John Locke And His Political Theory Proposed In The “Second Civil Government Treaty”

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John Locke and his political theory proposed in the "Second Civil Government Treaty"

Throughout the modern period, contractualists have played an essential role in the conception of the relationship between the freedom of the human being and the State. Therefore, we will dedicate the next part to John Locke and his political theory proposed in the "Second Civil Government Treaty".

Locke begins explaining that freedom consists of "being free of restriction and violence by others";This conception may seem brown if we do not consider what "restrictive" and "violent" mean. In order to clarify this in an adequate way, it is necessary to start from what the father of liberalism understood as the good and the bad in relation to man, since, these terms are being used in a pejorative sense in relation to the freedom of being.

For Locke, what causes pleasure is good and what causes pain or discomfort is bad. In this way we see that the restrictive, which by definition is understood as a limitation that is produced on something and, the violent, which is the use of force to achieve a certain purpose;They are being used as adjectives that, in relation to freedom, can only generate a discomfort in man, preventing it from being carried out in relation to a certain well -understood well understood by the being itself.

It is also meritorous to know also one of the main questions that wander the present issue: who are free? The solution to this question is not something that only contractualists have fostered, philosophers such as Aristotle have already tried to answer this question. Estagirita, for example, expresses that slavery, understood as the absence of freedom, is something that has naturally occurred and should occur. On the other hand, John Locke postulates something different in relation to this question, he expresses that freedom is somewhat intrinsic to every man, because it justifies their freedom in their rational quality that is also an intrinsic quality to this.

This relationship between freedom and reason is more expanding when making a distinction that, in a way, will help the present work to make the answer to this question clearer. Locke warns that freedom should not be confused with the exercise of it, as Williams reduces it “although man is born free because of his only rational condition, he does not exercise free acts as long as he does not have enough development of the reason that enables himTo know and discern ". To this we must consider a second distinction that entails the first term explained, "restriction", and that is, the children who are just exercising their rationality on a growing scale, are actually taken under certain care that, in a certain way,They help to direct them to make a total use of their abilities;Consequently, they will no longer have this dependency relationship with their parents and may efficiently exercise their freedom in society.

Now, using what has already been exposed, we can see that, in addition to the fact that men are born free, these can exercise this freedom to dispose of what they are possessing;Thus, dispose of themselves or its possessions (not in an absolute sense, but it will briefly deepen later). Being these men capable of having their possessions and, understanding rights as possessions that man has so that he can live in harmony within a society, we can see that, to some extent, he can have their rights as it does so that he does itTo get something that is beneficial. Locke makes use of these ideas to be able to explain how and why it is that man leaves the state of nature.

The state of nature is a term widely touched by contractualists, in the case of Locke, this postulates the state of nature as that situation, prior to the State, in which man enjoys an excessive freedom to do what he pleases andas soon as he pleases. It should not be understood, and, this is why we use the term "excessive" and not "absolute", that freedom here has no limit, because man, for example, does not have the freedom to self-destruct because he would attempt against his own nature.

Based on what has already been said, it would seem that the state of nature is the ideal situation to fully live our freedom, but according to Locke, this would not really be the most convenient, because he postulates that the state of nature has a problem and that, eachOne of the beings present in this would have to take care of themselves for the defense of their rights;What could mean that, if at any time a person with more power or strength is intended to take another to his property, he would have to defend himself, which is disproportionate. It is in this position that Locke is shielded to justify that the state of nature is not the ideal means for the realization of freedom and, therefore, human beings, making full use of their freedom in search of what isbeneficial, they must decide to detach themselves from defending their rights to deliver that power to the State through a contract that is able to guarantee a good coexistence in society.

Finally, Locke also makes a distinction of the powers that make up the State, specifying two of these, the Legislative Power and the Executive Power, both functioning as guarantors of citizen security in the environment that regulate. The Legislative Power would have the function of promulgating laws for this new type of coexistence and the Executive Power would be a permanent body that monitors the implementation of the laws and their application, and must be subordinated to the organ of which the rules that mustenforce.  

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