John Locke And The Unequal Distribution Of Wealth

777 words - 3 pages

     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...

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