pages, that were to have been included in the Second Treatise, i.e. the second Locke's First Treatise of Government and also occupy a good deal of space. IX: Of the Ends of Political Society and Government .. X: Of the .. it upon sure demonstration, he begins his second chapter with these words, “By. Second Treatise. John Locke. Chapter 8: The beginning of political societies. Chapter 9: The purposes of political society and government. Chapter
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Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. John Locke's "Second Treatise of Government" was published in The complete unabridged text has been republished several times in. SECOND TREATISE OF GOVERNMENT. 5. Locke's Two Treatises of Government presented a critique of the divine right of kings and outlined the.
Filmer's text presented an argument for a divinely ordained , hereditary , absolute monarchy. According to Filmer, the Biblical Adam in his role as father possessed unlimited power over his children and this authority passed down through the generations. Locke attacks this on several grounds. Accepting that fatherhood grants authority, he argues, it would do so only by the act of begetting, and so cannot be transmitted to one's children because only God can create life.
Nor is the power of a father over his children absolute, as Filmer would have it; Locke points to the joint power parents share over their children referred to in the Bible. In the Second Treatise Locke returns to a discussion of parental power. Both of these discussions have drawn the interest of modern feminists such as Carole Pateman. Filmer also suggested that Adam's absolute authority came from his ownership over all the world.
To this, Locke responds that the world was originally held in common a theme that will return in the Second Treatise.
But, even if it were not, he argues, God's grant to Adam covered only the land and brute animals, not human beings. Nor could Adam, or his heir, leverage this grant to enslave mankind, for the law of nature forbids reducing one's fellows to a state of desperation, if one possesses a sufficient surplus to maintain oneself securely.
And even if this charity were not commanded by reason, Locke continues, such a strategy for gaining dominion would prove only that the foundation of government lies in consent. Locke intimates in the First Treatise that the doctrine of divine right of kings jure divino will eventually be the downfall of all governments. In his final chapter he asks, "Who heir? But since it is impossible to discover the true heir of Adam, no government, under Filmer's principles, can require that its members obey its rulers.
Filmer must therefore say that men are duty-bound to obey their present rulers. Locke writes: I think he is the first Politician, who, pretending to settle Government upon its true Basis, and to establish the Thrones of lawful Princes, ever told the World, That he was properly a King, whose Manner of Government was by Supreme Power, by what Means soever he obtained it; which in plain English is to say, that Regal and Supreme Power is properly and truly his, who can by any Means seize upon it; and if this be, to be properly a King, I wonder how he came to think of, or where he will find, an Usurper.
According to Locke, no king has ever claimed that his authority rested upon his being the heir of Adam. It is Filmer , Locke alleges, who is the innovator in politics, not those who assert the natural equality and freedom of man. It begins with a depiction of the state of nature , wherein individuals are under no obligation to obey one another but are each themselves judge of what the law of nature requires.
It also covers conquest and slavery, property, representative government, and the right of revolution. State of Nature[ edit ] Locke defines the state of nature thus: To properly understand political power and trace its origins, we must consider the state that all people are in naturally.
That is a state of perfect freedom of acting and disposing of their own possessions and persons as they think fit within the bounds of the law of nature. People in this state do not have to ask permission to act or depend on the will of others to arrange matters on their behalf. The natural state is also one of equality in which all power and jurisdiction is reciprocal and no one has more than another.
It is evident that all human beings—as creatures belonging to the same species and rank and born indiscriminately with all the same natural advantages and faculties—are equal amongst themselves. They have no relationship of subordination or subjection unless God the lord and master of them all had clearly set one person above another and conferred on him an undoubted right to dominion and sovereignty. Locke's state of nature can be seen in light of this tradition.
There is not and never has been any divinely ordained monarch over the entire world, Locke argues. However, the fact that the natural state of humanity is without an institutionalized government does not mean it is lawless. Human beings are still subject to the laws of God and nature. In contrast to Hobbes, who posited the state of nature as a hypothetical possibility, Locke takes great pains to show that such a state did indeed exist.
Actually, it still exists in the area of international relations where there is not and is never likely to be any legitimate overarching government i. Whereas Hobbes stresses the disadvantages of the state of nature, Locke points to its good points. It is free, if full of continual dangers 2nd Tr. Nobody in the natural state has the political power to tell others what to do.
However, everybody has the right to authoritatively pronounce justice and administer punishment for breaches of the natural law. Thus, men are not free to do whatever they please. The specifics of this law are unwritten, however, and so each is likely to misapply it in his own case.
Lacking any commonly recognised, impartial judge, there is no way to correct these misapplications or to effectively restrain those who violate the law of nature. The law of nature is therefore ill enforced in the state of nature.
IF man in the state of nature be so free, as has been said; if he be absolute lord of his own person and possessions, equal to the greatest, and subject to no body, why will he part with his freedom? Why will he give up this empire, and subject himself to the dominion and control of any other power? To which it is obvious to answer, that though in the state of nature he hath such a right, yet the enjoyment of it is very uncertain, and constantly exposed to the invasion of others: for all being kings as much as he, every man his equal, and the greater part no strict observers of equity and justice, the enjoyment of the property he has in this state is very unsafe, very unsecure.
