Every individual owns themselves. What they produce through their efforts becomes theirs. By laboring on what nature has provided an individual adds value to what they intermingle their efforts with (Locke, 26). What nature has provided to mankind belongs to the whole humanity. Once an individual adds value to it the property becomes theirs. This perspective applies only when resources are adequate for the rest of the commons.
A government may represent the commons who permit it to act on their behalf in terms of acquiring property. Earlier on, one owned a property so long as they employed labor upon it. Afterwards, an increase in population meant that the land they occupied became limited. With the use of money, more stock was brought forth and hence intensified the scarcity of land (Locke, 45). Governments have given up their rights to own land with other states/governments using money by agreement. As a result, property has been distributed among themselves in different parts of the world. Furthermore, governments which are in agreement to use common money have wasted the least of this natural resources.
Why acquiring Property Locke’s way won’t harm others
The rights to own a property belong to the individual who labors about it. Locke, 32, advocates for ownership of properties by a man’s effort so long as a sustainable and enough resource, provided by nature, is left for the rest of the commons. For this reason, the individual is regarded as having taking no natural resource.
Acquired land is usually of more value and use to the owner and the rest of the commons. No one has the right to complain over another individual’s ownership of a property yet they have not labored for it. If one does that, they will become guilty of covetousness (Locke, 23). It is not okay to accrue benefits from a property that one has not worked for. A piece of land which lies uncultivated is of no use to the commons. The value of the land appreciates as more labor is put into it. Without labor, the land will be of no value to the commons (Locke, 43). By using money or other valuable metals, an individual may be able to store their property in a state that is not perishable. If they produce more than they can consume and exchange it with other common’s products so that their produce does not go to waste, no harm is done to others (Locke, 46).
The government’s authority over its citizens ought to be restricted for it to demand loyalty from its subjects (Locke, 1). Human rights, including the right to property, need to be observed and upheld with high esteem. Furthermore, the author notes that a legitimate government is one whose subjects willingly let it to have authority over them.
An individual’s toil upon land made his acquisitions legitimate. This meant that the resource that once was provided by Mother Nature in its raw form belonged to the one that transformed this resource into a more useful state to themselves and other commons. Locke, 27, further notes that one’s possessions were not permitted by the nature and commons to go to waste. Acquisition is only meant to benefit the laborer and the human society. Therefore, an individual who wastes such properties is liable for punishments. In this light, I find Locke’s arguments plausible.
Locke, John. “The second Treatise of Government.” (1689).
Locke, John. “Two Treatises of Government (1689).” New York: Cambridge (2010).