Examining the Role of Property Through John Locke and Karl Marx
Scholars throughout history have contested the value and importance of property, whether that be in regards to its ownership, its purpose, etc. Perhaps two of the most relevant thinkers to this idea are John Locke and Karl Marx. This presentation will look to present Locke and Marx’s remarks on property in a comparative and contrasting maner. Both authors begin with similar ideas but end up with wildly different conclusions. This presentation will first address the commonalities between the two, with an emphasis on how both believe the common individual should have a right to property, then move onto an analysis of their conclusions and the means by which they draw those conclusions. Locke concludes the government should do more to protect the average individual’s property as well as maintain consensual transactions, while Marx concludes that private property should be abolished as the average individual can no longer meaningfully obtain property in a bourgeois society. The presentation will conclude with an evaluation and application of these different conclusions.