John Locke on the state of nature, the protection of property, the social contract, and the dissolution of government from The Second Treatise of Government (1689)
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Locke begins his second chapter with the explanation that all men exist in a state of perfect freedom and equality. Their actions and choices are unfettered and cannot be limited by other men. All men are born in the exact same state, with no one individual having privileges or advantages over another. Only God is able to bestow some advantage in power upon one man over another.