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Chapter 5 Natural Rights to Private Property by John Locke Analysis Essay

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  1. In Chapter five, Locke presents an argument for man’s natural right to private property. What is that argument? What does he conclude that such a right consists in? What is the end, origin and extent of that right for man originally, and for man as he is presently situated? Is it natural to all men? Is it limited in scope? Has the right changed over time? What occasioned that change, if it did in fact alter? Does man have a right to unlimited acquisition of private property according to Locke?

2. For Locke, all power that one man has over another man is a limited power. Why is such power always limited? He further argues in the case of such particular modes of such a power that the limits, origin and ends of the power is different, why? In the case of parental power, spousal power, and political power, why is each of these powers limited in its own peculiar manner? Present how he argues that political power, his principal concern, is limited. Present how and why the other forms of power over an other is limited in their own manner.


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Two Treatises of Government In the Former, The False Principles and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, and His Followers, Are Detected and Overthrown: The Latter, Is an Essay Concerning the Original, Extent, and End, of Civil Government John Locke from The Works of John Locke. A New Edition, Corrected. In Ten Volumes. Vol. V. London: Printed for Thomas Tegg; W. Sharpe and Son; G. Offor; G. and J. Robinson; J. Evans and Co.: Also R. Griffin and Co. Glasgow; and J. Gumming, Dublin. 1823. Prepared by Rod Hay for the McMaster University Archive of the History of EconomicThought. Contents The Preface ........................................................................................ 5 Essay One: The False Principles and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, and His Followers, Are Detected and Overthrown .......... 7 I .......................................................................................................... 7 II: Of paternal and regal Power. ......................................................... 9 III: Of Adam’s Title to Sovereignty by Creation. ............................. 14 IV: Of Adam’s Title to Sovereignty, by Donation, ........................... 19 V: Of Adam’s Title to Sovereignty, by the Subjection of Eve .......... 32 VI: Of Adam’s Title to Sovereignty by Fatherhood. ........................ 36 VII: Of Fatherhood and Property considered together as Fountains of Sovereignty ................................................................................ 50 VIII: Of the Conveyance of Adam’s sovereigns monarchical Power 54 IX: Of Monarchy by Inheritance from Adam .................................. 56 X: Of the Heir to Adam’s Monarchical Power. ................................ 67 XI: Who Heir? ................................................................................. 69 Notes .............................................................................................. 104 Essay Two: Concerning the True Original Extent and End of Civil Government ............................................................................. 105 I: Of Political Power ...................................................................... 105 II: Of the State of Nature ............................................................... 106 III: Of the State of War ................................................................... 112 IV: Of Slavery ................................................................................. 114 V: Of Property ................................................................................. 115 VI: Of Paternal Power ................................................................... 126 VII: Of Political or Civil Society ................................................... 138 VIII: Of the Beginning of Political Societies .................................. 146 IX: Of the Ends of Political Society and Government .................... 159 X: Of the Forms of a Commonwealth ............................................ 161 XI: Of the Extent of the Legislative Power .................................... 162 XII: The Legislative, Executive, and Federative Power of the Commonwealth ............................................................................... 167 XIII: Of the Subordination of the Powers of the Commonwealth .. 169 XIV: Of Prerogative ....................................................................... 175 XV: Of Paternal, Political and Despotical Power, Considered Together ....................................................................................... 179 Chapter XVI : Of Conquest ........................................................... 182 Chapter XVII: Of Usurpation ........................................................ 191 Chapter XVIII: Of Tyranny ........................................................... 192 Chapter XIX: Of the Dissolution of Government .......................... 197 Notes .............................................................................................. 