Locke’s liberal political ideas in the Second Treatise of Government has been demonstrated by his accounts in the protection of individual rights, limited government and constitutionalism, providing some crucial criteria of examining any course of action taken by the state. The case I am going to analyze in this essay is as follows:
“Residents of a neighborhood want to drain a local swamp, to get rid of the mosquitoes that breeding there. They take up a collection, but find that many people refuse to contribute even though they stand to benefit from the initiative. So the state increases local taxes then uses the revenue to pay to have the swamp drained.”
To examine states’ action, I will briefly lay out Locke’s arguments relevant to the hypothetical government’s actions. Then, I will justify the mean of taxing people by directly employing Locke’s’ account on taxation. Next, I will argue the state has the power of law making and this law has been designed for good of the people . Lastly, I will response an objection by analyzing residents’ behaviors and proving their consent has been given to the government and the end of law implicitly and respectively, arriving an conclusion, which states’ action is justified.
Locke has a far more moderate view on the state of nature, where people co-exist peacefully in a state of perfect freedom and a state of equality. However, Locke also argues that it is not too far away from the state of war since the fundamental law of nature has allowed people to do whatever they want. Perfect liberty would make their enjoyment of their own private property, namely, life, liberty and estate (87) unsecure and ‘constantly exposed to the invasion of others’,(123) reveling the inconvenience of lack of ‘established, settled law’, ‘ known and indifferent judge,’ and ‘rightly support the sentence’ thus quickly ‘driven men into society.’ Government thus appears on the scene when people express their consent unanimously to sign the social contract. Government and its people have the same end, which is to create the public good and better protection of people’s private property, but they have different rights and responsibilities. For citizens, in exchange of the protection of “liberty, property and freedom” from the government, they implicitly agree to be bounded by law, submit to the determination of the majority, and to be concluded by it (97) begins and ends with ‘enjoyment’ by explicitly make himself a member of the society. They also support the government by pay, put of his estate his proportion for the maintenance of it to secure their enjoyment of their properties in peace and safety. From here, Locke acknowledged the necessity of taxation. Government has different rights and responsibility. The legislative, consists of representatives chosen by the people” has the supreme power of making laws, and its establishment is the first and fundamental positive law people need to obey. Judiciary makes impartial...