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Second Treatise of Government

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  16,535 Ratings  ·  235 Reviews
The Second Treatise is one of the most important political treatises ever written and one of the most far-reaching in its influence.
In his provocative 15-page introduction to this edition, the late eminent political theorist C. B. Macpherson examines Locke's arguments for limited, conditional government, private property and right of revolution and suggests reasons for th
Paperback, 148 pages
Published June 1980 by Hackett Publishing Company (Indianapolis, IN) (first published December 1689)
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Sinta It is essentially the original text outlining liberalism (the inspiration for neo-liberalism). Depending on your political leanings, the way his…moreIt is essentially the original text outlining liberalism (the inspiration for neo-liberalism). Depending on your political leanings, the way his arguments have been used to justify colonization and the obsession with rampant economic growth under capitalism despite widespread environmental degradation and social inequality can definitely be described as 'harmful'. For example, his conception of private property is an important concept that capitalism rests on.

However, this is debatable. He does outline certain constraints that aren't acknowledged in the actual practice of capitalism, therefore some argue 'pure liberalism' is not actually inherently harmful. (less)

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peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر، این کتاب از دو رساله، دربارهٔ حکومت و دولت تشکیل شده است و میتوان گفت که مشهورترین اثرِ <جان لاک> 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 لاک> به اصطلاح برخورداری انسانها از حق مالکیتشان میباشد، آنهم مالکیتِ خصوصیِ تک تکِ آنها
عزیزانم، <لاک> انسانی خردگرا نبود و عقاید او همچون بسیاری از نویسندگانی که در ایران آنها را به اشتباه
Ken Moten
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who get to, or want to, vote for their political leaders
"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
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”, w
Jul 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: politics
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
حسين العُمري
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
Erik Graff
Mar 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: citizens
Recommended to Erik by: David Schweickart
Shelves: philosophy
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
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Kev D'Olivo
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
As Professor Turner says, "John Locke is the Dr. Dre of American political thought; he got all this gangster shit started"
Jacob Aitken
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
Sep 29, 2010 rated it it was ok
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 subjectiv
Reflexiona sobre los fundamentos del liberalismo político y sobre el origen, extensión y finalidad del gobierno civil. Aunque estoy en desacuerdo con gran parte de lo que expresa en este libro, me ha resultado una lectura muy amena y sugestiva.

Empieza definiendo el poder político, el cual se entiende como el derecho de legislar y imponer penas a los transgresores de las leyes con el objeto de preservar y regular la propiedad, ampliar la fuerza de la comunidad en la ejecución de las leyes y en la
Job Title: Men of Industry
Organization: Locke’s Utopia (as outlined in Second Treatise of Government)
Location: The Commonwealth
Salary: Depending on experience and circumstance
FT (+ over)

Job Description:
Under general supervision of God, men of industry are responsible for making the land productive, working to ensure individual prosperity, which will secure civil harmony so man’s true destiny and society’s objecktives are met. Specific areas of responsibility include:

-Self-preservation; prot
 Imani ♥ ☮
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 re
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a classic text for political science and worth reading to understand the argument that democracy and property rights are instrumentally tied - even if you read with an eye to critiquing this argument.
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 rated it liked it
Interesting read for those who seek a career or education in government.
May 28, 2010 rated it liked 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 Mo ...more
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
If it's any consolation, Locke is way easier to read than Hobbes.
Bob Nichols
Mar 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
Locke's political theory begins with the state of nature where men have perfect freedom within the bounds of the law of nature to pursue what is necessary for their preservation. In the state of nature also is a state of equality "wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another." In this state of freedom and equality, the law of nature is that each ought to respect each other's ends so that the state of nature is a state of balance. The state of nature is no ...more
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ju ...more
Mar 25, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very important material presented in a way that comes off as dull and dry. (Maybe it was dull and dry back then too). While every thinking person should have a notion of what Mr. Locke was trying to get across they should not suffer through the original text. A square deal might be reading a well thought out synopsis with snippets of the most important text. It's interesting to read about his postulations of society citing both nature and scripture. His establishment of family building is off, f ...more
Ramy Danial
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
قبل اولا انصح به وبشدة
اولا الكتاب ده نسختين , واحدة كاملة وهى 19 فصل , واخرى ناقصة ودى مطبوعات الهيئة اعتقد
الكتاب يخفى اكتر بكثير مما يظهر , وخصوصا على الصعيد السياسى
قدر لوك يعالج مشاكل كتير جدا لكن عمله الواضح الاكيد هو انه ارسى قواعد واسس عليها اتبنى مستقبل الفكر السياسى
مجهوده الضخم فى الرد على السير روبرت فيملر كان مسح من على وجه البسيطة افكار كانت مسلمة لعهود طويلة
جون لوك عبقرى ونصير واضح لليبرالية وضد الحكم المطلق

