John Locke: in Defense of Squatting (Part II)

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Apr 20, 2017 06:09
The author of Two Treatises of Government affirms that when a person works, the labour enters into the object. As a consequence the human being turns natural resource into a product of work. Since work means an exertion of human force, it make sense to understand it as human appropiation of natural resources by one or more individuals. In other words, this good becomes the property of that person. With this in mind, it is worthy of consideration that these oligarchs have neither worked on it nor lived there. However most squatters not only open up abandoned houses to homeless people but also refurbish them. In that sense the activists also exert some work to the property by transforming it. Likewise the philosopher says "if an individual applied his labour to the land by farming it, this becomes his property." The land as the house were there and the squatters as the farmers turn the subject of speculation into a house, restoring his "natural function" at the same time.
Nevertheless former owners, speculators and bailiffs would argue against, saying that the act of occupation has nothing to do with the idea of property through work. For them, the act of occupation is not original. To put it on other way, the exertion of labour has to be upon unowned natural resources. Following this line of reasoning, it is clear that the property wasn't untouched but belongs to the former owner. That may be true, but John Locke also defends that individuals can privatize resources as long as they work on them but specially, and that is the core of the issue, as long as they left enough in common for others. Therefore I believe that he would rise up in defense of squatting. The world was given to mankind as a common good. "Good gave the world to all humanity in common". In that respect the lives of poor and marginalized is a contradiction he wouldn't accept. That's why, in my opinion, the social work of activits and squatters should be no only taken into consideration by lawmakers but also protected by authorities.