POLS 301B Final
16 December 2014
The Meaning of Property
Property, many thoughts rush to an individual’s mind when debating the meaning of property. One must distinguish between the intrinsic value of a right and the overall values of a right taking note inter importance of its intrinsic importance whenever there is any. Regarding intrinsic values The Second Treatise of Government by John Locke shares a relationship among property with equality, political power, and private and public goods. Following Locke, Gerard Winstanley, shares similar and different perceptions on the relationship explaining the role of property with equality, political power, and public and private goods. There is evidence in the readings The True Levellers’ Standard Advanced and Declaration From The Poor Oppressed People of England by Gerard Winstanley that explain the issue of government on behalf of the common wealth of the people. Winstanley has more of a socialist approach to how society should be followed, while Locke in the Second Treatise of Government has a more capitalist approach with democracy. To understand their definitions of rights on property, one must take the philosophical approach in understanding rights in three ways; violations of rights is not in itself a bad thing nor good, seeing rights in constraints that other cannot, and to see fulfillments of rights as goals pursued. Rights are a among property, which John Locke and Gerard Winstanley settle differences and similarities revolving slavery among equality with property, political power influence on property, and lastly the define line on the public good amongst private goods. First objective in explaining the relationship between equality and property is to first acknowledge the meaning of equality through Winstanley’s and Locke’s biblical ideas. Quotes from Locke explain equality as, “being that equal right’ , that every man hath, to his natural freedom, without being subjected to the will or authority of any other man” (Second Treatise of Government, 31). With equality being explained any more justifiable by Locke, where does the state of slavery fall into in the dilemma distinguishing slavery as equality or property? It seems to be justified that the ownership of slaves is seen as one’s property, slaves have no right and are a private good in the 17th century global market. A non-English “man” in the early terms seen to be nothing more than a commodity or a private good of the English man seeking from a “biblical” approach. Winstanely states his meaning of equality as “to be cheated no longer, nor be held under the slavish fear of you no longer, seeing the earth was made for us as well as for you”, by this statement Winstanely believes that slavery is unjust in equality but leaves his reasoning for individuals who please to keep servants and slaves oppressed (Poor Oppressed People of England, 104). Locke defines slavery as an economic commodity where in Winstanely’s views, he completely disregards the existence of slavery by stating the excuse of an individuals keeping servants, and slaves will be without excuse on the day of judgment day (POPE, 103). After taking account of slavery with their thoughts of equality, they both use a comparison of the bible that make them be seen as hypocrites, well that is for Locke at least. The biblical approach explained by Locke and Winstanely about civil society, is that men constitute one body with an agreement that the responsibility of making laws and executing them, as such stated from “the beginning of time, the great creator reason made earth to be a common treasury… but not one word was spoken in the beginning, that one branch of mankind should rule over another” (POPE, 77). Locke repercussions civil government in the state that it is only formed by the consent of those who decide to leave the state of nature, it cannot be brought about by force. John Locke digs into debt...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document