Often considered the foundation of political liberalism, John Locke's Two Treatises of Government was first published anonymously in 1689, in the wake of England's Glorious Revolution. In The First Treatise of Government, Locke refutes the idea of divine monarchy, while The Second Treatise of Government articulates Locke's philosophy of government, which he based upon his theories of natural rights and the social contract. In Locke's view, governments' legitimacy is based upon their performance of their proper functions---preservation of the life, liberty, and property rights of their citizens, and protection from those who seek to violate these rights. A radical doctrine at the time of its publication, Locke's theories provided a philosophical basis for many of the principles behind the American Revolution. More than 300 years after the publication of the Two Treatises of Government, Locke's ideas continue to spark debate. A must-listen for anyone interested in the foundations of contemporary political ideology, Locke's hugely influential work will retain its relevance for generations to come.
What did you love best about Two Treatises of Government?
I discovered that John Locke has a wonderful sense of humor!
What other book might you compare Two Treatises of Government to and why?
There are so many books that draw from this book for their material. Most "conservative" books quote from this one several times in order to make their case for limited government.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
yes, but it is a lot of information to take in all at once so it took me a couple weeks to get through and process what I learned.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
This is an important book that probably had a profound influence on the framers of the American government. In it John Locke totally debunks the divine right of kings. He makes the whole idea look beyond absurd, and he does so using the same bible verses that defended the idea in the first place. Locke also lays out the ideas that are so important to America, and to classical liberalism. These ideals are still important to any one who believes in political freedom and freedom from governmental oppression. From what I understand this book is the place to start as far as gaining an understanding of classical liberalism and modern libertarianism is concerned, and after listening to it you will be more enlightened.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
First, I must say that this narrator is easier to follow than simply reading the text, so good is his reading.
The text itself is a very medieval thing, like all early modern works of political thought, but also a very contemporary thing, as all pieces of well-considered literature are when they bear upon perennial issues. Worth several listens, and a lifetime of pondering.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I wish I had the opportunity to read this growing up! God bless American Liberty!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
this one was not easy to get threw, but glad I did. gave me a little more perspective.
It takes a few moments to calibrate your mind to the no-longer-common language, however it quickly becomes as comprehensible as any
the narrator truly made feel as if I were listening to Locke himself making his argument in a pub. great work!
As the title suggests, this is not one work but two.
Of the second of which I will say only that it is a must read for all citizens of liberal democracies(by which I mean any democracy where the stated purpose of the State is to guaranty the rights and liberty's of the individual citizen).
The first on the other hand is not particularly relevant to today.
What it is though is a pleasure to read.
It is a systematic refutation of sir Robert Filmer's Patriarcha.
To anyone that watches political content on YouTube, the best way I can discribe it is to say that it's a YouTube response video in book form.
This is the place where James Langton's reading went from well done, to superb.
He subtly weaves in tones of sarcasm and derision, so perfectly placed and expressed, that for a moment you might feel like you are listening to the author himself, cuting sir Robert's work to pieces with a scalpel formed by his words.
Locke's refutation of Monarchical and Patriarchal rule and emphasis on Natural Law and how Civil Society was formed by abandoning absolute individual sovereignty in order that all may enjoy their own property is a fascinating concept.
a must read/listen for any free folk. good performance differentiating tone from the author & the quoted material
the book is in two parts the first a response to the tyrannical power of monarchy and the second a justification for democracy and private property. concepts are engaged with critically and well so demonstrate the value towards what Locke focused primarily on the public good. best read in regards to Hobbes' leviathan and Rousseau's social contract