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Beliefs Of Locke's Leviathan By Thomas Hobbes And John Locke

analytical Essay
710 words
710 words
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Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were both social contract theorists who set the foundational footprints for the fundamentals of political life right into our own times. The two great thinkers imagined the world without a state in order to determine the legitimacy of the state that is present in reality. They differed greatly in their notions of the ‘state of nature’ and in doing so they developed contrasting conceptions of the role of the state and the nature of rights and liberty granted to the people. Hobbes’ political regime relies on the protest that the sovereign should have unlimited rights with no dissent or dissolution such that public and private interests are parallel. On the other hand, Locke sees man as a creature of reason rather than one of desire wherein he believes that the purpose of the government is to uphold and protect the natural rights of men that are independent of the state. The dichotomy in their beliefs construes their different translations of liberty.
In his seminal text, Leviathan, Hobbes maintains that human judgment is distorted to pursue self-interest ends without regard for anything other than the avoidance of pain and the incentive of pleasure. Man can be easily swayed with rhetoric that is neither directed towards public good nor towards the individuals good. Thus, in the state of nature man lived in a chaotic condition of constant fear of death where life was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short;” the state of perpetual and unavoidable war was unable to allow men to cooperate. Society was impossible without the coercive power of a state. The idea of self-preservation and self-protection are inherent in man’s nature and in order to escape from the state of nature, they voluntarily surrendere...

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...the natural rights of men, they were valid and otherwise could be renounced from power. The constitutionally limited government under Locke’s state provides a social liberty for man and does not ebb his individual value and rights.
Both Hobbes and Locke furnish a basis for the existence of political power. The origin of the state becomes pertinent in bringing laws and government to men and abandons their state of nature. While the Hobbesian state believes in absolutism where man completely surrenders his rights to the state, Locke’s government maintains individual rights independent of the state- they have the basic equal rights to make choices and be moral actors. The grace and power of man can be blinded by the civil state or lay unscathed to a certain extent; this is the proposition behind the origin of the state given by esteemed political thinkers of the time.

In this essay, the author

  • Compares the views of thomas hobbes and john locke on the role of the state and the nature of rights and liberty granted to the people.
  • Analyzes how hobbes maintains that human judgment is distorted to pursue self-interest ends without regard for anything other than the avoidance of pain and the incentive of pleasure.
  • Analyzes how locke's view about human condition in the state of nature is not as miserable as hobbes'. he believed that god made man naturally free to pursue life, liberty, health, and property as natural rights.
  • Explains that both hobbes and locke furnish a basis for the existence of political power. the origin of the state becomes pertinent in bringing laws and government to men and abandons their state of nature.
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