214 The Preface Reader. Thou hast here the beginning and end of a discourse concerning government; what fate has otherwise disposed of the papers that should have filled up the middle, and were more than all the rest, it is not worth while to tell thee. These which remain I hope are sufficient to establish the throne of our great restorer, our present king William; to make good his title in else consent of the people; which being the only one of all lawful governments, he has more fully and clearly than any prince in Christendom; and to justify to the world the people of England, whose love of their just and natural rights? with their resolution to preserve them, saved the nation when it war on the very brink of slavery and ruin. If these papers have that evidence I flatter myself is to be found in them, there will be no great miss of those which are lost, and my reader may be satisfied without them. For I imagine I shall have neither the time nor inclination to repeat my pains, and fill up the wanting part of my answer, by tracing sir Robert again through all the windings and obscurities which are to be met with in the several branches of his wonderful system. The king, and body of the nation, have since so thoroughly confuted his hypothesis, that I suppose nobody hereafter will have either the confidence to appear against our common safety, and be again an advocate for slavery; or the weakness to be deceived with contradictions dressed up in a popular style and well turned periods. For if any one will be at the pains himself, in those parts which are here untouched, to strip sir Robert’s discourses of the flourish of doubtful expressions, and endeavour to reduce his words to direct, positive, intelligible propositions, and then compare them one with another, he will quickly be satisfied there was never so much glib nonsense put together in well 6/John Locke sounding English. If he think it not worth while to examine his works all through, let him make an experiment in that part where he treats of usurpation; and let him try whether he can, with all his skill, make sir Robert intelligible and consistent with himself, or common sense. I should not speak so plainly of a gentleman, long since past answering, had not the pulpit, of late years, publicly owned his doctrine, and made it the current divinity of the times. It is necessary those men who, taking on them to be teachers, have so dangerously misled others, should be openly showed of what authority this their patriarch is, whom they have so blindly followed; that so they may either retract what upon so ill grounds they have vented, and cannot be maintained; or else justify those principles which they have preached up for Gospel, though they had no better an author than an English courtier. For I should not have writ against sir Robert, or taken the pains to show his mistakes, inconsistencies, and avant of (what he so much boasts of, and pretends wholly to build on) Scripture-proofs, were there not men amongst us who, by crying up his books, and espousing his doctrine, save me from the reproach of writing against a dead adversary. They have been so zealous in this point, that if I have done him any wrong, I cannot hope they should spare me. I wish, where they have done the truth and the public wrong, they would be as ready to redress it, and allow its just weight to this reflection, viz., that there cannot be done a greater mischief to prince and people, than the propagating wrong notions concerning government; that so at last all times might not have reason to complain of the “drum ecclesiastic.” If any one really concerned for truth undertake the confutation of my hypothesis, I promise him either to recant my mistake, upon fair conviction, or to answer his difficulties. But he must remember two things. First, That cavilling here and there at some expression or little incident of my discourse, is not an answer to my book. Secondly, That I shall not take railing for arguments, nor think either of these worth my notice: though I shall always look on myself as bound to give satisfaction to any one who shall appear to be conscientiously scrupulous in the point, and shall show any just grounds for his scruples. I have nothing more but to advertise the reader, that A. stands for our author, O. for his Observations on Hobbes, Milton, &c. And that a bare quotation of pages always means pages of his Patriarcha, edit. 1680. The False Principles and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer, and His Followers, Are Detected and Overthrown Chapter I §1. Slavery is so vile and miserable an estate of man, and so directly opposite to the generous temper and courage of our nation, that it is hardly to be conceived that an Englishman, much less a gentleman, should plead for it. And truly I should have taken sir Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha, as any other treatise, which would persuade all mere that they are slaves, and ought to be so, for such another exercise of wit as was his who writ the encomium of Nero; rather than for a serious discourse, meant in earnest: had not the gravity of the title and epistle, the picture in the front of the book, and the applause that followed it, required me to believe that the author and publisher were both in earnest. I therefore took it into my hands with all the expectation, and read it through with all the attention due to a treatise that made such a noise at its coming abroad; and cannot but confess myself mightily surprised that in a book, which was to provide chains for all mankind, I should find nothing but a rope of sand; useful perhaps to such whose skill and business it is to wise a dust, and would blind the people, the better to mislead them; but in truth not of any force to draw those into bondage who have their eyes open, and so much sense about them, as to consider that chains are but an ill wearing, how much care soever hath been taken to file and polish them. §2. If any one think I take too much liberty in speaking so freely of a man who is the great champion of absolute power, and the idol of those who worship it; I beseech him to make this small allowance for once, to one who, even after