Essay about Locke and College Education

Submitted By GermaineGaetan1
Words: 578
Pages: 3

When evaluating who has the legitimate power to regulate state-funded, public college education, Locke believes that power should be in the possession of the commonwealth. Based on Locke’s theory, the commonwealth can be described as a group of individuals brought together by shared interests of better preserving their individual property (Locke, chap. 10). The commonwealth in Locke’s philosophy are sovereign and it is through their consent that legislature is formed regulated. Taxes to fund the public’s interest are acceptable in Locke’s philosophy but they must only be approved by the vote of the majority of the citizens (Locke, chap. 11). Locke also puts slight importance on an individual’s education and states that the intellectual maturity of a citizen can allow them to better understand the established law and the limits of the citizen’s freedom under said law. Locke goes on to further discuss how the mental maturity of a citizen can affect the freedom and property of other citizens. Freedom in this context is described as the liberty of acting according to one’s own will and having reason which is able to instruct the individual to the laws which he is governed by. So by allowing an individual who has not developed adequate reason into society is no better than abandoning that individual to wretchedness by Locke’s standards (Locke, chap. 6). This further demonstrates why education is important to the maturity of a society’s citizens, but this still does not make public education legitimate of taxation from the majority of the commonwealth if they do not consent to it. As long as the majority of the commonwealth consented to the policy and it does not wrongfully infringes on another individuals property then public education policy can be considered legitimate according to Locke.
When dealing with this issue in the context of today’s society, the increase of education can lead to a decrease in crime rates. Individuals with a college education are less likely to commit crimes. JPI examined the 10 states with the highest and lowest college enrollment rates, and reviewed their violent crime rates. On average, states with higher college enrollment rates experience lower violent crime rates than states with lower college enrollment rates. Of the states with the 10 highest enrollment rates, eight had violent crime rates below the national average. Of the states with