Locke 46 & 47 Analysis

Locke 46 & 47 Analysis

Locke 46 & 47 Analysis


The author argues that man attached great value to goods due to their necessity for subsistence hence the emergence of barter trade system. The world later adopted the money system which is still in use today.


People understood that if perishables were not consumed, they would perish or decay

Non-perishables like silver, diamond and gold are more valued, yet they are not a necessity in terms of supporting a human life

Everyone had a right to possess as many goods as possible depending on how hard he or she was willing to work for them

Bushels of apples or acorns were equivalent to a significant value as long as they were consumed before going bad.

It was, therefore, not ethical to for one to take more than his or her share. This was equivalent to robbing others in the community. The same applies in the event that the individual hoarded more goods than what was sufficient for him or her

It would have been better if the individual shared the goods with somebody else instead of decaying

These events led to barter trade in the sense that it was better to exchange commodities instead of letting them go bad.

Perishable goods were exchanged for non-perishable ones ensuring that necessity goods benefited an individual who needed them most.


Locke describes how systems of trade emerged on the basis of not wasting commodities thus attaching some significant value to them. It made a lot of sense to exchange goods for other goods instead of letting them spoil. The author’s argument is correct in the sense that goods were exchanged to enhance survival. People sort to acquire what they needed by giving up what they did not need or what they had in excess. The reasons to support the thesis are right since they clearly explain the necessity of subsistence in the life of a human being. Locke has to believe in the theory of survival for the fittest especially when he mentioned that man was allowed to own as much as he could work for. Locke also has to believe in change which is brought about through evolution. This is evident by how barter trade was replaced by the money system. Finally, he has to believe in the ultimate value of goods provided by nature thus the need for proper use or utilization.


Locke, J. (1976). The Correspondence of John Locke. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Print.