the reading of sir Robert’s book, cannot but think himself; as the laws allow him a free man: and I know no fault it is to do so, unless any one, better skilled in the fate of it than I, should have it revealed to him that this treatise, which has lain dormant so long, was, 8/John Locke plan it appeared in the world, to carry, by strength of its arguments, all liberty out or it; and that, from thenceforth, our author’s short model was to be the pattern in the mount, and the perfect standard of politics for the future. His system lies in a little compass; it is no more but this, “That all government is absolute monarchy.” And the ground he builds on is this. “That no man is born free.” §3. In this last age a generation of men has sprung up amongst us, that would flatter princes with an opinion, that they have a divine right to absolute power, let the laws by which they are constituted and are to govern, and the conditions under which they enter upon their authority, be what they will; and their engagements to observe them ever so well ratified by solemn oaths and promises. To make way for this doctrine, they have denied mankind a right to natural freedom; whereby they have not only, as much as in them lies, exposed all subjects to the utmost misery of tyranny and oppression, but have also unsettled the titles and shaken the thrones of princes: (for they too, by these men’s system, except only one, are all born slaves, and by divine right are subjects to Adam’s right heir); as if they had designed to make war upon all government, and subvert the very foundations of human society, to serve their present turn. §4. However we must believe them upon their own bare words, when they tell us, “We are all born slaves, and we must continue so;” there is no remedy for it; life and thraldom we entered into together, and can never be quit of the one till we part with the other. Scripture or reason, I am sure, do not any where say so, notwithstanding the noise of divine right, as if divine authority hath subjected us to the unlimited will of another. An admirable state of mankind, and that which they have not lead wit enough to find out till this latter age! For however sir Robert Filmier seems to condemn the novelty of the contrary opinion, Patr. p. 3, yet I believe it will be hard for him to find any other age, or country of the world, but this, which has asserted monarchy to be jure divine. And he confesses, Patr. p. 4, that “Heyward, Blackwood, Barclay, and others, that have bravely vindicated the right of kings in most points, never thought of this; but, with one consent, admitted the natural liberty and equality of mankind.” §5. By whom this doctrine came at first to be broached, and brought in fashion amongst us, and what sad elects it gave rise to, I leave to historians to relate, or to the memory of those who were contemporaries Two Treatises of Government/9 with Sibthorp and Manwaring to recollect. My business at present is only to consider what sir Robert Filmer, who is allowed to have carried this argument farthest, and is supposed to have brought it to perfection, has said in it: for from him every one, who would be as fashionable as French was at court, has learned and runs away with this short system of politics, viz., “Men are not born free, and therefore could never have the liberty to choose either governors, or forms of government.” Princes have their power absolute, and by divine right; for slaves could never have a right to compact or consent. Adam was an absolute monarch, and so are all princes ever since. Chapter II Of paternal and regal Power. §6. Sir Robert Filmer’s great position is, that “men are not naturally free.” This is the foundation on which his absolute monarchy stands, and from which it erects itself to an height, that its power is above every power: caput inter nubilia, so high above all earthly and human things, that thought can scarce reach it; that promises and oaths, which tie the infinite Deity, cannot confine it. But if this foundation fails, all his fabric falls with it, and governments must be left again to the old way of being made by contrivance and the consent of men (/Anqrwp nh ct sij) making use of their reason to unite together into society. To prove this grand position of his, he tells us, p. 12, “Men are born in subjection to their parents,” and therefore cannot be free. And this authority of parents he calls “royal authority,” p. 12,14, “fatherly authority, right of fatherhood,” p. 12, 20. One would have thought he would, in the beginning of such a work as this, on which was to depend the authority of princes, and the obedience of subjects, have told us expressly what that fatherly authority is, have definer it, though not limited it, because in some other treatises of his he tells us, it is unlimited, and unlimitable;1 he should at least have given us such an account of it, that we might have had an entire notion of this fatherhood, or fatherly authority, whenever it came in our way, in his writings: this I expected to have found in the first chapter of his Patriarchal But instead thereof, having, 1. En passant, made his obeisance to the arcana imperii, p. 5; 2. Made his compliment to the “rights and liberties of this or any other nation,” p. 6, which he is going presently to null and destroy; and 3. Made his leg to those learned men who did not see so far into the matter as himself; p. 7: he comes to fall on Bellarmine, p. 8, and by a victory over him estab- 10/John Locke lishes his fatherly authority beyond any question. Bellarmine being routed by his own confession, p. 11, the day is clear got, and there is no more need of any forces: for having done that, I observe not that he states the question, or rallies up any arguments to make good his