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John Locke and the Un-Equal Distribution of Wealth Essay

It is stated by John Locke that in the state of nature no man may take more then he can consume. “? make use of any advantage of life before it spoils? whatever is beyond this is more than his share and belongs to others. Nothing was made by God for man to spoil or destroy. (Locke 14)” Locke then goes on to say, “God gave the world to man ? for their benefit and the greatest conveniences of life they were capable to draw from it, it cannot be supposed he meant it should always remain common and uncultivated.

He gave it to the use of the industrious and rational- and labor was to be his title? (Lock 15)” Both of statements can stand alone, each could be argued. For starters, it is not only selfish to take more then you ever will be able to use, it is just stupid, and if you make it with your sweat, why shouldn’t it be yours to keep or profit from. The only problem is, that one of these statements is the head of a starving serpent, and the other its delicious tale. It is hard to believe the head could stay alive without devouring the tale.

We should start this argument at the head and work our way down. If John Locke were alive today he would be a lawyer. Not just any lawyer though, a big business lawyer working for a company like Enron. He would try to justify the destruction caused by overly rich, overly powerful people, with statements such as ones that will follow. When first reading Locke you might think, ” Hey, this guy sounds like a lawyer. ” but soon you would realize, lawyers sound like this guy. Because anyone claiming God is a capitalist with a straight face has to be a bit slippery.

Which brings us to the head of the serpent. In Locke’s opinion the idea of fair unequal distribution of wealth came about with the creation of money. Before money, things could not be saved fairly. Over stocking by some would lead to spoilage, and leave others with nothing. Once money was introduced though, this allowed the accumulation of wealth, without waste, so Locke says “? thus came in the use of money- some lasting thing that men might keep without spoiling, and that by mutual consent men would take in exchange for the truly useful but perishable supports of life.

(Locke 20). ” Now one man could have, ” ? a disproportionate and unequal possession of the earth? (And) ? fairly possess more land than he himself can use the product of? (Locke 22)”. The word “fairly” in that last statement should jump off the page. When speaking on the state of nature Locke’s main concern is spoilage or waste of commodities, but with the introduction of money he sees this problem solved. When in fact a floodgate for spoilage and waste is opened.

Today the market is flooded with products, and products supposed to be better then the other product, the leading brand, and the other leading brand. Combine this with the introduction of digital property such as television and the Internet, all other forms of mass media marketing, and we have a whole new concept of hoarding and spoilage. Today we have companies taking up more then their “fair” share of the world, and practically forcing their goods down our throats. It’s not that we need or actually think Doritos are the best.

It is just the fact that they are practically spilling off the shelves of every single store across the globe, and if they were actually made from biodegradable ingredients, they would spoil by the boatload. Just because these companies’ do not let the products go to waste in their possession, does not mean that they are not fully aware that a large portion of everything produce will end up in the garbage.

Then we have to think of the environment, Martha Stewart, and wars over oil. Is it not waste and spoilage when a one hundred pound woman drives her six-ton S.U. V to K-Mart for yet another useless ceramic kitten, while someone’s family member is pumped full of shrapnel while trying to secure her next tank full over seas? All the while burning enough fuel to heat a small home, as she passes by a man without one. The God sent industrious producers of this vehicle is to blame.

They know what is at stake, and what is to gain. But more importantly, they know what to waste and just how to waste it. How could they be wrong, “He gave it to the use of the industrious and rational? “? Didn’t He?


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