John Locke: Of Property

John Locke (1632-1704) 

Second Treatise on Government (Chapter V)
Of Property

Sec. 27. Though the earth, and all inferior creatures, be common to all men, 

yet every man has a property in his own person: this no body has any right 

to but himself. The labour of his body, and the work of his hands, we may 

say, are properly his. Whatsoever then he removes out of the state that 

nature hath provided, and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with, and 

joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. 

It being by him removed from the common state nature hath placed it in, it 

hath by this labour something annexed to it, that excludes the common right 

of other men: for this labour being the unquestionable property of the 

labourer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at 

least where there is enough, and as good, left in common for others.


 

 

 

© Hank Edmondson 2012