Paper #2 // Final Paper Updated with Marx
December 11, 2012.
There are several main points of theoretical interest and discussion for political philosophizers and theorists. One of the biggest topics that arise is what the role of government should be in protecting, distributing or even redistributing various forms of property among society, individuals and possibly social classes. John Locke believed that private property was one of three main rights a citizen had; life, liberty and property. To Locke, private property was of utmost importance and the government had to protect private property for its citizens in order to be a just and secure society. Other political theorists were less positive about the role of private property in society. Jean-Jacques Rousseau believed that private property was responsible for inequality and social stratification in society, and that it was detrimental to the individual because it caused greed, envy and comparison, which leads to unhappiness and possibly crime. A third, and even more negative view on private property was given by Karl Marx, who believed property should be owned and equally distributed and available to all based on skill and need, which was in line with his theories of socialism and communism. When analyzing modern society, it is clear to see that Rousseau was much more in tune with the effects of private property on society because inequality between the rich and poor has never been higher, those who own the resources have power over those who only own their own labor, and comparison and unhappiness in society is a constant battle each individual faces throughout their life. Locke and Marx overlooked many key aspects of the impact of private property, in a modern context more than ever.
John Locke is generally sensible and logically reasonable in his assumptions about society, but not necessarily on private property. He claims that humans are naturally reasonable and...