John Locke saw private property as the basis of freedom and liberty. Locke believed that people were born free, equal and were born with three rights that were natural and God-given; these rights were life, liberty, and property. Locke, who believed in liberal democracy, considered property not just possessions that we physically use and own, but rather that property is what ? gwe mix with our labour, the labour of our body and the work of our hands? h. (The Human Project; pg151).
Property is something that you have put your labour into, the work, investment, energy or effort that you put into something makes it an extension of you, which you own. It is not only your land or personal possessions which are considered property, but this can be in regards with anything from a product, an idea, a service, a relationship, sex or religion. He decided liberal democracy was the best way to protect our property because with too much of a strong government, they could threaten our natural rights. Property was extremely important to Locke because he believed that it defines the boundaries of individual freedom.
When you have earned and own your property, you are free to do whatever you wish in the limitations of your property without repercussions by the state or government. Locke believed that property was a primarily good and positive thing and therefore he believed that it was something that should be protected by the government because it is one of the three natural rights that we are given. Another idea of property was from Karl Marx whose opinion on property was quite the opposite of Locke? fs; it was based on communism, although Marx himself was not a communist.
Marx? fs attitude of property was that private property was the basis of exploitation and inhumanity. While Locke saw private property as something people should be proud of and gave people incentive to work, Marx believed that private property created an excruciating difference between the ? ghaves? h and the ? ghave-nots? h and therefore he wanted to abolish this conflicted difference and the only way he believed that was possible was to eliminate private property.
Marx believed that there was a huge difference between the rich and the poor, which he also described as the ? haves? and the ? have-nots?, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, the powerful and the powerless, or to put simply, the owners and the workers. Marx divided property into two theories: personal property and private property. Personal property was defined as something that is used by the individual on a daily basis, such as their automobile, their home in which they live, their appliances and their clothes or personal possessions.
Private property was defined as something that they own but do not use, such as an apartment they lease out to rent, their factory and factory workers, or a long-term investment. He believed to eliminate this barrier between the ?haves? and the ? have-nots? so that classes would be equal in society would have to abolish private property. Marx wanted to dispose of private property, not personal property.
If private property was removed, Marx believed the separation and division of labour between the ? haves? and the ? have-nots? would be eliminated because it would bring an end to exploitation, alienation, means of production and opiates; in other words, we would no longer have to use our bodies to make profit for someone else and we would be able to put ourselves into our work and feel independent and proud of the work we accomplished.
This would allow individuals to feel personal satisfaction from their work as well as eliminate the classes in society. Locke and Marx? fs views on property were very different from one another. Locke saw fundamental values in property in which the government should protect while Marx saw private property as the reason to many problems in the human society because of the unequal distribution of wealth and therefore wanted the government to get rid of private property. I do not think that private property should be abolished as Marx recommends.
This is because I believe in Locke? fs theory that having property gives individuals the sense of independence and accomplishment and by people having possessions they feel like they have earned something by the work that they do. Without this feeling of owning something, society would not be as it is today as people need encouragement and incentive for what they are doing. In this sense, I feel that Marx? argument that private property should be abolished is flawed and that the government should do anything they can to protect our property as it is one of the three rights we are given.
If we looked at private property not as property, but as something to work towards as a reward, it will give individuals the sense of accomplishment which is an opiate that is much needed. If everyone in society had equal amounts of wealth, there would be a lack of dedication: why would one work harder than another if in the end they are all getting the same reward? The society needs private property as motivation to work hard and gives a reward for it. This is why I believe and agree with Locke’s theory on property.