Property -- According to Locke
|IN the history of ideas the names of John Locke and George Sutherland stand somewhat apart. The one was the author of a celebrated "chapter on property"; 1the other was the voice of the United States Supreme Court in the declaration of the invalidity of the minimum wage law; and nearly a quarter of a millenium separates the two intellectual events. The passing of the crowded years belies a causal connection between them; a likeness in thought, and even an occasional turn of expression, betokens more than a coincidence. A comparison of the documents indicates that had it not been for the philosopher, the jurist would not have written as he did. Yet the bond-unless it be through the imperfect medium of Blackstone-is not personal influence. For Locke was only more plausible than other writers of his outlook and generation in setting down what they in common believed, and Sutherland spoke much as other justices might have done on that historic occasion-and had spoken before. The connection lies rather in a continuing stream of thought, comprehending both utterances, in which the principles of Locke and the dicta of Mr. Justice Sutherland are alike symbols.
|Property -- According to Locke
|Faculty Scholarship Series