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Property is an intangible or physical asset in which it is useful for the good of human being and it is owned. The concept of property ownership has been formulated differently by Locke and Rousseau. They argue from different points of views on the ownership and this essay will compare and contrast their views.
To begin with, Locke’s argument on property ownership is developed from the time where there was no ownership structure at all. The argument states that people were born with their talents and bodies only and found natural resources which already existed. During the course of human interaction with the resources, Locke argues that there was a mix of Labor and natural resources to the point that a sense of ownership was created on the outcome of their mixed input of resources. This is because human beings found themselves in a world with natural resources and their only task was the utilization which led to resulting property in which they claimed ownership (Cahn & O’Brien, 58 & 59).
According to Cahn and O’Brien, (58 & 59), the effort of human beings led to new creations which they owned. This implies that the ownership come out of human inventions and hard work in utilizing nature. Thus the ownership happens on the basis of nature and needs of the human beings. That is the process where humans need to maintain themselves using natural resources and in the course property is developed. The creator of the product becomes the ultimate owner of the product out of mere use of natural resources. This has led to property being owned for life sustenance only not for prestige or status and thus other people still believe that property is sacred.
However, Rousseau had a different point of view on the property ownership. Cahn and O’Brien, (59) explain that Rousseau view of property started with the social cooperation and interdependence among each other that led to human kind enjoying the process. This led to people developing skills and need to improve on their lives. To the contrast of their development, they noticed lack of freedom and choice on what they wanted which led to more civilization in terms of ensuring that property belonged to them and could not be shared. This became a problem because and there was need to protect the property.
The process of civilization continued to prosper reaching a point where people did not want to live is caves but rather in homes and houses. This had fully developed the process of property ownership to the point that money started to be used in exchange of property. The developing process led to people defending what they owned against others and further developments in agriculture. Furthermore, the ownership resulted in curtailed freedom and laws being developed to manage property ownership. Cahn and O’Brien, (59 & 60) continued to explain the Rousseau concept that further developments eventually resulted in people judging others in terms of their possessions and creating a status of the affluent in the society.
Therefore we can differentiate that Rousseau’s concept of ownership is based on civilization whereas Locke’s concept is based on human sustenance on the natural environment. However, the two are concepts explain the origin of the concepts of property ownership as per Cahn and O’Brien, (58, 59 & 60).
The phrase “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” fits well to the Locke’s concept of property ownership because it concerns itself on life, freedom and pursuing happiness which may not necessarily achieve. The fact that Locke’s concept focuses on life sustenance and freedom to pursue things that improve life pursuit of happiness is referring to property (Dietze, 31 & 32).
On the other hand, the phrase “liberty, equality, fraternity” fits well to the Rousseau’s concept of property ownership. This is because liberty concerns freedom to use without limit, equality is seen before the law and fraternity shows that it is the idea developed by the community through civilization. Therefore it is the radical changes by human beings that have been accepted in the modern society (Spicker, 1).