This makes him willing to quit a condition, which, however free, is full of fears and continual dangers: and it is not without reason, that he seeks out, and is willing to join in society with others, who are already united, or have a mind to unite, for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and estates, which I call by the general name, property.
Conquest and slavery[ edit ] Ch. Because the Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina provided that a master had perfect authority over his slaves, some[ who? In the rhetoric of 17th-century England, those who opposed the increasing power of the kings claimed that the country was headed for a condition of slavery. Locke therefore asks, facetiously, under what conditions such slavery might be justified. He notes that slavery cannot come about as a matter of contract which became the basis of Locke's political system.
To be a slave is to be subject to the absolute, arbitrary power of another; as men do not have this power even over themselves, they cannot sell or otherwise grant it to another. One that is deserving of death, i.
This is, however, but the state of war continued 2nd Tr. In providing a justification for slavery, he has rendered all forms of slavery as it actually exists invalid. Moreover, as one may not submit to slavery, there is a moral injunction to attempt to throw off and escape it whenever it looms.
Most scholars take this to be Locke's point regarding slavery: submission to absolute monarchy is a violation of the law of nature, for one does not have the right to enslave oneself. The legitimacy of an English king depended on somehow demonstrating descent from William the Conqueror : the right of conquest was therefore a topic rife with constitutional connotations. Locke does not say that all subsequent English monarchs have been illegitimate, but he does make their rightful authority dependent solely upon their having acquired the people's approbation.
Locke first argues that, clearly, aggressors in an unjust war can claim no right of conquest: everything they despoil may be retaken as soon as the dispossessed have the strength to do so.
Their children retain this right, so an ancient usurpation does not become lawful with time.
The rest of the chapter then considers what rights a just conqueror might have. The argument proceeds negatively: Locke proposes one power a conqueror could gain, and then demonstrates how in point of fact that power cannot be claimed.
He gains no authority over those that conquered with him, for they did not wage war unjustly: thus, whatever other right William may have had in England, he could not claim kingship over his fellow Normans by right of conquest.
The subdued are under the conqueror's despotical authority, but only those who actually took part in the fighting. Those who were governed by the defeated aggressor do not become subject to the authority of the victorious aggressor. They lacked the power to do an unjust thing, and so could not have granted that power to their governors: the aggressor therefore was not acting as their representative, and they cannot be punished for his actions.
And while the conqueror may seize the person of the vanquished aggressor in an unjust war, he cannot seize the latter's property: he may not drive the innocent wife and children of a villain into poverty for another's unjust acts. While the property is technically that of the defeated, his innocent dependents have a claim that the just conqueror must honour. He cannot seize more than the vanquished could forfeit, and the latter had no right to ruin his dependents.
He may, however, demand and take reparations for the damages suffered in the war, so long as these leave enough in the possession of the aggressor's dependants for their survival. In so arguing, Locke accomplishes two objectives. First, he neutralises the claims of those who see all authority flowing from William I by the latter's right of conquest.
In the absence of any other claims to authority e. Second, he removes much of the incentive for conquest in the first place, for even in a just war the spoils are limited to the persons of the defeated and reparations sufficient only to cover the costs of the war, and even then only when the aggressor's territory can easily sustain such costs i.
Needless to say, the bare claim that one's spoils are the just compensation for a just war does not suffice to make it so, in Locke's view. Property[ edit ] In the Second Treatise, Locke claims that civil society was created for the protection of property. French propre. Thus, by "property" he means "life, liberty, and estate.
He points out that fathers do not have the right to control the choices made by their descendants.
These descendants are born free. Once again, Locke stresses consent as the vital ingredient in the formation of a civil or political society. Analysis Locke devotes most of this chapter to answering objections and presenting counter-arguments. Such a technique reinforces the persuasive power of his treatise.
The first objection he deals with is essentially historical. Locke flatly overturns it with the common-sense observation that history is understandably silent about very early times. He then adds historical examples that confute his critics' arguments. Once again, he makes some intriguing references to America.
He remarks that America "is still a pattern of the first ages in Asia and Europe" Section In Section , Locke refers to the "golden age," a classical allusion. It virtually took on a life of its own with the rediscovery of ancient Greek and Roman culture in the s and s. The Greek poet Hesiod 8th century BCE told, in his poem Works and Days, of five ages of humankind: gold, silver, bronze, heroic, and iron.
This panorama of human history commenced with harmony and bliss. It then ranged steadily downward into conflict, scarcity, and crime.
During the Renaissance, the myth of the golden age enjoyed renewed popularity. In his brief discussion, Locke even quotes a phrase from Ovid: amor sceleratus habendi Latin for "the accursed love of possession".
In answering the second objection, Locke again relies on history. He points out that history is full of examples of men setting up new forms of government. This arises from the evident fact that parents cannot compel their descendants or deprive them of their liberty. Significantly, Locke appeals to the "law of right reason" when he asserts that a child is born a subject of no country or government Section