England published “Two Treatises on the Board” by John Locke.

England published “Two Treatises on the Board” by John Locke.

“Locke linked his fate to the vicissitudes of the struggle of Lord Ashley (later Earl of Shaftesbury), a prominent statesman who was either in semi-hidden or outright opposition to the Restoration regime. Locke became the family physician and then the Lord’s secretary. Ashley: He shares both the political successes and the failures of his patron, and holds administrative positions. “\ 4; 17 \

John Locke’s Two Treatises on Government was published in England in 1690. The first treatise is devoted to a critique of the feudal-theocratic conception of the divine origin of the king’s power, as set forth in R. Filmer’s Patriarch or Protection of the Natural Power of Kings Against the Unnatural Freedom of the People. (1680) In his second treatise, Locke theoretically justifies the political coup that was carried out by the “glorious” revolution. “\ 5; 14 \

“Locke’s political treatises have a dual purpose: to refute the traditional English theory of the omnipotence of royal power and to substantiate the system of government in accordance with human nature. At the same time, Locke makes extensive use of all that the rich English political literature of the 18th century has accumulated. ” \ 3; 79 \

Social contract theory

John Locke’s entire political system is based on the theory of the social contract that humanity has entered into to protect its inalienable rights and freedoms, especially the right to property.

“To guarantee natural rights and laws,” Locke said, “people renounced the right to enforce these rights and laws themselves. As a result of the social agreement, the guarantor of natural rights and freedoms became the state, which has the right to issue laws armed with sanctions. implementation of these laws, as well as relations with other states. “\ 6; 186 \ “In his opinion, the state should receive exactly as much power as is necessary and sufficient to achieve the main goal of the political community: the preservation and realization of public interests in life, health, freedom of property.” \ 7; 28 \

As Locke writes: “Voluntary consent gives political power to rulers for the benefit of their subjects, to ensure their possession and use of their property.” \ one; 364 \

However, various researchers disagree on whether Locke considered the social contract a historical fact or used it only as a rational scheme.

Political power

Importantly, John Locke, in defining political power, distinguishes it from the power of parents over children. He writes that political power is “that power, each person, possessing it in its natural state, would hand over to society and to the same rulers whom society has placed over itself with expressed or tacit confidence that this power will be used for the benefit of members. society and to preserve their property. “\ 1; 362 \

At the same time, parental authority is “the authority that parents have over their children, directing them for their own good.” \ one; 362 \

Thus, parental rule “is a natural right, but it does not extend at all to the aims and principles of political rule.” \ one; 362 \

Locke thus refutes the theory of Filmer and some other monarchists, who consider the power of the monarch over his subjects to be natural, inalienable, God-given. This makes it possible to understand John Locke’s attitude to absolutism.

“According to Locke’s theories, absolute monarchy is one of the cases of dismissal of the holder of power from the power of laws. It contradicts the social contract for the reason that the essence of the latter is to establish the same court and law, and the absolute monarch of the court does not exist. “\ 6; 187 \

Locke was extremely hostile to despotism, describing the despot’s power as being obtained through threats and intimidation.

“Despotic power is the absolute, unlimited power that one person has over another, having the ability to take his life when he pleases.” / one; 363 /

Ways to limit the omnipotence of power

Locke, characterizing the state as a political system, identifies three main features: the existence of a common, established law, a judicial institution, which, if necessary, can be used to resolve disputes and punish criminals, and a force that could support and implement a fair treaty. …

Thus, Locke considers the welfare and security of citizens to be the goal of the state, and he sees one of the main tasks of the state in the protection of property.

“Locke provides a special constitutional mechanism that prevents the government from going beyond its powers, thus becoming despotic. Its most important components are the principle of separation of powers and legality. To prevent the concentration of power in the hands of the leadership, which would thus be able to turn to the benefits of creating laws and implementing them,

Locke proposes not to combine the legislature and the executive and to subordinate legislators to the actions of the same laws created by the executive. This is one of the most important principles of Locke, and he had a significant influence on further political thought and practice, became one of the main principles of bourgeois statehood.