ومع ذالك جون لوك كان عنده متناقضات كتير جدا وامور يمكن عجز عن حلها
لكنه يفا
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Locke has been considered father of liberalism and for valid reasons. His Second Treatise of Government is an answer to Hobbes' Leviathan. It also sets the basis for a social contract theory based on a state of nature, but unlike Hobbes he brings God into the equation. It is interesting that for Locke property means "life, liberty and estate". Locke also sparks controversy today because of his advocacy for slavery as he put it "master has authority over his slaves". Yet he says that people have ...more
أحمد البخاري

يوضح هذا الكتاب لمن يقرأه سبب الأزمة التي نعانيها في التحول للدولة المدنية، فنحن قد إتخذنا الدولة المدنية نظاماً وغاية دون أن نمر أو نعي أو نفهم الفلسفة والأفكار القائمة عليها هذه الدولة، وبطبيعة الحال، لم نتشربها، لكي نفهم "الإحتياج القاهر للدولة المدنية".. جون لوك هنا يقول لنا بوضوح : لماذا أصلاً نحن نريد الدولة المدنية..؟ ويبدأ جون لوك بالفرق بينها وبين الحالة "الطبيعية" التي كان عليها الإنسان قبل هذه الدولة ..ومنها ينطلق لمناقشة مبادئ ومفاهيم أساسية مثل : مفهوم العبودية ..الملكية.. السلطة ال
Oct 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Very helpful if you want to understand government

had to read it for my modern political theory class (I thought I put it up here that I was reading this...oh well lol)

ok read...for academic purposes ....I'm not a libertarian so......

but still this is a vital in political theory and anyone who fancies themselves "political" or aspires to be..should read this one
Infame Descalzo
May 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Libro de lectura obligada en la Universidad, junto con otros tantos clásicos. Pero hay libros que te marcan y libros que no. ¿Verdad? Bueno, éste fue un libro que en algún punto me marcó (así, en esos términos, él me marcó a mí). Siempre admiré esa solidez de pensamiento.
Alex Robertson
Dec 02, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5. best cc reading yet!
Donovan Richards
Oct 14, 2010 rated it really liked it

It begins early with a child yelling, “Mine!” We have all heard him/her bursting into tears and the quick crawl/run/waddle to a parent claiming the injustice of lost property. From an early age, we feel the seemingly self-evident truth of private property. We were given an object; we collected items; we connected those items in ways that made a new and much better object.

In all of these scenarios, we learned the idea of “mine.” In John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, the author pre
Muhtadi Faiaz
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the most important works in political philosophy, this work contains convincing accounts of why a minimal state with limited powers, serves people best, to protect their properties. A common misconception is that Locke is just concerned with 'property rights' and he is well-known for his 'labour theory of value', which conceives how people can acquire property legitimately. But by 'property' in this work, Locke has a wider definition in mind; it means "life, liberties and estates". From t ...more
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“… it is no less their duty, to love others than themselves; for seeing those things which are equal, must needs all have one measure; if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every mans hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire, which is undoubtedly in other men, being of one and the same nature? To have any thing offered them repugnant to this desire, must need ...more
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is quite informative, however, if you really want an opinion on it, I recommend you actually read the book and form one yourself. Reading comments and such containing people's personal politics will only ruin this for you. If you are willing to learn about how a government is supposed to operate then please read this, you may find that you enjoyed it as much as I did. Though I do have a few things I'd like to point out. This does indeed talk about the groundwork for libertarianism, classica ...more
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  • The Basic Political Writings
  • On Liberty and Other Essays
  • The Discourses
  • The Spirit of the Laws (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
  • Discourse on Metaphysics and Other Essays
  • Leviathan
  • The Political Writings of St. Augustine
  • Reflections on the Revolution in France
  • Ptolemy's Almagest
  • Democracy in America
  • The New Organon
  • On the Republic/On the Laws
  • Meditations on First Philosophy: With Selections from the Objections and Replies (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy)
  • The Anti-Federalist Papers and the Constitutional Convention Debates
  • Theological-Political Treatise
  • An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

John Locke was an English philosopher. Locke 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 Enlightenmen
More about John Locke

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“Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” 93 likes
“Men being, as has been said, by nature, all free, equal and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent.” 16 likes
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