25 Aug 2022


Two Treatises of Government by John Locke

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The assertions by John Locke, using the terms “patriarchy" and paternalism meant that the type of leadership proposed by sir Robert Filmer only stood for two things, namely slavery and right to rule. According to him, the book published by Robert Filmer informed men that they were born slaves and slaves they would remain the same (Locke, 1823). He gave people no hope of coming out of slavery. His assertion also aimed to distort man and make him know that he or she is under the rule of another important person, a practice that made them enslaved to those in rule. By these words, Locke meant that Sir Robert only supported the opinion of the few in the community and denied the rest of the people the freedom to see themselves as able and better people capable of assuming the duties of ruling others. 

Similarly, patriarchy and paternalism also point out to the assertions by Sir Robert that all governments are an absolute monarchy (Locke, 1823). This is to tell people that only those born into royalties had the ability and power to rule over other men of the world. Similarly, Robert’s assertion that no man is born free also aimed to instil a vile knowledge that those who do not belong to monarchy or royalties were slaves to the leaders in the royal positions. Locke believed that such remarks were undermining to the lead people and felt that it was important for leaders to avoid the use of slavery because the subject of slavery was wrong in every measure of it. He believes that the act of slavery presents a vile and miserable state of man and only presents an action that is opposite to the docile and courage temper of the nation. This is to mean that any leader who enslaves a man is himself weak in thinking and actions. 

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Jon Locke believes that to be freer, man need to exercise the natural freedom granted to him by God during creation (Locke, 1823). He argues that Adam was created a free being and that this kind of natural freedom should be passed down to all the descendants of Adam. Secondly, the ability to be free relies on the ability of the leaders and the world governments to grant such freedom to the people they lead. Unlike Sir Robert, Locke believes that men were born free and are entitled to high degrees of freedom. He argues that the fact that Sir Robert calls Adam monarch is wrong because Adam was created at a time when there was not government. Therefore, to declare Adam a de facto monarch is wrong in the first place. Similarly, Locke argues that people should assume governorship of their property to be free. He states that Adam received similar governorship right from the beginning of creation and hence made him free from any other side authorities. 

Therefore, people should be able to govern or take care of their properties with the aim of achieving natural freedom bestowed upon them during creation. Locke proposes that people should practice their natural right of freedom. For example, he states that Adam was naturally a monarch at a time when there was no government, a king with no subjects and a father with no children, hence had the freedom not be enslaved by anybody but to be free from slavery be practicing such rights to freedom. He also states that Adam had the sovereign right to pass these rights to his children and thus allowing them to enjoy the same natural freedom (Locke, 1823). This also makes them free from slavery and personal entities capable of defining their own movements. 


Locke, J. (1823). Two Treatises of Government. Ed . Peter Laslett. Cambridge 

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