Unit 1 Assignment 2 Selina Qian

“There cannot be a clearer demonstration of anything than several nations of the Americans are of this, who are rich in land and poor in all the comforts of life; whom Nature, having furnished as liberally as any other people with the materials of plenty—i.e., a fruitful soil, apt to produce in abundance what might serve for food, raiment, and delight; yet, for want of improving it by labor, have not one hundredth part of the conveniences we enjoy, and a king of a large and fruitful territory there feeds, lodges, and is clad worse than a day laborer in England. “

At first I couldn’t understand the last sentence, and therefore the whole paragraph doesn’t make sense. I discussed with my roommate and read previous and latter paragraphs. We eventually reach a common agreement that it means a king or a nomad are worse than a laborer. Then the whole paragraph makes sense that people’s labor is for want of improving common resources, and this is better than pure enjoyment. Also there are plenty of resources in American are not used.

Through labor, natural resources have greater value. We can infer that Locke agree that human should use as much as labor they can to make improvements to common resources and create value from natural resources, which is God who command people to cultivate and make use of His natural resources.

I think this paragraph provides the reason to introduce money. Because reasonable human should not possess more than one can consume. Or else perishable resources would be wasted due to time. Yet labor, which leads to private property, gives greater value to natural resources, and is in accordance to one’s reason. Thus it’s inevitable and reasonable to introduce money as a mean to convey value, which is un-perishable and allows one to create as much value as one can without wasting natural resources.

Yet common consent to the use of money would eventually induces the disproportionate and unequal possession of the earth. In the face of private property, there is no common good to speak. Because one have absolute power to decide his own property without harming others rights according to the natural law. One doesn’t necessarily needs to give up his or her own property to others for others’ good. Then there’s no common good to speak. There’s only ourselves’ good without violating others ’good. I would say it’s a tragic world God created. We can’t even reach equal in an imagined world created for free and equal. Let along the one which is not “for the best of all possible worlds.” Maybe all we can do is to take care of our own garden.

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