Second Treatise of Government - John Locke

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Everyone is responsible for justice in the state of nature. John Locke explains his state of nature as a state of equality, where no person has power over another. Due to this, all men are free to do as they please. The one exception to this rule is that this liberty does not equal the license to abuse others, or oneself. Each individual in this state of nature has the power to execute natural laws, which by description are universal. Locke explains his reasoning behind having a universal code of conduct in the state of nature in chapter two, "for men being the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker; all the servants of one sovereign master, sent into the world by his order, and about his business; they are his property, whose workmanship they are, made to last during his, not one another's pleasure." (9) Due to this equality in the state of nature, there can be no such thing as subordination among people.

In view of the fact that everyone is equal and that no one can harm themselves or others, man strives for the preservation of all mankind. Since everyone must adhere to the laws in the state of nature, it becomes everyone's problem when a law has been broken. From this, Locke argues that "every one has a right to punish the transgressors of that law to such a degree." (9) If there was no ruling body in the state, there would be no way to protect the innocent and punish the criminals. Instead of putting this power into the hands of a few, this power is placed into the hands of all. In Locke's state of perfect equality, this can be achieved because no one person has jurisdiction over another, and when...