The principle of legality is that “no one in civil society can be exempted from the laws of that society.” It also provides for clear legislative regulation of the structure, goals and competencies of all state bodies.

According to Locke, only an act of a legislative body formed by the people has the force of law. At the same time, Locke understands legality not only in the formal sense, that is, as the observance of laws established in accordance with the rules. He believes that the legislators themselves should not violate the laws of nature. “\ 3; 81 \

In the event that the government ceases to perform its duties to the citizens, Locke provides for the right of the people to revolt in order to restore their freedom.

Locke theoretically substantiated the idea of ​​separation of powers with such features of human nature as the ability of the mind to create common rules and be guided by them (hence the legislature), the ability to enforce these decisions on their own, applying general rules to specific situations (hence the court, the executive). the ability to define their relations with other people (this is due to the so-called federal or federal government in charge of international relations.) However, from the weakness of human nature, propensity to temptation theoretically deduced the need for special guarantees of legality and rights (including separation of powers, prevention of political privileges).

The theory of separation of powers reflected the experience of the English Revolution and its results. “\ 6; 189 \


“According to the distribution of prerogatives proposed by Locke (it was in line with the practice of the coup of 1688, when the Whigs came to power), the supreme legislative power belongs to the bourgeois parliament, which decides on the will of the majority . legislate various “freedoms” such as conscience, speech, press, assembly and private property, and guarantee the inviolability of the latter. “\ 4; 80-81 \

“The first and basic positive law of all states is the establishment of legislative power; just as the first and basic natural law to which the legislator itself must obey is the preservation of society and every member of society. This legislative power is not only the supreme power in the state but also sacred and unchanging in the hands of those to whom the community once entrusted it, and no decree of any one, in whatever form it is conceived and no matter what authority supports it, has the force and binding force of law, if he did not receive the sanction of the legislature, which was elected and appointed by the people. “339;

“The legislature can never be arbitrary, because even those who founded it did not have such power; it cannot be guided by improvised rulings, because people unite to have a known law and known judges; it cannot deprive property without consent, which in the Lockean interpretation means the majority of votes, and it cannot delegate itself because it is invariably dependent on where the community has assigned its place. In general, its power is based on public trust, because people have the highest right to change the legislature when and by their actions overrides self-confidence. “\ 8; 474 \

“Locke also attributed the activities of judges to the legislature; this was a feature of English law, one of the sources of which is case law.” \ 6; 188 \


Along with the legislature, John Locke defines the basic powers of the executive branch.

“But since laws that are created once and in a short time have a constant and permanent force and require continuous implementation or monitoring of this implementation, it is necessary that there is a permanent authority that monitors the implementation of those laws that are created and remain in force. And so the legislature and the executive often need to be divided. “\ 1; 347 \

“Executive power, including judicial and military, is transferred to the government (cabinet) and the king. The powers of the government are governed by law and none of the ministers or the king himself has the right to go beyond the law. As for “federal” power, that is, relations with other states. provided to the Cabinet of Ministers. “\ 4; 81 \

It is interesting to define the federal government and its connection with the executive branch.

“These two powers, the executive and the federal, although they are really different from each other, because one of them involves the implementation of municipal laws of society within itself in relation to everything that is part of it, the other includes the management of external security and public interests in relations with all those from whom it may benefit or suffer, yet these two kinds of power are almost always united. “/ 1; 348 /

Nevertheless, Locke proposes to give executive and federal power to various officials.

The value of John Locke’s political ideas

Locke’s doctrine of the definition and distribution of political power, 123helpme.me despite its shortcomings, undoubtedly had a significant impact on the development of political thought in Europe and the world.

“Locke relied on the work of his predecessors and contemporaries, on a brilliant constellation of authors of political pamphlets of the English Revolution. It is difficult to name any thesis of Locke, which would be original. Especially striking is the almost complete similarity of all Locke’s principles to “Reflections on Government” Sydney.