Front Page Titles (by Subject) Locke, Property, and Individualism - Literature of Liberty, July/September 1979, vol. 2, No. 3
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Locke, Property, and Individualism - Leonard P. Liggio, Literature of Liberty, July/September 1979, vol. 2, No. 3 
Literature of Liberty: A Review of Contemporary Liberal Thought was published first by the Cato Institute (1978-1979) and later by the Institute for Humane Studies (1980-1982) under the editorial direction of Leonard P. Liggio.
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Locke, Property, and Individualism
“John Locke: Between God and Mammon.” Canadian Journal of Political Science 12 (March 1979): 73–96.
Locke's individualism is clarified by exploring his attitude toward work and property. C.B. Macpherson, one of Locke's most influential recent expositors, is correct to stress that Locke favored the accumulation of property. Although a possessive individualist, Locke did not favor unlimited accumulation, however, as Macpherson asserts. Neither did he believe that the poor are irrational. Another important author on Locke, John Dunn, rightly emphasizes Locke's use of the notion of a “calling.” He interprets it in an overly theological way which ignores Locke's secularization of the idea.
Critics of Macpherson have claimed that he ignores Locke's limits to property accumulation. Locke himself withdraws most of these once money has been introduced into an economy. Furthermore, Locke believed that, although natural law was still in effect once society had been instituted, people might voluntarily surrender some of their natural rights in order to promote their prosperity. Thus Macpherson is correct to point out that Locke favored accumulation. He did not believe in unlimited accumulation and in fact condemns it in his writings on education. Macpherson's claim that Locke thought the poor were necessarily irrational is also incorrect. Macpherson tends to dismiss Lock's views on religion, regarding them as having been advanced for the purpose of keeping the poor in check. In point of fact Locke devoted extensive time to his religious works and took them seriously.
John Dunn has strongly emphasized Locke's use of “calling,” According to this idea, people had a particular vocation to pursue their economic tasts as a means of advancing their salvation. Dunn tends to ignore the development of a “calling” among the Puritans and understands it in a very strict theological Way. Many of the Puritans themselves secularized the concept of “calling,” placing emphasis on the occupation being pursued more than the mental state of the laborer following the calling. Locke changed this idea even further. He tended to stress worldly success to a great extent, and relegated religion to the realm of a “general calling.” That is to say, Locke tended to distinguish sharply between religious and secular matters. In his concern with both, he can be seen as a transitional figure.