Placeholder Image

字幕表 動画を再生する

  • funding for this program is provided by

  • additional funding provided by

  • today we turn to John Locke

  • on the face of it

  • Locke is a powerful ally

  • of the libertarian

  • first

  • he believes,

  • as libertarians today maintain

  • that there are certain fundamental individual rights

  • that are so important

  • that no government

  • even a representative government even a democratically elected government

  • can override them.

  • not only that

  • he believes

  • that those fundamental rights include

  • a natural right

  • to life liberty and property

  • and

  • furthermore he argues

  • that the right to property

  • is not just the creation

  • of government

  • or of law

  • the right to property is a natural right

  • in the sense that

  • it is pre-political

  • it is a right

  • that attaches to individuals

  • as human beings

  • even before government comes on the scene

  • even before parliaments and legislatures enact laws to define rights

  • and to enforce them

  • Locke says in order to think about

  • what it means to have a natural right

  • we have to imagine

  • the way things are

  • before government

  • before law

  • and that's what Locke means

  • by the state of nature.

  • he says the state of nature is the state of liberty

  • human beings are free and equal beings

  • there is no natural hierarchy

  • it's not the case that some people are born to be kings and others were born to be

  • serfs

  • we're free and equal in the state of nature

  • and yet

  • he makes the point

  • but there's a difference between a state of liberty and the state of

  • license

  • and the reason is that even in the state of nature there is a kind of the law it's not

  • the kind of law the legislatures enact

  • it's the law of nature

  • and this law of nature

  • constrains

  • what we can do

  • even though we're free

  • even though we're in the state of nature

  • well what are the constraints?

  • the only constraint

  • given by the laws of nature

  • is that

  • the rights we have

  • the national rights we have

  • we can't give up

  • nor can we take them from somebody else

  • under the law of nature I'm not free

  • take somebody else's

  • life or liberty

  • or property

  • nor am I

  • free

  • to take my own

  • life liberty or property

  • even though I'm free,

  • I'm not free

  • to violate the laws of nature, I'm not free to

  • take my own life

  • or to sell myself into slavery

  • or to give to somebody else

  • arbitrary absolute power

  • over me

  • so where does this constraint

  • you may think it's a fairly minimal constraint, but where does it come from?

  • Well Locke tells us where it comes from

  • and he gives two answers

  • here's the first answer

  • for men

  • being all the workmanship

  • of one

  • omnipotent and infinitely wise maker, namely God,

  • they're his property

  • whose workmanship they are, made to last during his,

  • not one another's pleasure.

  • so one answer the question is why can't I give up my

  • natural rights to life liberty and property

  • well they're not strictly speaking yours

  • after all

  • you are

  • the creature of God.

  • God has a

  • bigger property right in us

  • a prior priority right

  • now you might say that

  • an unsatisfying unconvincing answer at least for those who don't believe in God

  • what did Locke have to say to them

  • well here's where Locke appeals to the idea

  • of reason

  • and this is the idea

  • that if we properly reflect

  • on what it means to be free

  • we will be lead to the conclusion

  • that freedom can't just be a matter of doing whatever we want

  • I think this is what Locke means

  • when he says

  • the state of nature has a law of nature to govern it which obliges everyone

  • and reason

  • which is that law

  • teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent

  • no one ought to harm another in his life health liberty for possessions

  • this leads

  • to a puzzling paradoxical

  • feature to Locke's account of rights

  • familiar in one sense

  • but strange in another

  • it's the idea

  • that out natural rights are inalienable

  • what does unalienable mean?

  • it's not for us to alienate them or to get them up to give them a way to trade them the way

  • to sell them

  • consider an airline ticket

  • airline tickets are nontransferable

  • or tickets to the patriots or to the red sox

  • nontransferable tickets

  • are unalienable

  • I own them

  • in the limited sense

  • that I can use them for myself but I can't trade them away

  • so in one sense an unalienable right, a nontransferable right

  • makes something I own

  • less

  • fully mine

  • but in another sense

  • of unalienable

  • rights

  • especially where we're thinking about life liberty and property

  • for a right to be unalienable, makes it more deeply more profoundly mine

  • and that's Locke's

  • sense

  • of unalienable

  • we see it in the American declaration of independence Thomas Jefferson

  • drew on this idea of Locke

  • unalienable rights

  • to life liberty

  • and as Jefferson amended Locke,

  • to the pursuit of happiness. unalienable rights

  • rights that are so

  • essentially mine

  • that even I can't trade them away or give them up

  • so these are the rights we have in the state of nature

  • before there is any government

  • in the case of life and liberty I can't take my own life I can't sell myself into slavery

  • anymore than I can take somebody else's life or take someone else as a slave by force

  • but how does that work in the case of property?

  • because it's essential to Locke's case

  • that private property

  • can arise

  • even before there is any government

  • how can there be a right to private property

  • even before there is any

  • government?

  • Locke's famous answer

  • comes in section twenty seven

  • every man has a property in his own person

  • this nobody has any right to but himself

  • the labor of his body

  • the work of his hands

  • we may say are properly his

  • so he moves

  • as the libertarians later of would m