However, in order to comprehend the disparity between political thought, the very primary ideas needed to be described. While the central aim of Rousseau’s writing was to explain how the freedom of the individual can be integrated with the authority of the state. Hobbes illustrated the need for political societies which he calls the Leviathan, with the purpose of the dire and natural state of man to be saved. Although, both agree with the inherent equality of men, Hobbes believes men are intrinsically malicious and must be governed by a superior power. In contrast, Rousseau believes men are born with the potential of goodness but the social systems in place propagate animosity.
As we shall see, the theories which were developed by Hobbes and Rousseau do not make them “stone cold realists”. Rather, it will be shown that although they both advocate certain principles of realism, much of their theories are in fact antithetical to realism. Firstly, classical realism emerged out of the destruction of the First World War. Hans Morgenthau popularized the school and laid down its fundamental principles. He believed that human nature is unchanging and based on universal laws cultivate within us a desire to dominate others.
Inspite of their conflicting perspectives on the state of nature, both support and explicate on the idea that the preservation and proliferation of mankind as a whole is best achieved through their belief, and withholding the policies of a social contract. The intention of Leviathan is to create this perfect government, which people eagerly aspires to become apart of, at the behest of individual relinquishing their born rights. This commonwealth, the aggregation of people for the purposes of preventing unrest and war, is predicated upon laws that prohibit injustice through the implementation of punishment. Essentially in the mind of both Rousseau and Hobbes, constraints are necessary for human beings to be truly free under the covenants and contracts applied to the civil state at which mankind interface through. All of the constituents in a society w... ... middle of paper ... ...ns.
Due to the fact that people always seek to attain what is beneficial to them, Hobbes observed that the desire and aspiration to acquire things that were alike in the society is the reason for competition. However, this conflicted with the king’s divine right to rule. It presented a dilemma: how can mere people of the state overthrow the king without it being considered treason? Hobbes’s theory was a radical concept for his time. He stated, “ The Right of Nature… is the Liberty each man hath, to use his own power, as he will himself, for the preservation of his own Nature” (Hobbes 36).
Hobbes logically argues from the premises of human nature–equal, egotistic, and competitive–to the resultant universal war. However, his controversial solution to escape the state of nature in the form of an absolute sovereign, in combination with Locke’s advocation of an optimistic view of humanity, create dubious impressions of the “Leviathan’s” soundness. Nonetheless, Hobbes’ creation of a social contract will undoubtedly influence many modern political philosophers. Works Cited Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan, edited Edwin Curley.
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.
What makes politcal power legitimate? Through out history philosopher have have had numerous views about what makes something legitimate. Some has concluded that by the means of justice political power is legitimate, such philosopher who express those views are Kant and Rousseau. Meanwhile, others viewed that political power comes from our right to perserve our life without any interferences,meaning, that we have the power to do what is neccesary to ensure our existence, such philosopher who express those views is Hobbes and Locke. As well, they are those who see political power in a extremist way,referring that we can take power or adapt a new type of government that promotes political power for everyone.
Like Rousseau, Locke discusses the result of a tyrannical government and how this violates not only the social contract, but man’s natural rights, as well. He explains that when the government immorally focuses on one issue, man reverts back to the state of war. This aspect of Locke’s social contract differs from Rousseau’s because of this reversal of state. Legitimacy can also be breached in context of individual powers of the magistrate. According to Rousseau, in order to maintain legitimacy of the executive power, the magistrate must equally apply the laws established by the sovereignty and evenly distribute force among all that belong in the magistrate.
He argued that to be successful in politics certain qualities were of importance and ethics could not stand in the way. Machiavelli stated that a Prince’s power should be maintained in being feared and loved, and possessing control over the people. Rousseau on the other hand was an eighteen century philosopher and writer. Unlike Machiavelli, his view’s on political and modern philosophies were influenced by the French Revolution. Rousseau believed in a legitimate government that was elected by a civil society based on social contract.
For this, I argue that Rousseau’s idea of forcing citizens to be free is a dangerous notion. In stating that citizens must be compelled to submit to the general will, Rousseau offers a form of government that stifles individual liberty and allows for the tyranny of the majority to prevail. The notion of forcing citizens to be free is a product of Rousseau’s version of the social contract. While Rousseau is more optimistic about the state of nature than Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan, he still recognizes that it may become necessary for men to exit the state of nature and unite under a sovereign. When this time comes, Rousseau contends, men must enter a social contract with one another.