(1632-1704) is an English materialist philosopher. Locke’s studies were based on the use of an empirical method of cognition, this philosopher laid the foundations of liberalism.
John Locke agreed with the pre-existing ideas of people’s sovereignty, natural law and inalienable personal freedoms, the people’s ability to legitimately rebel against the tyrant, and shared the idea of a social contract. However, the earlier known teachings were supplemented by this philosopher.
John Locke developed the doctrine of early bourgeois liberalism. Locke spoke about certain natural human rights that can not be alienated by anyone (the right to life, liberty and property).
The state formed by means of a social contract is called upon to guarantee the inalienability of these rights and to be able to ensure security for every citizen. The social contract determines the form of the state, as well as the structure of government (Locke singled out a constitutional monarchy as preferable).
“About the government” – the main work of John Locke, which is devoted to political and legal topics.
More precisely, this philosopher created the doctrine of social compromise. Its essence was laid by Locke in Two Treatises on Public Administration (1690). The first treatise on state government gives criticism to the proposition that absolute tsarist power has a divine right. The second treatise on state governance includes the theory of a constitutional parliamentary monarchy. This treatise justified the political system that was approved in England field of 1688. In this work, the philosopher concluded that the revolution that had taken place (directed against monarchical despotism) is the height of justice and civil reason. Of course, sociopolitical questions worried John Locke before. Already in 1667 his work “Experience of Tolerance, which is permeated with progressive for its time, the doctrine of a social contract, has appeared in 1667. But only in the” Two Treatises on Public Administration “did Locke’s concept of the emergence of the state directly result from the conclusion of a social contract. The state is to secure natural human rights.
The Locke State arises from the agreement of people as a guarantee of protection of the individual and property, freedom and equality. the state formation is connected with the fact that in a natural state there are no bodies that would be able to impose penalties for those who violated the existing laws. It is the state that is called upon to impartially resolve disputes that have arisen. The totality of people is united under the auspices of the state, which is guided by which is common to all the law, while it seems expedient to create a certain court, in the competence of which the right to find a compromise between people and the right to punishment of criminals. Thus, the state is endowed with political power. When drawing up a social contract, people renounce some of their rights, for example, from the right to independent spontaneous protection. Ensuring the security of every citizen becomes a privilege and a duty of the state.
The natural rights of the individual are the constitutional basis of the legal order.
It is the rights to life, liberty and property that make legislation possible in general. The constitutions of many early bourgeois states included the triple legal formula proposed by Locke. It was these natural human rights that played the role of a kind of “cell” that gave rise to more differentiated content of “human and citizen rights”. The three fundamental human rights are not external to each other – they are in interaction. The right to property, for example, is a certain resulting right.The right to life and freedom is a prerequisite for the emergence of the right to free disposal of property.
A person from birth is endowed with inalienable rights.
These are natural rights, such as the right to life, liberty and property. And since these rights can not be alienated, the government of the state in this plan is limited – it is not omnipotent. Moreover, the fundamental goal of the political community is the ability of each person to realize and preserve his civic interests. The question arises: and with what tools? The answer to this question is the following: separation of powers is necessary for better securing the rule of law, choosing the best form of government for the nation. In addition, the people must have the right to revolt in the event that there is a fact of abuse of power. There are other means. Indispensable signs of the law are long-term action and stability. The law becomes the law itself only if it indicates to a person that behavior that does not contradict the interests of a particular person and at the same time is in accordance with the interests of the whole society. Laws are proclaimed by the people. That person (or group of persons) in power must manage the state only within the framework of these laws established by the majority. Everyone who is part of a single political organism is obliged to act on the decision of the majority, which is the final decision.
Locke advocated the principle of separation of powers.
The philosopher spoke of the impossibility of concentrating power only in one hand. The first branch is the legislative branch. It must be represented by the parliament, that is, the representative institution of the whole nation. The third branch is federal power, which is connected with relations with foreign states. The questions of this branch can also be administered by the monarch and the cabinet. The above branches of power are in interaction with each other. The supreme power belongs to the legislature, which, nevertheless, is under active influence from other authorities. This influence is due to fixed counter-weights.
The social contract determines the form of the state.
It follows that the basis for choosing the form of the state is the voluntary consent of the people to it. It is they who choose the proper governance structure. This is done on the basis of the possibility of a particular structure to protect the natural rights and freedoms of each person. As the preferred structure for government, John Locke called a constitutional monarchy.
The people have a higher sovereignty than the state.
That is why, in case the people are not satisfied with the way the governor fulfills the circumstances of the social contract, he has the full right to insurrection.
John Locke’s teaching served as the basis for constitutional practice.
This refers to the constitutional practice of the North American states. It includes famous bills about rights. John Locke was the first among the philosophers who participated in the development of the pervauchreditelnogo state act. Locke is the author of the constitution for North Carolina, which the philosopher wrote on the recommendation of Shefstbury. This constitution was supported by the Assembly of People’s Representatives. In 1669 it came into force.
The theory of a social contract was justified by time.
By its appearance, philosophical and legal ideas were understood by fairly broad democratic sections of society. in addition, in the mass movement of the sixteenth to seventeenth centuries, some legal inquiries appeared. The latter were just adopted by the innovative philosophy of law. The bourgeois-democratic legislative will was reflected in the teachings of John Locke.
“Equality without equalization” is the paradoxical idea of John Locke.
Directly the idea itself does not belong to this philosopher, it originated earlier.In England, for the first time it can be seen in the writings of Hobbes. However, John Locke just so treated equality. This concept did not imply imposing equalization of property. Equality in Locke is not connected with the preventive equalization of all property, forces and abilities. Rather, it was about equalizing the right of all people to personal initiative, equality of claims and opportunities. In this regard, no one can deprive a person of the right to compete, that is, to refute his status as an economically independent subject. As Locke believed, equality of opportunity is especially important. This will allow eliminating unnatural privileges – those privileges that make some people rich and strong.
John Locke is the first modern thinker.
So you can say without any exaggeration. The method of reasoning of this philosopher was very different from that of the philosophers of the Middle Ages. One of the differences is that the consciousness of a man of the medieval era was permeated with thoughts of a world beyond the world. John Locke’s mind was characterized by empiricism, practicality. It was the mind of an enterprising man. The philosopher was interested in questions connected, for example, with the usefulness of poetry. John Locke believed that a person should be supported by the duties that are imposed on him in the world where he lives.
John Locke despised London society.
Rather, the philosopher was still far from contempt. Locke was difficult to endure the heat of the city, but he had to rotate in London society. This contributed to the success of his writings. A significant part of his life, John Locke suffered from asthma. In 1691, the wife of one of the members of Parliament, Lady Meshen, offered Locke to move to a country house in Ots. This proposal was accepted by the philosopher, who, nevertheless, did not want to give himself the opportunity to completely relax in a comfortable home environment. Here the philosopher took upon himself the upbringing of Lady Meshem’s son. From Otse Locke corresponded with Leibniz. In 1696, the philosopher receives the post of Commissioner for Trade and Colonies. This post forced him to constantly appear in the capital. In addition, John Locke participated in the monetary reform. He personally promoted the repeal of the law, which limited the freedom of the press. Locke was also one of the founders of the Bank of England. Still, John Locke’s main occupation at Ots was the preparation for the publication of a large number of works, the ideas of which the philosopher had hitherto conceived.