By John Locke, C. B. Macpherson

Author note: C. B. Macpherson (Editor)
Publish yr note: First released in 1690
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The "Second Treatise" is likely one of the most vital political treatises ever written and of the main far-reaching in its impression. In his provocative 15-page advent to this variation, the overdue eminent political theorist C. B. Macpherson examines Locke's arguments for restricted conditional govt, inner most estate, and correct of revolution and indicates purposes for the attraction of those arguments in Locke's time and because.

"Macpherson presents for his readers a tightly written, meaty, and sometimes invigorating severe overview of Locke's argument. In it one unearths the superior of Macpherson's now recognized feedback of liberal-democratic government." Gregory E. Pcyrz in Canadian Philosophical Review

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But since gold and silver, being little useful to the life of man in proportion to food, raiment, and carriage, has its value only from the consent of men, whereof labour yet makes, in great part, the measure, it is plain, that men have agreed to a disproportionate and unequal possession of the earth, they having, by a tacit and voluntary consent, found out a way how a man may fairly possess more land than he himself can use the product of, by receiving in exchange for the overplus gold and silver, which may be hoarded up without injury to anyone; these metals not spoiling or decaying in the hands of the possessor.

To be free from such force is the only security of my preservation; and reason bids me look on him, as an enemy to my preservation, who would take away that freedom which is the fence to it; so that he who makes an attempt to enslave me, thereby puts himself into a state of war with me. He that, in the state of nature, would take away the freedom that belongs to anyone in that state, must necessarily be supposed to have a design to take away every thing else, that freedom being the III Of the State of War foundation of all the rest; as he that, in the state of society, would take away the freedom belonging to those of that society or common-wealth, must be supposed to design to take away from them every thing else, and so be looked on as in a state of war.

And Cain was so fully convinced, that everyone had a right to destroy such a criminal, that after the murder of his brother, he cries out, Everyone that findeth me, shall slay me; so plain was it writ in the hearts of all mankind. ยง. 12. By the same reason maya man in the state of nature punish the lesser breaches of that law. It will perhaps be demanded, with death? I answer, each transgression may be punished to that degree, and with so much severity, as will suffice to make it an ill bargain to the offender, give him cause to repent, and terrify others from doing the like.

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