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Single Idea 19875

[catalogued under 25. Society / C. Social Justice / 4. Legal Rights / c. Property rights]

Full Idea

The 'labour' being the unquestionable property of the labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good left in common for others.

Gist of Idea

A man's labour gives ownership rights - as long as there are fair shares for all


John Locke (Second Treatise of Government [1690], 027)

A Reaction

The qualification at the end is a crucial (and problematic) addition to his theory. What is the situation when an area of wilderness is 98% owned? What of the single source of water? Who gets the best parts? Getting there first seems crucial.

Book Reference

Locke,John: 'Two Treatises of Government' [Everyman 1988], p.130

Related Ideas

Idea 19872 The animals and fruits of the earth belong to mankind [Locke]

Idea 19873 We all own our bodies, and the work we do is our own [Locke]

Idea 19874 If a man mixes his labour with something in Nature, he thereby comes to own it [Locke]