chapter  III
25 Pages

The Natural and the Political Condition

WithM. Seliger

The state of nature excludes political organization by definition. Men are free to act ‘without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal without subordination or subjection. John Locke does not concern himself with the antecedents of the union in Rome and Venice. If the idea of the state of nature were not a hypothesis about what men are by nature and to what extent they are capable of knowing and applying natural law, and if the state of nature and political society were meant to denote different forms of human existence, Locke’s theory would be thoroughly contradictory. If the state of nature were an ideal condition from which anything like war-like tensions is excluded, natural law could be fully observed in it but then the necessity for political society would be inexplicable.