Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Second Treatise of Civil Government

This is my perspective, from a politically clueless high school senior:

The Second Treatise of Civil Government by John Locke begins by describing the state of nature in which people lived. Locke had three main point that I think are important:

1. All people are equal and have natural rights

2. Believed in having executive power to enforce the laws and defend civil liberty

3. Believed in people having the right to "life, liberty, and property"

As I was reading John Locke's Second Treatise of Civil Government, I thought to myself, "What would Locke think about our government at this time?" Would he support it? Would it prove his point? What would Locke think if he were alive today?

When trying to think of an answer to my own question I kept coming back to his main point on "life, liberty, and property." Locke believed that in order to protect ones right to "life, liberty, and property" they would be willing to give up some other freedoms to have the government protect them. An example of Locke's theory played out in modern government is as follows.

Shorty after the September 11 attacks, eight years ago, President Bush put into place the "Patriot Act." This act allows the government to look up information about you without having a warrant. It was put into place to help national defense security keep tabs on suspicious people. The Patriot Act is a prime example of people giving up there freedoms of private property to in return feel more protected.

John Locke's ideas are the bases of the constitution. His views on the nature of man are shared by most Americans. "Life, liberty, and property" are all very important to modern government and I think that if John Locke could come back in time, he would be satisfied with the way the government was being ran over 300 years after he wrote the Second Treaties of Civil Government.

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff. I particularly liked the connection that you made to the Patriot Act. Nicely done. I am not sure you are as politically clueless as you think. 10/10