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.
Explain the impact of Locke & Rousseau on Thomas Jefferson. Give examples from the text. The idea of inalienable rights. This is the idea that there are certain rights that are absolutely fundamental and that no government or political body has the right to alter them. This is idea is articulated in one of the most oft-quoted passages of the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness".
Humans are by nature born free as Locke states that “man being born, as has been proved, with a title to perfect freedom” and also with “an uncontrolled enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of the law of nature, equally with any other man” has the power to preserve his “property, life, liberty and estate” (Locke, Section 87). Locke believes in the state of nature that “has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions” (Lock... ... middle of paper ... ...e society to maintain peace and social order. Such influences may come from the government or from the society itself. Locke believes that there is a state of nature but there is a need for the government in order to maintain order. Marx believes that the social groups in a society exist in order for man to exist and actively produce.
In On Liberty, John Stuart Mill argues that individual freedom may be limited by only one thing, the maintaining of society and other people. To that end, man must remain free to act and think as he wishes, without the elimination of ideas or opinions, as long as it does not harm others. This idea is called Mill’s Harm Principle. Mill states that, “The sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their members, is self-protection…[his] own good, physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant.” (p. 14) Mill gives good reason for this as a solution to two types of tyranny: tyranny of the majority, in which the many abuse the few, and tyranny of public opinion, in which society tries to force values on everyone. Although Mill allows all actions that do not directly harm others, he completely supports laws that punish inaction where action would prevent harm to another.
Is it better to live in the extreme of an ideal or one more tempered? I will seek to answer some of these questions bring us to the conclusion that moderation in both universalism and the balance of power is best at preserving individual liberty and forming the best government. Locke defines liberty in two ways; firstly as liberty in nature where man is free from a superior power and lives only under the laws of nature, secondly as liberty in society where man is under no law or legislative power, except under those to which he has consented (Locke, 22). Locke is stressing that true liberty is the supreme freedom of the individual who must only act in accordance with the laws of nature. The authority and laws of society are only legitimate by consent and can be struck down by the collective will of individuals.
John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), a British philosopher, is one of history's most respectable moral philosophers. Mill's most well-known work on the rights and freedom of an individual is his book entitled On Liberty. On Liberty discusses the struggle between liberty and authority between society and government, and how the limits of power can be practiced by society over an individual. Mill's essay consists of arguing what laws government has that ables them to be given the right to force people to act and live in certain ways. He establishes a society that can interfere with the government, demand freedom of individuals, and allow individuals free will to do what they choose, without interfering with the rights of others.
Liberals believed it was the guarantee of protection - liberty to them signified being free from harm towards one’s property. Rousseau’s notion of freedom was completely different than that of traditional liberals. To him, liberty meant a voice, and participation. It wasn’t enough to be simply protected under the shield of a sovereign, Rousseau believed that to elevate ourselves out of the state of nature, man must participate in the process of being the sovereign that provided the protection. The differences between Rousseau’s theories and those of the liberals of his time, begin with different interpretations of the state of nature.
Array Classics Of American Political & Constitutional Thought. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2007. 496-499. Print. • Alexander, Hamilton.
The first and foremost being that politics and morality should not be separated and the second principal is freedom which the state should do it’s utmost to preserve. Rousseau was a man of the people and his social and political theory was written from the bottom up and not the top down. In his works the Confessions Rousseau tells us what it is like to rise ... ... middle of paper ... ...l society. He teaches us that morality and reason are the basis for all legitimate government. If a Government fails to respect the morality and reason of the individuals it represents it fails to be legitimate and therefore it fails to exist.
The one thing on which Locke lays great emphasis throughout the Treatise is that the chief end or purpose for which the state or commonwealth is formed is making secure to the citizens the natural right to life, liberty and property which they had in the state of nature. In this state of nature, according to Locke, men were born free and equal: free to do what they wished without being required to seek permission from any other man, and equal in the sense of there being no natural political authority of one man over another. He quickly points out, however, that "although it is a state of liberty, it is not a state of license," because it is ruled over by the law of nature which everyone is obliged to obey. While Locke is not very specific about the content of the law of nature, he is clear on a few specifics. First, that "reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind who will but consult it" and second, that it teaches primarily that "being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life liberty or possessions."