Friday, September 29, 2006

John Locke the Stockholder

If Locke's political ideas are sometimes caricatured for picturing the state as a joint-stock company, this caricature seems nowhere more appropriate than in the birth of the Bank. The scheme of Locke's friend Halifax had made 1,272 individuals actual owners of the state. Interestingly enough, Locke was among them.
-Isaac Kramnick, Bolingbroke and His Circle

This comes from Daniel Larison, who has successfully exceeded his monthly bandwidth quota with but one day left.

Despite my foray into Straussian hermeneutics discussing Locke, with all the school's close readings and sometimes labored interpretations I can't recall Strauss or his epigones ever pointing out this very germane fact.

Dying for a joint-stock company seems as ignoble as killing for the telephone company. Does a strong and respectable stream of Western Liberalism really rest upon a self-justifying political tract?

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