The Political Philosophy of John Locke and Its Influence on the Founding Fathers and the Political Documents They Created

Part One: The Political Philosophy of John Locke

In his works “A Letter Concerning Toleration” (1689) and “The Second Treatise On Civil Government” (1690), philosopher John Locke created what would become the philosophical source for the founding principles of the United States. In what follows, I will summarize the central arguments presented in the Letter, followed by the arguments presented in the Treatise. Following the summaries, I will demonstrate the influence that these works had on the thinking of the founding fathers and the political documents they created.

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The Communist Manifesto: Philosophic and Economic Ideas/Historic Consequences

Karl Marx claimed that economics determines history and that one’s economic class determines one’s ideas. Ironically, he proved himself wrong, in a deadly way. The twelve-thousand-word propaganda tract written by Marx in 1848 and known as The Communist Manifesto was a concise summary of many ideas which Marx himself created. These ideas proceeded to shape the history of the twentieth century, including its political and economic history, as well as the ideas of most twentieth-century intellectuals. This history included approximately one hundred million innocent citizens slaughtered by Marxist governments, millions more enslaved by Marxist governments, international conflicts on an unprecedented scale, and an intellectual tradition that, at present, is thoroughly entrenched in the humanities and is in the process of destroying the ideas and ideals of the West. There have probably never been fewer words that have caused more misery and destruction than those written by Karl Marx in The Communist Manifesto.

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My Views On Politics

I’m an advocate of 100% political and economic freedom, i.e., of laissez-faire capitalism.

The biggest influences on my political views (apart from current and historical observation) are the political philosophy of John Locke and the philosophic system of Ayn Rand. Locke argued that each individual possesses the rights to life, liberty and property, that these rights exist in nature prior to the formation of government, and that the only legitimate government is one whose function is limited to protecting these rights. Rand argued that man’s essential nature is to use his reason to produce the values on which his life depends, which in turn requires a government whose function is strictly limited to protecting him from the initiation of physical force by other men. Locke’s ideas were the basis for The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Rand’s essential contribution was to give Locke’s best theory of rights a consistent philosophic foundation that eliminates any possibility of misunderstanding or misapplication.

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