Locke’s teachings on economic growth and material prosperity Essay
Locke’s teachings on economic growth and material prosperity
According to Locke, God gave man common ownership of everything under the sun (10). God at the same time gave man the reason, which He intended him to use so as to convert what was owned communally into individually. Man went ahead in using his God given reason and he reasoned that he can put in some labor – which is his by right, and in so doing, he attached the common property with his own property (reading labor) and in the process converted the ownership from communal to individual’s (Locke12).
Man created ownership so as to make what is communally owned useful and at the same time avoid the process of gaining consent of all the other owners. One was only considered a rightful own if the item in his possession was for his enjoyment and not to be spoilt. This does not apply to plants and animals alone, but the same can be put in practice when dealing with land. To avoid conflict between men, God gave every man ability to work, so the piece of land one improved through labor was his for the taking, and the limit of how much one can own was to be determined by how much he can work and the number of his needs.
Labor became something very important in that, it was through it that the value of land was measured against and also the more one labored the more his living standard improved. That is the reason as to why Locke proposed that the England day laborers lived well than American King, because the former knew how to increase the value of land through labor and this translated to a better life. What Locke is highlighting is that, among the three: land, nature and labor, the latter comes on top of the former two (16).
Skills and inventions are the offshoots of labor and they came to make life even more comfy. With the increase in number of people and animal and the use of money, scarcity of land emerged which drove the value of the land up. Man decided to put some policies so as to avoid conflict that would have arisen due to scarcity of the land the same role played by industry and labor there before (17).
To avoid wastage, man came up with the idea of trading of things which would otherwise spoil if not consumed fast and in the process of looking for something durable and valuable. This is how money came in being. The qualities of valuability durability and scarcity made money to be even more important than labor and it did what the latter could not have done: enabling man to expand his possessions. So it is true to say that reached his goal of economic growth and material prosperity through the advert of money.
But this is not the only ingredient. As from the above discussion, land, government policies, nature and labor are other requirement. For one to be set on the way of wealth creation, it is paramount to balance all these factors. I do agree with all of Locke arguments for he is capturing the reality of today. The only important ingredient that he has not elaborated in a detailed way is market, which is another important pillar of wealth creation. Without the above ingredients, wealth creation will remain but a pipe dream.
All these factors have contributed to unequal ownership of property. This situation has brought forth some challenges, one of it being the emergence of social classes: proletariats, bourgeoisies and aristocrats all of which are in constant conflict. This contributes to high crime rates, prostitution, corruption just to mention but a few vices. Works Cited Locke, John. Second Treatise of Government. 9 Mar. 2008. 11 Aug. 2010. http://www. earlymoderntexts. com/f_rights. html
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 20 September 2016
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