Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Subscriberno1marauder
    Humble and Kind
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    18 Nov '17 20:28
    What do those (I'm looking at you Finny) who claim that Locke espoused a theory allowing unlimited capitalist appropriation think of this passage from the First Treatise:

    But we know God hath not left one man so to the mercy of another, that he may starve him if he please: God the Lord and Father of all has given no one of his children such a property in his peculiar portion of the things of this world, but that he has given his needy brother a right to the surplusage of his goods; so that it cannot justly be denied him, when his pressing wants call for it: and therefore no man could ever have a just power over the life of another by right of property in land or possessions; since it would always be a sin, in any man of estate, to let his brother perish for want of affording him relief out of his plenty. As [48] justice gives every man a title to the product of his honest industry, and the fair acquisitions of his ancestors descended to him; so charity gives every man a title to so much out of another’s plenty, as will keep him from extreme want, where he has no means to subsist otherwise: and a man can no more justly make use of another’s necessity, to force him to become his vassal, by with-holding that relief, God requires him to afford to the wants of his brother, than he that has more strength can seize upon a weaker, master him to his obedience, and with a dagger at his throat offer him death or slavery.

    §. 42.

    Doesn't the logical implications of this doctrine lead to a modern welfare state? Doesn't that make Locke an early social democrat rather than a supporter of laissez faire?
  2. Subscriberjoe shmo
    Strange Egg
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    18 Nov '17 20:411 edit
    Originally posted by @no1marauder
    What do those (I'm looking at you Finny) who claim that Locke espoused a theory allowing unlimited capitalist appropriation think of this passage from the First Treatise:

    But we know God hath not left one man so to the mercy of another, that he may starve him if he please: God the Lord and Father of all has given no one of his children such a propert ...[text shortened]... tate? Doesn't that make Locke an early social democrat rather than a supporter of laissez faire?
    Where in your post does it say “the state”? You seem to infering it in belongs in place of the occurring phrase: “a man” throughought your quotation.
  3. Subscriberno1marauder
    Humble and Kind
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    18 Nov '17 20:532 edits
    Originally posted by @joe-shmo
    Where in your post does it say “the state”? You seem to infering it in belongs in place of the occurring phrase: “a man” throughought your quotation.
    The title of the book is "Two Treatises of Government". The passage is part of a long argument denying that one man can hold absolute power over others through government.

    Moreover, this is a "right" belonging to every man and the very purpose of government in Lockean thought is the protection of Natural Rights:

    but that he has given his needy brother a right to the surplusage of his goods; so that it cannot justly be denied him, when his pressing wants call for it:

    so charity gives every man a title to so much out of another’s plenty, as will keep him from extreme want, where he has no means to subsist otherwise:

    The idea that this is just some exhortation for individuals to be more charitable is ludicrous.