Morality is fundamentally about duty, the duty each individual has to abide by the natural law John Locke believed in the existence of a "Natural Law" that transcends any man-made law. Simply put all citizens have a right to "life, liberty and property." If the government is violating the people 's natural rights (life, liberty, and property/pursuit of happiness), then the people have a right to overthrow the government. Then there is the social contract. The people must do as the government say, the government does not take away the people 's natural rights, Locke allowed taxation to take place by the consent of the majority rather than requiring unanimous consent.
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.
This is a rather paradoxical argument as the idea of forcing someone to be free hardly works in most people’s definition of freedom. What is essential to remember here is that Rousseau believes that the true form of freedom can only come about once an individual enters civil society and accept the terms of the social contract. Therefore by forcing someone to adhere to society’s order, you are really granting them with civil freedom, the most important freedom of all.
John Locke came to the idea that when humans enter the world they are born with no knowledge of anything dismal and basically that they were born perfect. He also stated that people "had the right to life, liberty, and estate which is basically what we have now. Locke's modern day liberalist ideas about the people's sovereignty was that the power should rest with the people. He expressed that the government should be there to preserve our natural rights. He also explains that if a ruler or the assembly governing came to unfair ruling then the citizens had the right to rebel.
Rousseau’s social contract heavily focuses on the sovereign body and the common good, and in contrast, Locke emphasizes the importance of life, liberty, and property. Locke also incorporates the use of the sovereign body to establish judiciary laws for those who breach the laws that are in accordance to the life, liberty, and property of man; when man is in the natural state, he is not presented with the liberty to morally punish anyone who has taken advantage of any of the preceding. The sovereign body is a key concept in both philosophers works. The sovereign body serves as a means of deliberation in order to produce stable laws that protect the entirety of the body politic. The two commensurate works affirm the communal and intellectual bond of a society in order to produce an effective and impartial
The king did not hold absolute power, but acted only to enforce and protect the natural rights of the people. What John Locke was concerned about was the lack of limitations on the sovereign authority. During Locke’s time the world was surrounded by the monarch’s constitutional violations of liberty toward the end of the seventeenth century. He believed that people in their natural state enjoy certain natural, inalienable rights, particularly those to life, liberty and property. Locke described a kind of social contract whereby any number of people, who are able to abide by the majority rule, unanimously unite to affect their common purposes.
Hobbes argues that a government has ancient liberty when its leadership can “resist or… invade other people” without being physically deterred (Hobbes XXI... ... middle of paper ... ... other men, how can the sovereign subdue his own appetites and rule in the interests of society? Accepting Hobbes’s depiction of human nature, the sovereign lacks the capacity to place genuinely the longevity of his people before his own desires. If the sovereign that cares for society’s survival above all else does not exist, how can society ensure its survival? Perhaps, society should allow a great deal of individual liberty and should adopt a democracy, a sovereignty of free people. Perhaps the societal norms that arise when free people interact naturally promote society’s survival.
As a nation we are obligated to obey the rules and regulation of society in which was given to us by a higher power, the government. The government doesn’t have absolute power of society but it holds a balance of limited power to maintain society from failing into chaos or revolutions. However many believe there should be absolute power in order for society to fully function properly and away from war. This idea is based on Hobbes philosophy of absolute sovereignty. In which power should neither be limited nor divided but given absolute authority to a single person or an assembly to have an effective society.
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.
The will of the rulers can be general will as long as the sovereign agree, this can lead to authoritarianism. Every act of general will binds all citizens, for the sovereign only sees the body of the state not the individuals who make it up. The legislator is in charge of giving the citizens a false sense or illusion of free will, completely destroying Rousseau’s theory of co-existing free citizens. Rousseau’s sovereign government and volante general, does not allow for the co-existence of free and equal citizens. Rousseau’s ‘free state’, does not allow for the co-existence of free and equal citizens because a collective will cannot be established.