“To this purpose, I think it may not be amiss to set down what I take to be political power. That the power of a magistrate over a subject may be distinguished from that of a father over his children, a master over his servant, a husband over his wife, and a lord over his slave. All which distinct powers happening sometimes together in the same man, if he be considered under these different relations, it may help us to distinguish these powers one from another, and show the difference be-twixt a ruler of a commonwealth, a father of a family, and a captain of a galley.
After reading Locke, I struggled to comprehend the point he was trying to make. The antiquated diction and complicated comparisons made the passage particularly hard to understand. In order to enhance my understanding of the text, I discussed it with a classmate much smarter than me and tried to apply the text to the notes I took from the Thursday lecture. I was able to gather that Locke was commenting on the concept of political power in his idea of liberalism. Locke feels that political power is not derived from God rather from a different source. This corresponds to Locke’s bigger point that political authority comes from the consent of the governed in his idea of a state of nature. In Locke’s state of nature humans are equal with no natural hierarchy, so authority is not Patriarchal and dominated by certain groups. Locke’s points made in this passage connect to the Thursday lectures discussion of Locke’s state of nature and the question of patriarchal society and the extension of the political community’s authority. Locke clearly lays out that political authority is separate from other types of relationships. It is not patriarchal, but instead for the common good and a result of those being governed consent.