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Paper Topic:

Compare the differences AND SIMILARITIES between Rousseau and Locke in regards to the origin and political significance of private property. How do they attempt to justify the existence of private property? How do they differ regarding the justification o

Jean Jacques Rousseau and John Locke both present their views on the origin or acquisition of private property , and its political significance in their respective works The Social Contract and Discourse and The Two Treatises of Government . Both demonstrate individuality in their ways of viewing the individual 's right to hold private property While Locke believes it the intrinsic right of the industrious individual , Rousseau expresses the idea that the privatization of property always comes second to the right that the State has to any piece of property . Therefore , while Rousseau subordinates

the rights of the individual to the rights of the state , Locke celebrates the individual advance toward property ownership as the dominant method of fulfilling his need for subsistence and as a precursor to the existence of the state . Despite their differences , however , the two ideas set forth by these men do agree in the sense that they both grant humans the ability to legitimately hold property to the extent that he or she is responsible (through labor ) for the existence of that property in a productive state . Each writer also emphasizes the role of necessity in the possession of that property and criticizes the appropriation of more property than is necessary to fulfill one 's daily needs . Both Rousseau and Locke also agree that the property thus acquired , when again relinquished by all to the state , allows for greater protection of the communal property that ensues than would have been possible had each kept his smaller part to himself

Justification of Private Property

Locke approaches the idea of property from the point of its acquisition He demonstrates how it is that a person can be said to own property Through a process of tracing the acquired property from its existence in the natural state to its appropriation and ultimate use by man , he demonstrates that labor is largely responsible for any person 's ability to claim ownership of property . He begins with demonstrating that individuals are owners of themselves , and that in to sustain themselves they must take the initiative to appropriate the produce that which Nature has herself made available . He writes , We see in commons which remain so by compact , that it is the taking any part of what is common , and removing it out of the state Nature leaves it in , which begins the property (Locke , 307 . Though all nutrition produced by nature is free to anyone who would like to have it , a berry , for instance , becomes the property of the one man who exerts the energy to pick it - and it becomes his sole property the moment that he eats it From this example , Locke seeks to demonstrate that Nature facilitates (at least to some extent ) the ownership of property by the individual

Unlike Locke , Rousseau begins his discussion of property with the goods already in the hands of the individual ready to be given first to the state . He asserts that within the community that has bound itself together by...

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