Ideas from 'Second Treatise of Government' by John Locke [1690], by Theme Structure

[found in 'Two Treatises of Government' by Locke,John [Everyman 1988,0-460-11751-3]].

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25. Society / A. State of Nature / 1. A People / b. The natural life
All countries are in a mutual state of nature
We are not created for solitude, but are driven into society by our needs
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 2. Natural Freedom
In nature men can dispose of possessions and their persons in any way that is possible
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 3. Natural Equality
There is no subjection in nature, and all creatures of the same species are equal
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 4. Natural Rights / a. Natural rights
The animals and fruits of the earth belong to mankind
There is a natural right to inheritance within a family
The rational law of nature says we are all equal and independent, and should show mutual respect
25. Society / A. State of Nature / 4. Natural Rights / b. Alienating rights
There is only a civil society if the members give up all of their natural executive rights
25. Society / B. The State / 1. Purpose of a State
Politics is the right to make enforceable laws to protect property and the state, for the common good
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / d. Social contract
The Second Treatise explores the consequences of the contractual view of the state
A society only begins if there is consent of all the individuals to join it
If anyone enjoys the benefits of government (even using a road) they give tacit assent to its laws
A politic society is created from a state of nature by a unanimous agreement
25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / e. General will
A single will creates the legislature, which is duty-bound to preserve that will
25. Society / B. The State / 4. Citizenship
Anyone who enjoys the benefits of a state has given tacit consent to be part of it
You can only become an actual member of a commonwealth by an express promise
Children are not born into citizenship of a state
25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / b. Monarchy
Absolute monarchy is inconsistent with civil society
25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / c. Despotism
People stripped of their property are legitimately subject to despotism
Legitimate prisoners of war are subject to despotism, because that continues the state of war
The idea that absolute power improves mankind is confuted by history
Despotism is arbitrary power to kill, based neither on natural equality, nor any social contract
25. Society / B. The State / 6. Government / b. Legislature
Even the legislature must be preceded by a law which gives it power to make laws
25. Society / B. The State / 6. Government / c. Executive
The executive must not be the legislature, or they may exempt themselves from laws
25. Society / B. The State / 7. Changing the State / c. Revolution
Any obstruction to the operation of the legislature can be removed forcibly by the people
Rebelling against an illegitimate power is no sin
If legislators confiscate property, or enslave people, they are no longer owed obedience
25. Society / C. Political Doctrines / 5. Democracy / a. Nature of democracy
Unanimous consent makes a united community, which is then ruled by the majority
The people have supreme power, to depose a legislature which has breached their trust
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 1. Legal Rights / b. Inalienable rights
We all own our bodies, and the work we do is our own
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 1. Legal Rights / c. Property rights
Locke (and Marx) held that ownership of objects is a natural relation, based on the labour put into it
Fountain water is everyone's, but a drawn pitcher of water has an owner
A man's labour gives ownership rights - as long as there are fair shares for all
If a man mixes his labour with something in Nature, he thereby comes to own it
Gathering natural fruits gives ownership; the consent of other people is irrelevant
Mixing labour with a thing bestows ownership - as long as the thing is not wasted
A man owns land if he cultivates it, to the limits of what he needs
Soldiers can be commanded to die, but not to hand over their money
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 2. Social Freedom / a. Slavery
A master forfeits ownership of slaves he abandons
If you try to enslave me, you have declared war on me.
Slaves captured in a just war have no right to property, so are not part of civil society
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 2. Social Freedom / e. Freedom of lifestyle
Freedom is not absence of laws, but living under laws arrived at by consent
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 3. Social Equality / d. Economic equality
All value depends on the labour involved
25. Society / D. Social Rights / 4. Right to Punish / a. Right to punish
Punishment should make crime a bad bargain, leading to repentance and deterrence
Self-defence is natural, but not the punishment of superiors by inferiors
Reparation and restraint are the only justifications for punishment
25. Society / E. State Functions / 2. The Law / a. Legal system
The aim of law is not restraint, but to make freedom possible
25. Society / E. State Functions / 2. The Law / b. Natural law
It is only by a law of Nature that we can justify punishing foreigners
25. Society / E. State Functions / 3. Taxation
The consent of the people is essential for any tax