50 John Locke Quotes On Government & Natural Rights

John Locke was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. He is remembered as the founder of empiricism and the father of liberalism. Here are the best John Locke quotes that reflect his profound ideas on politics, governance, and human understanding.

Locke’s philosophy emphasized the concept of natural rights, he believed that all individuals are equal and are born with certain inherent rights to life, liberty, and property.

He argued that the government exists to protect these basic rights and freedoms under the rule of law. He asserted that the people have the right to overthrow a government if they fail to perform their duty.

Apart from his contributions to political philosophy, Locke’s work greatly affected the development of epistemology and natural rights.

His work “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding” explored he foundation of human knowledge and understanding. In this treatise, he describes the mind at birth as a blank slate (tabula rasa) shaped later through experiences and reflection.

Locke’s ideas greatly influenced the development of individual rights, democratic principles, and the concept of a social contract.

His theories inspired later philosophers such as Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant and many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers.

Locke’s works have inspired memorable events like the Age of Enlightenment, the Declaration of Independence, Revolutionary War, and Constitution of the United States.

Here are the most famous John Locke quotes on government, democracy, education, human nature, character, and wealth that will inspire you and give you a different perspective on life.

Top 10 John Locke Quotes

  1. “What worries you, masters you.” — John Locke                         

    John Locke Quotes
    John Locke Quotes
  2. “Revolt is the right of the people.” — John Locke                                

    Famous Quotes From John Locke
    Famous Quotes From John Locke
  3. “Wherever Law ends, Tyranny begins.” — John Locke                     

    Inspirational Quotes By John Locke
    Inspirational Quotes By John Locke
  4. “The discipline of desire is the background of character.” — John Locke    

    John Locke Famous Quotes
    John Locke Famous Quotes
  5. “No man’s knowledge here can go beyond his experience.” — John Locke   

    John Locke Sayings
    John Locke Sayings
  6. “Government has no other end, but the preservation of property.” — John Locke 

    John Locke Quotes On Government
    John Locke Quotes On Government
  7. “Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.” — John Locke

    John Locke Quotes On Natural Rights
    John Locke Quotes On Natural Rights
  8. “Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.” — John Locke
  9. “Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.” — John Locke
  10. “We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.” — John Locke

Quotes By John Locke

  1. “The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.” — John Locke
  2. “Our Business here is not to know all things, but those which concern our conduct.” — John Locke
  3. “A sound mind in a sound body, is a short but full description of a happy state in this world.” — John Locke
  4. “But there is only one thing which gathers people into seditious commotion, and that is oppression.” — John Locke
  5. “Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.” — John Locke
  6. “Long discourses, and philosophical readings, at best, amaze and confound, but do not instruct children.” — John Locke
  7. “That which parents should take care of… is to distinguish between the wants of fancy, and those of nature.” — John Locke
  8. “There is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men.” — John Locke
  9. “All mankind… being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.” — John Locke
  10. “Whosoever will list himself under the banner of Christ, must, in the first place and above all things, make war upon his own lusts and vices.” — John Locke

Famous Quotes From John Locke

  1. “All wealth is the product of labor.” — John Locke
  2. Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues.” — John Locke
  3. “I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.” — John Locke
  4. “We are born to be, if we please, rational creatures, but it is use and exercise only that makes us so.” — John Locke
  5. “Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip.” — John Locke
  6. “To love truth for truth’s sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.” — John Locke
  7. “An excellent man, like precious metal, is in every way invariable; A villain, like the beams of a balance, is always varying, upwards and downwards.” — John Locke
  8. “To love our neighbor as ourselves is such a truth for regulating human society, that by that alone one might determine all the cases in social morality.” — John Locke
  9. “He that denies any of the doctrines that Christ has delivered, to be true, denies him to be sent from God, and consequently to be the Messiah; and so ceases to be a Christian.” — John Locke
  10. “The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom.” — John Locke

Best John Locke Quotes

  1. “Fashion for the most part is nothing but the ostentation of riches.” —  John Locke
  2. “There are a thousand ways to wealth, but only one way to Heaven.” — John Locke
  3. “The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property.” — John Locke
  4. “Where all is but dream, reasoning and arguments are of no use, truth and knowledge nothing.” — John Locke
  5. “Few men think, yet all will have opinions. Hence men’s opinions are superficial and confused.” — John Locke
  6. “It is one thing to show a man that he is in an error, and another to put him in possession of the truth.” — John Locke
  7. “To prejudge other men’s notions before we have looked into them is not to show their darkness but to put out our own eyes.” — John Locke
  8. “One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant.” — John Locke
  9. “Now, I appeal to the consciences of those who persecute, wound, torture, and kill other men on the excuse of ‘religion’, whether they do this in a spirit of friendship and kindness.” — John Locke
  10. “Men being, as has been said, by nature, all free, equal and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent.” — John Locke

Inspirational John Locke Quotes

  1. “Who lies for you will lie against you” — John Locke
  2. Struggle is nature’s way of strengthening it.” — John Locke 
  3. “It is easier for a tutor to command than to teach.” — John Locke
  4. “I have spent more than half a lifetime trying to express the tragic moment.” — John Locke
  5. “Freedom of Nature is, to be under no other restraint but the Law of Nature.” — John Locke
  6. “Reverie is when ideas float in our mind without reflection or regard of the understanding.” — John Locke
  7. “The dread of evil is a much more forcible principle of human actions than the prospect of good.” — John Locke
  8. “New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not common.” — John Locke
  9. “Any one reflecting upon the thought he has of the delight, which any present or absent thing is apt to produce in him, has the idea we call love.” — John Locke
  10. “All men by nature are equal in that equal right that every man hath to his natural freedom, without being subjected to the will or authority of any other man; being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.” — John Locke

More About John Locke

John Locke is a key figure in the history of philosophy and political thought. His works and ideas was instrumental in the creation of American politics nearly ten decades before the Declaration of Independence was drafted.

Some of his notable works include “A Letter Concerning Toleration”, “Essays on the Law of Nature”, “Some Thoughts Concerning Education”, “The Reasonableness of Christianity”, “Two Tracts on Government”, and “Two Treatises of Government”.

His political-legal principles continue to have a profound influence on the theory of limited representative government and the protection of basic rights and freedoms under the rule of law.

Hopefully, you will enjoy reading these inspirational John Locke quotes from the man whose enlightened view of the world was far ahead of the current mindset.


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