Government is not superior to the economic institutions evolved by reasonable men, government is a means to accomplish a desired end. MacPherson also correctly discerns that the introduction of money transforms the character of the limits to property ownership. Much of Chapter V of the Second Treatise, the property chapter, is descriptive. In this chapter Locke makes significant points about private property. Law is necessary to “maximize” freedom, that is, to protect individuals from the arbitrariness of their fellow man. As a work in political philosophy, its theoretical influence is no less acknowledged. This is clearly not a laissez‐​faire policy prescription, yet neither is it an argument for “credit regulation” as Seliger suggests, nor is it typical of an attitude that favors limiting private initiative to “discourage the concentration of capital.” The message of this particular example seems to be that previous attempts to “limit private initiative” led to a perverse result and that England would have been better off had interest rates never been set below market rates in the first place. Once the ownership of property divided men into two classes, the differential rationality became inherent in the class. Seliger goes on to argue, however, that the supposed moral superiority of the political order over the economic order is further evidenced by Locke’s attitude toward economic regulation. Refreshingly, he understands the desire to accumulate property evidences good sense. How one decides which statements Locke means and which are unimportant or slips is another question. Strauss makes of Locke an early Mandeville when he claims “By building civil society on the ‘low but solid ground’ of selfishness or of certain ‘private vices,’ one will achieve much greater ‘public benefits’ than by futilely appealing to virtue, which is by nature “unendowned.’” Going even further, Strauss makes Locke an early Adam Smith when he argues that Locke believed “restraint of the appetites is replaced by a mechanism whose effect is humane,” the mechanism being money or, more accurately, a money economy. By then, it was safer for writers to propose that governments rested on contracts, but to add an extra margin of safety, Locke wrote an introduction presenting the Treatises “to make good the throne of King William” to be certain William couldn’t perceive the Treatises as a threat to his sovereignty. MacPherson complains, however, that even though Locke allows for the entire value of the wealth of the community to increase as a result of private ownership, there is no guarantee that this wealth will be equitably distributed. The problems are by no means trivial ones. He also challenges MacPherson on the supposed inferiority of wage‐​labor in Locke. It is a creative and purposeful act that extends the limits of personality to physical objects previously in the common stock. In this state of nature, according to Locke, men were born free and equal: free to do what they wished without being required to seek permission from any other man, and equal in the sense of there being no natural political authority of one man over another. Academic Content. The import of Locke’s statement here, however, isn’t to argue that governments should see to it that workers remain poor; it is to argue that only mismanaged governments disrupt the economy to the extent that workers are so badly off that they take to the streets in armed insurrection. we might edit this sample to provide you with a plagiarism-free paper, Service After someone gains this property are there any limitations on that property? In the state of nature, with resource scarcity and men “no great observers of equity and justice,” the ability to enjoy life, liberty, or one’s estate becomes limited indeed. I believe that some of Locke’s views on the rights to private property are right. Property, its origin and protection, are also central to England's colonial settlements in America and, by extension, to the Earl of Shaftesbury's Carolina. Now that there is money people have to use that money to get what they need instead of taking whatever they want as was the case before the invention of money. Perhaps this is one more instance of a modern commentator anachronistically reading contemporary ideas back into the writings of an early political thinker, or perhaps Seliger is correct that the nature of contemporary liberalism was shaped by the implications of Locke’s theory of property. According to MacPherson, Locke’s major achievement in his theory of property was “to base the property right on natural rights and natural law, and then to remove all the natural law limits from the property right.” He believes that Locke wanted to justify unlimited right to property in order to ground the primary feature of capitalist society, unequal ownership of property, in natural law. The second, deeper level of writing, however, actually was meant to convey exactly the opposite view, that man was a Hobbesian creature ruled by passions whose life would be at best “nasty, poor, brutish, ugly and short” without the institution of some kind of government to improve his lot, and that, to act effectively the government in power would have to take account of the natural base passions of man. Despite the many inconsistencies which have been the bane of generations of Locke scholars, MacPherson claims that Locke’s political theory becomes completely intelligible and consistent once Locke’s hidden assumptions are made explicit. Without the laws that are made by the government there would be many problems with property rights. Seliger begins by observing that most of the “confusions” found in Locke’s theory of property stem from misinterpreting Locke’s attitude toward equality. Locke starts by stating that, whether by natural reason or the word of the Bible, the earth can be considered the property of people in common to use for their survival and benefit. Shaftesbury’s plots were clearly treasonous and Locke had ample reason to exercise caution concerning the publication of his essays. 47 Bergen St--Floor 3, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA, Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this Merchants especially become wealthy because they are adventurous and able, and there is no presumption that they all come from some predetermined merchant class. The outline of Locke’s theory of property in the Second Treatise is well‐​known. Seliger’s second argument for the moral superiority of the political over the economic realm is even less convincing. It being by him removed from the common state nature placed it in, it hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right of other men. However, by far the most complete and convincing refutation of the whole Strauss‐​Cox‐​MacPherson reading of Locke as Hobbesian and Marx‐​style capitalist is presented by Martin Seliger in the context of his investigation of The Liberal Politics of John Locke (1969).

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