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Locke 1doc - John Locke: Second Treatise ch. 1-7, Lecture...

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John Locke: Second Treatise ch. 1-7, Lecture 09/26/06 I. modern Liberalism A. John Locke's works marked the founding of liberalism, which is based on the idea of free and equal individuals who chose their government. 1. The government is supposed to serve the people and their needs; they are not to protect the elites or the monarchs. 2. It is characterized by rule by law, which means that the government is restrained by the rule of law. 3. Individuals have rights that the government cannot invade (the split between the public and private sphere) B. John Locke is an early liberal, but in the classical sense—not the contemporary sense. Most Americans are classical liberals. 1. He begins his theory of government by arguing against the idea of the patriarch (this comes from the 1 st Treatise). a. Patriarcha by Sir Robert Filmer is what Locke criticizes at the beginning of the Second Treatise . b. Filmer justified monarchal rule by appealing to the divine right of natural law. He believed that individual rights are a big mistake. i. The fall of Adam was caused by the desire for liberty, and this, to Filmer, is a mistake. ii. Filmer appeals to nature to show that liberty is a silly idea. We are not born equal, he says, but we are born weak and helpless. iii. Children are not consent to be ruled, they are born ruled. The same is true for people in a society. c. Filmer's theory emphasizes the correlation between family and a monarchy. 2. In the beginning of the Second Treatise, Locke argues that these two are not correlated. a. He takes aim at Filmer, using nature to justify much of his argument. C. Locke begins with the state of nature (borrowed from Hobbes). He has two parts in his vision of society: Liberty and law/nuetrality (these are crucial features of liberalism) 1. Locke says that the state of nature is a state of liberty, not of license. Liberty doesn't mean you can do whatever you want (that's license). a.
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2012 for the course POLI 271 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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Locke 1doc - John Locke: Second Treatise ch. 1-7, Lecture...

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