Ownership plays a vital role in Locke`s argument in favor of civil government and the contract that establishes it. According to Locke, private property is born when a person mixes his work with nature`s raw materials. For example, if you cultivate a piece of land in nature and turn it into a piece of arable land that produces food, then you claim to own that piece of land and the food produced on it. (This led Locke to conclude that America did not really belong to the natives who lived there because, in his opinion, they did not use the basic material of nature. In other words, they did not exploit it, so they did not have a legitimate right to it, and so others could rightly appropriate it.) Given the implications of natural law, there are limits to the amount of goods one can own: one should not take more from nature than one can use, leaving others without enough for oneself. Because the nature of all mankind is given by God for their common sustenance, one cannot take more than one`s own just share. Property is the cornerstone of Locke`s argument for the social contract and civil government, as it is the protection of their property, including their property in their own bodies, that people seek when they decide to abandon the state of nature. With the introduction of private property, the initial conditions of inequality became more pronounced. Some have property and others are forced to work for them, and the development of social classes begins. Finally, those who have property note that it would be in their interest to create a government that would protect the private property of those who do not have it, but who can see that they can acquire it by force. Thus, the government is established by a treaty that claims to guarantee equality and protection for all, even if its real purpose is to petrify the very inequalities that private property has produced. In other words, the Treaty, which claims to be equal in the interest of all, is really in the interest of a few people who have become stronger and richer as a result of the evolution of private property. It is the naturalized social contract that Rousseau sees as responsible for the conflict and competition that modern society suffers.
Social contract theory, almost as old as philosophy itself, is the idea that the moral and/or political obligations of individuals depend on a contract or agreement between them to form the society in which they live. Socrates uses something like a social contract argument to explain to Krito why he must stay in prison and accept the death penalty. However, the theory of social contracts is rightly associated with modern moral and political theory and is for the first time fully presented and defended by Thomas Hobbes. According to Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are the best-known proponents of this extremely influential theory, which has been one of the most dominant theories of moral and political theory in the history of the modern West. In the twentieth century, moral and political theory regained a philosophical impetus following John Rawls` Kantian version of social contract theory, followed by new analyses of the subject by David Gauthier and others. More recently, philosophers have proposed new critiques of social contract theory from various angles. Feminists and race-conscious philosophers, in particular, have argued that social contract theory is at least an incomplete picture of our moral and political life, and may actually obscure some of the ways in which the contract itself has a parasitic effect on class submissions of people. In Locke`s version of the state of nature, humans have natural pre-social rights to life, liberty, and property, but a central authority created by a social contract is ultimately needed to better protect those rights. The power of authority is limited to what is necessary to guarantee the equality of fundamental rights of all, and a revolt against it is justified if it does not fulfil this fundamental objective.
Locke`s political philosophy directly influenced the American Declaration of Independence. Thus, from Mills` point of view, racism is not just an unfortunate coincidence of Western democratic and political ideals. .
- Posted by adriel
- On April 15, 2022