Reply To: Straussian Esotericism in Rothbard?


Locke’s Fundamental Constitutions is usually seen by historians as having been written on spec, not as a candid expression of his views concerning the type of society that would be ideal. We must recall that like James Madison, Locke often wrote not as closeted philosopher, but as Anthony Ashley Cooper’s hired gun. Since Cooper was among the Carolina proprietors, Locke’s draft constitution for that colony envisioned great power for the proprietors; since Cooper was among the Whigs who ejected James II from the throne, Locke’s Second Treatise justified removing tyrannical princes.

I think that Rothbard is right in his assessment that Locke was more libertarian at heart. Yet, “who pays the piper calls the tune.”