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Two Treatises of Government
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Without John Locke - along with others of the European Enlightenment - the "American Experiment" would likely have never happened.
Worth the time and the money for anyone who wants to better understand what America was REALLY meant to be.
In the treatise, Locke tells the story that we were once in a state of nature, where we were all free and equal. Life was good for us all except when people wanted retribution for harms done, so this state of nature deteriorated into a state of war. Then we agreed to form governments to have an outside arbitrator who could provide us protections for our lives, freedoms, and property. It's unclear if Locke really believes this account but in some passages seems to half-heartedly endorse it. At any rate, Locke thinks that a sufficient reason for joining up with a government as opposed to living in an anarchist society (a society devoid of a formal State) is that the government or State could guarantee its citizens with protections that the anarchist society could not.
Locke has some interesting arguments in here about how we as human beings own our own bodies and are entitled to property because we mix our labor with natural resources and so we are also entitled to the fruits of our labor, since this labor is an extension of our bodies. But Locke puts a proviso in there, which, if took seriously, would have radical explanations. Locke thinks that we should only accept enough property so that there would be enough left for others. After he makes mention of this proviso, he doesn't really seem to take it seriously throughout the rest of the work, nor did those who adapted the work to their own purposes, like the American framers for example. But if they did, it would have major implications for what the organization of a more decent society would look like.