John Locke On Property Essay

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Most of people in the Western World today own some type of private property. Every day they acquire something new that is either useful or convenient in their lives. These acquisitions range from small things such as books and pens, to larger property such as hoses, cars, and tracts of land. In the beginning, these things could only be earned through earned through one’s own hard work. However, as times changed and money was implemented in the world, inequalities have formed and property has become much more than just labor. Throughout chapter 5 of The Second Treatise of Government, John Locke, English philosopher and physician, attempts to explain how all men used to be equal under property and had to earn each item they gathered. Locke states that common property becomes private when one invests labor into it, with certain limitations such as taking only as much as you can productively use before rotting and leaving as much and as good for others.…show more content…
As Locke explains, “The same law of nature, that does by this means give us property, does also bound that property too” (Second Treatise, pg.14). Locke begins this argument by stating that man cannot take as much as he wants. God has given us great amounts of land and other things for our use and convenience but, “how far has he given it to us?” Man can only take “as much as any one can make us of to any advantage of life before it spoils” (Second Treatise, pg. 14) and must leave as much and as good for all the other men that follow. God gave the earth to man in order to improve it for the benefit of life. For this reason, man takes as much land as he can improve by planting, cultivating, and other things. If he takes more than he can handle, he is basically stealing from other men because it will eventually go to waste. Going back to the example of the apple, man may only take as many as he can use or consume before they rot. He cannot take more than the appropriate amount because he would be stealing this from other
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