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Single Idea 19879

[catalogued under 25. Society / D. Social Rights / 1. Legal Rights / c. Property rights]

Full Idea

As much land as a man tills, plants, improves, cultivates, and can use the product of, so much is his property.

Gist of Idea

A man owns land if he cultivates it, to the limits of what he needs


John Locke (Second Treatise of Government [1690], 032)

A Reaction

Industrial farming rather changes this picture. Does the man himself decide how much he can use the product of, or do the neighbours tell him where his boundaries must be? 'Reason not the need', as King Lear said. What if he stops cultivating it?

Book Reference

Locke,John: 'Two Treatises of Government' [Everyman 1988], p.132