John Locke's Second Treatise on Civil Government Essay

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Locke's Second Treatise of Government, by far, is his most influential and important piece of writing. In it he set forth his theory of natural law and natural right. He shows that there does exist a rational purpose to government, and one need not rely on "mysticism and mystery." Against anarchy, Locke saw his job as one who must defend government as an institution. Locke's object was to insist not only that the public welfare was the test of good government and the basis for properly imposing obligations on the citizens of a country, but also that the public welfare made government necessary.
Locke believed that the mind is blank upon birth. As a person grows and develops, so does their mind. He urged individuals to formulate
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In a famous passage (Section 11), Locke compares the mind to a "dark room" with only a narrow inlet. Ideas are analogous to the images projected onto the back of the room.
Besides the right to self preservation, Locke also believed that all individuals had a natural right to property. This natural right carried with it two preconditions of natural law. First, since the earth was given by God to all individuals, people must be sure to leave enough property remaining for others to have, and secondly nothing may be allowed to spoil. These conditions met, an individual was granted exclusive rights to any object that they mixed their labor with. For Locke, mixing labor was in effect placing a part of the self into an object, and thereby making it part of the individual and therefore their property.
Human nature being the way it is, people eventually found a way around the natural law restrictions on property accumulation through the creation of money. Instead of only being allowed to accumulate as much property as could be used with out spoilage, people created money as a means around the natural law. Since money does not spoil, the burden of upholding the law now became that of the consumer rather than of the producer. People were granted the ability to accumulate unlimited money based upon their industriousness. This meant that some people acted more rationally than others, and thus were more deserving

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