Compare And Contrast Hobbes And John Locke

analytical Essay
1432 words
1432 words

The social contract theory was a political foundation that underlined the distinct forms of government. Thomas Hobbes and John Locke mention the formation of governments, the main key to form a successful government is through consent such as voting, joining a military, or allow to be ruled by a sovereign. The contrasting ideologies by both theorists differ in human nature, Hobbes believed that man is not a social animal while John Locke opposed to this idea and stated that by nature man was a social animal. The distinction that both portrayed in the role of the government in a man 's life and the perspective on the state of nature were argued in the following texts, Leviathan and Second Treatise of Government. Society consents to a government …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the social contract theory was a political foundation that underlined the distinct forms of government.
  • Argues that thomas hobbes was an absolute monarchist that believed human beings were organisms in constant motion and needed some sort of authority or restraint, so they could be stopped from pursuing any selfish act.
  • Analyzes how hobbes' position on civil society is similar when he states that peace is disguised as war. he believes that the state should have unlimited power and favored the various ways the sovereign would end any conflict.
  • Compares hobbes' and locke's views on the sovereign power relating to the human nature.
  • Analyzes how hobbes and locke agree on the idea that the key to a successful government is consent and free will by the people, by having no objection.
  • Compares hobbes' and locke's views on human nature, social contract, and state of nature.

Hobbes and Locke argued that people mainly formed a state for different reasons according to their ideology. Hobbes mentioned that humans only formed a state for their mere self interest to protect themselves from the wrath of others. In contrast Locke had a more positive perspective that individuals believed it was moral to form a state to protect their natural rights and would not be deprived from their rights. In Leviathan, Hobbes asserts, "Conferre all of their power and strength upon one Man, or upon one assembly of men, that may reduce all of their Wills, by plurality of voices," (Locke, 95). Comparing the statement of Hobbes with Locke is the following, “It is not, nor can possibly be absolutely arbitrary over the lives and fortunes of the people," (Locke, 70). Both theories on the sovereign power relates to the human nature. For example Hobbes’s believes that humans need a strong authority to protect citizens from each other and outside forces, which is why the sovereign has absolute power. Critiquing Locke 's perspective he mentions that the people in state of nature live in peace and tranquility amongst each other setting moral limits without having a sovereign (central …show more content…

This is how a Commonwealth is established through the consent of the people, and by having consent it becomes legitimate. Once born into a Commonwealth an individual cannot form a new one, you are bound by a covenant. The ideology that Hobbes obtains regarding Commonwealth is correct, the sovereign should have unconstrained power to rule indefinitely, possessing unlimited rights making the sovereign above the law. Locke is unable to understand the absolute control that the sovereign has, he states that a Commonwealth is established when property exists, meaning it is determined when the sovereign creates civil laws to distribute any property. He also explains that once state of nature is set then the possessions of individuals belongs to them if labor is added to them, he gives the example of the acorn that when you mix yourself with it then it seizes to be equal by adding labor to it, if labor is not added to it then it doesn’t belong to you. Contrasting it to Hobbes ideology it is insane to enter a Commonwealth with property, you must enter with nothing relinquish any right or anything that pertains to you, the sovereign is the one who will lay out the rights, while Locke believes that by entering a Commonwealth enters with property.

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