opinion, but rather tells us the story as he thinks fit of this strange kind of domineering phantom called the fatherhood, which whoever could catch presently got empire, and unlimited absolute power. He acquaints us how this fatherhood liege in Adam, continued its course, and kept the world in order all the time of the patriarchs till the flood; got out of the ark with Noah and his sons, made and supported all the kings of the earth till the captivity of the Israelites in Egypt; and then the poor fatherhood was under hatches, till “God, by giving the Israelites kings, re-established the ancient and prime right of the lineal succession in paternal government.” This is his business from p. 12 to 19. And then, obviating au objection, and clearing a difficulty or two with one-half reason, p. 23, “to confirm the natural right of regal power,” he ends the first chapter. I hope it is no injury to call an half quotation an half reason; for God says, “Honour thy father and mother;” but our author contents himself with half, leaves out “thy mother” quite, as little serviceable to his purpose. But of that more in another place. §7. I do not think our author so little skilled in the way of writing discourses of this nature, nor so careless of the point in hand, that he by oversight commits the fault that he himself, in his “anarchy of a mixed monarchy,” p. 239, objects to Mr. Hunton in these words: “Where first I charge the A. that he hath not given us any definition or description of monarchy in general; for by the rules of method he should have first defined.” And by the like rule of method, sir Robert should have told us what his fatherhood, or fatherly authority is, before he had told us in whom it w as to be found, and talked so much of it. But, perhaps, sir Robert found, that this fatherly authority, this power of fathers, and of kings, for he makes them both the same, p. 24, would make a very odd and frightful figure, and very disagreeing with what either children imagine of their parents, or subjects of their kings, if he should have given us the whole draught together, in that gigantic form he had painted it in his own fancy; and therefore, like a wary physician, when he would have his patient swallow some harsh or corrosive liquor, he mingles it with a large quantity of that which may dilute it, that the scattered parts may go down with less feeling, and cause less aversion. §8. Let us then endeavour to find what account he gives us of this Two Treatises of Government/11 fatherly authority, as it lies scattered in the several parts of his writings. And first, as it was vested in Adam, he says, “Not only Adam, but the succeeding patriarchs, had, by right of fatherhood, royal authority over their children, p. 12. This lordship, which Adam by command had over the wholes world, and by right descending from him the patriarchs did enjoy, was as large and ample as the absolute dominion of any monarch which hath been since the creation, p. 15. Dominion of life and death, making war, and concluding peace, p. 13. Adam and the patriarchs had absolute power of life and death, p. 35. Kings, in the right of parents, succeed to the exercise of supreme jurisdiction, p. 19. As kingly power is by the law of God, so it hath no inferior law to limit it; Adam was lord of all, p. 40. The father of a family governs by no other law than by his own will, p. 78. The superiority of princes is above laws, p. 79. The unlimited jurisdiction of kings is so amply described by Samuel, p. 80. Kings are above the laws,” p. 93. And to this purpose see a great deal more, which our A. delivers in Bodin’s words: “It is certain, that all laws, privileges, and grants of princes, have no force but during their life, if they be not ratified by the express consent, or by sufferance of the prince following, especially privileges, O. p. 279. T ...
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Running head: PRIVATE PROPERTY

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Natural Rights to Private Property by John Locke
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PRIVATE PROPERTY

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Natural Rights to Private Property by John Locke
John Locke was a philosopher who addressed a variety of issues affecting society during
his time, such as philosophy of mind, liberalism, role of government and knowledge. One of the
outstanding philosophical arguments that Locke derived is the natural right to private property.
In the theory, he explains that people are granted resources by nature, whereby each one is
entitled to an equal share. The materials are availed by God who ensures that they are sufficient
for people to fulfill their needs (Locke, 1823). However, Locke argued that human beings need
to labor in order to derive meaning from the resources. The labor and its fruits are referred to as a
man’s possession and he or she is entitled to own them. He further argued that a person is
allowed to hold as much property as possible provided he or she enacts the necessary efforts.
That is, a man should not claim the fruits of another person’s labor as his. Therefore, Locke
argued that at birth, the resources accorded to people by nature are the same and the labor that
one toward the pursuit of these materials is the measure of the amount of private properties one
owns.
The philosopher argues that God is the main source of resources that are available in
nature. He references specific scenarios highlighted in the Bible, whereby God gave the world
and its fruits to the people. Locke explains that the world is a gift from God to Adam and his
descendants and available to all the men equally (Locke, 1823). Human Beings are su...

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