His Second Treatise on Government, in particular is a comprehensive collection of essays on various aspects of social organization. But theories do not always translate into practice and so governments always do not fulfill the purpose for which they were conceived and formed. We should also remember that electoral processes and democratic institutions that constitute modern governments are also beset by serious flaws. In the present global political scenario, as was the case during the period of European Imperialism, governments concerned themselves with matters way beyond the maintenance of civil liberties to its population. That is, governments have never been strictly political formations, but have always served vested commercial and class interests. A history of European Imperialism is full of such examples, where exploitation of commercial opportunities led to expansion of territories and colonies. It should also be noted that while governments are needed to maintain peace and order in civil societies, there have been plenty of instances in which they have abused their power in suppressing dissident voices and threats to power.
Writing his Treatises on Government toward the end of seventeenth century, John Locke could not have foreseen the scale and scope of abuse of power that governments have since exhibited. While this is not mean that Locke’s Treatises are impractical, they do point to the gap between what is real and what is ideal. Also, Locke’s Treatises focus on the interactions between government and the individual as well as the interaction between fellow citizens. There is a lacuna in Locke’s Second Treatise about the nature and dynamics of power relations between governments and how this could undermine the civil liberties domestically. The nature and complexion on demographics has altered considerably in the period since Locke’s analyses. In an