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Lockeanism and restitution: What are the implications of a Lockean law of restitution for the contemporary UK?

Interesting paper that discusses and relies on my IP work and views on Locke and the labor theory of property:

David Jarrett, “Lockeanism and restitution: What are the implications of a Lockean law of restitution for the contemporary UK?” (Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London, Department of Politics and International Relations, Submitted for a degree of Doctor of Philosophy, 2019).

Abstract: This dissertation sets out a Lockean law of restitution and enquires into some of the implications of this law. It firstly looks into the implications for property redistribution in a case study country – the contemporary UK. It secondly looks into the implications of the law for understanding exploitation in the contemporary UK and historical England until the early industrial era. According to Lockean justice, one owns one’s body and is entitled to fully own previously unowned natural resources one has laboured on. One is also able to transfer one’s property to whom one wishes. We are concerned with the problem of how to address holdings which did not arise in line with Lockean justice. We argue that previous attempts at addressing the problem, including those laid out by Nozick and Rothbard respectively, have been unsatisfactory. We set out a new way of approaching the problem, which we argue is more consistent with Lockean theory. We lay out a Lockean law of restitution inspired by the law of restitution found in the English legal tradition. After laying out the Lockean law of restitution, we look into some implications of the law. Using secondary historical and sociological sources, we argue that all property in the UK is unjustly held according to the Lockean law of restitution and should be redistributed in an egalitarian manner. We secondly argue that wage labour in the contemporary UK is exploitative in Lockean terms, and thirdly, that wage labour can reasonably be presumed to have always been exploitative in England historically. In light of our findings we outline the possibilities for a Lockean approach to property redistribution in the UK.


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