Three Philosophies of Human Rights

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When choosing their social structures, one must decide whether for the rights of the people, social conditions or for sovereignty. Both Locke and Marx had similar views when it came down to the consent of the people. People want to be free and less oppressed by their superiors and thus anyone in the way would be a problem for their society. In Locke’s view it was the monarchs and aristocrats of the world as for Marx it was the bourgeoisie. The difference between Locke and Marx would be that that have a different conclusion about the nature of humans and the desires for the consenting public. Both of these viewpoints are in stark contrast with that of Machiavelli’s and his advocacy for imperialism. Marx could argue Locke’s position on human rights to be too utopian and would only drive the bourgeoisie to becoming more prosperous and thus further antagonizing the working man. The philosophies of human rights made by these three were all from different eras in time and their viewpoints definitely reflect this matter.

To start off, one should argue that differing viewpoints from Locke and Marx are somewhat similar and how they are both very in disagreement with the literature of Machiavelli. For Locke, humans have a natural right as humans to be free and that our decisions should be based off our own desires and “not to be under the legislative authority of man” (Locke, 17). As Locke puts it, the foundation of which man is appointed to be “evident in itself” and we have an “obligation to mutual love” (9). He would argue that there are certain natural agreements that should not be violated and protected prior to any mutual arrangement because we have the obligation to love ourselves and our freedom. Similarly Mar...

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...ould be by the people for the people while Marx believes in a communistic by the people for the nation. Machiavelli believes that the governed should have the right to revolt if they are not happy but they ultimately need to be made happy by the monarch. Locke would consider Machiavelli an advocator for absolutism while Marx would consider Locke an advocator for modern capitalism. The three views are quite similar and very different on their own right and are very relevant to their times of that which they try to instill philosophy of the rights for societal needs.

Works Cited

Locke, John. The second treatise on civil government. Amherst, N.Y: Prometheus Books, 1986. Print.

Machiavelli, Niccolò. The Prince. New York: Bantam Books, 1981.

Marx, Karl, and Friedrich Engels. Manifesto of the Communist party. New York: International Publishers, 1948. Print.
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