proposition that private ownership is preferable to letting resources go to waste. Unfortunately, it seems that what constitutes "going to waste" is subjective.
Rule of the Majority: It's what he advocates and defends on a common-sense level for a few pages, but then never ventures to comment on the danger of tyranny of the majority.
Of course, Locke was confused or untruthful in writing about the legitimacy of human slavery.
And, he also looks at everything, especially in the property chapter, with the notion that whatever is best for mankind is best period. What about the Earth as a whole?
Savo laikmečiui ši knyga buvo svarbi. Locke vienas pirmųjų prakalbo apie valdžių padalijimą, asmens gyvybės, laisvės ir nuosavybės neliečiamybę, griežtai kritikavo absoliutizmą kaip valdymo formą. Vis dėlto turint galvoje, kad šiandien liberali mintis dominuoja mūsų kraštų politinėje diskusijoje, kažko labai netikėto ir naudingo Locke’o darbe neįžvelgiau. Nuosaiki, racionali pozicija, iš kurios nedaug ko galima pasimokyti.
Ir vis dėlto kartais stebino Locke’o politinės filosofijos šiuolaikiškumas. Pavyzdžiui, apie laisvę jis rašo taip: “būti laisvam reiškia savo valia ir netrikdomai disponuoti savo paties asmeniu, tvarkyti savo veiksmus, turtą ir visą savo nuosavybę pagal galiojančius įstatymus, tad priklausyti ne nuo kito savivalės, o vadovautis savo paties valia.” Nelabai ką ir begalima pridurti.
أنهيته من أجل مادة الفلسفة، تدور محاور هذا الكتاب على طريقة الحكومة المدنية المتحضرة في وضع وتشريع القوانين وفقاً لحقوق الإنسان وكرامته. فعلى مر العصور، عانت الشعوب من الظلم في توزيع الممتلكات واعطاءهم حقوقهم كاملة. فهُنا يطرح جون لوك فلسفته السياسية والاجتماعية في توزيع القوانين وكيف يجب أن تكون.
كانت أهم نقطة تشغل بال المؤلف هو مبدأ "المساواة" بين الناس، فكان يؤمن بها ايماناً غليظاً. وهذا ما يتعارض مع تعاليم الإسلام لأن الإسلام يرى بأن الحقوق تعطى بناءً على ظروف أصحابها، مثل نصيب الذكر من الأرث بسبب واجباته. يؤمن جون لوك بأن مبدأ المساواة هو من يحدد نزاهة المجتمعات، فإن رأيت فقراء يتضورون جوعاً فهذا بسبب امتلاك الأغنياء لثروة فائضة. وهذا يوافق ما قاله علي بن أبي طالب "ما جاع فقير إلا بتخمة غني"
يتطرق الكتاب أيضاً إلى مراحل تطور الإنسان البدائي من ناحية الحقوق والتواصل. يذكر بشكل مختصر عن كيفية بدء الإنسان البدائي في النوم في الكهوف ومن ثم تصنيع الأكواخ، ومن ثم اكتشاف عناصر أساسية ساهمت في بناء الحضارات. يقول الشعراء بأن تلك العناصر هي الذهب والفضة بينما يقول الفلاسفة بأنها الحديد والقمح، وعلى الأرجح هو الحديد والقمح لأن الحديد أداة تعدين وصنع، بينما القمح مصدر غذاء. لا عجب بأن القرآن تطرق للحديد في مواضع عدة.
Upping this to four stars after I reread it for my paper. This book is especially important in its discussion of property, introducing a labor theory of value centered around natural law, which then changes with the invention of money and the formation of civil society. I was told by my professor that this bears considerable influence in Marx’s work. Regardless, while I don’t agree with the evidently pro-colonialist undertone, this text was interesting to examine given the aforementioned implications.
On a side note, this was SO much easier to read than Leviathan: thank god for the concision, and thank you, editor!!
Uff... Empecé con muchas ganas, pero a medida que avanzaba el libro se me hacía más pesado. Ha sido realmente un suplicio acabarlo pero era para un trabajo de clase...
En fin, hasta la fecha solo he leído 5-6 libros de filosofía pero os puedo garantizar que este es el que más me ha aburrido con diferencia. Si queréis leer autores del liberalismo, empezad por Rousseau. Puede ser más complejo de entender en un primer momento pero desde luego no repite lo mismo una y otra vez como sí lo hace Locke. En serio, su opinión te queda clara en las 50 primeras páginas, luego no hay necesidad de continuar.