Property: The “Unmovable Concernment” of Government

In 1691, John Lock wrote a letter of a Member of Parliament in London titled Some Considerations of the Consequences of the Lowering of Interest and Raising the Value of Money. Locke wrote in his letter:

The multiplying of Brokers hinders the Trade of any Country, by making the Circuit, which the Money goes, larger, and in that Circuit more stops, so that the Returns must necessarily be slower and scantier, to the prejudice of Trade: Besides that, they Eat up too great a share of the Gains of Trade, by that means Starving the Labourer, and impoverishing the Landholder, whose Interest is chiefly to be taken care of, it being a settled unmoveable Concernment in the Commonwealth.

While criticizing the men of finance [brokers] for taking a disproportionate share of trade, Locke reveals to us the principle reason for government: The interest of the landholder.

Read his words. The interest of the landholders is a “settled” and “unmoveable” concern. That is, the protection of the propertied class is the unshakable task of government. The protection of property is unquestioned. It’s simply a given. Government must never yield on it’s principle task of protecting the interest of the landholders.

Almost 100 years later, Thomas Jefferson would go on to write to James Madison from Paris on September 6, 1789:

Persons and property make the sum of the objects of government

Any questions?

Thanks for reading,

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