Modern Liberalism and Political Policies Essay

Modern Liberalism and Political Policies Essay

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Modern Liberalism
Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean Jacques Rousseau’s political philosophies and theories each differ from one another’s, but these three philosophers have all staked their claims as to what man would be like, prior to the formation of the state. This is the State of Nature. Their notions on the social contract reflect their position on the political spectrum. These three philosophers also examine the purpose and function of the government to individuals of the state.
Modern liberalism is the philosophical standpoint for an increase in social progress. Jean Jacques Rousseau provides a compelling account of modern era liberalism through his advocation because of his notions on good government, his social contract, and his beliefs in complete freedom. Due to this, he has allowed for mankind to achieve equality for all. He does not put restraints on what man can and cannot do. This is modern liberalism. In contrast, Thomas Hobbes in on the other end of the political spectrum and is classified as a conservative. John Locke falls between these for his notions are relatable to liberalism ad conservatism.
State of Nature
For Thomas Hobbes, the state of nature is a theoretical model of life prior to the formation of the state, it’s institutions and the government. Individuals make their own decisions, and there are no recognized authoritative figures. There is also no morality. Hobbes believes that by nature, all humans are equal in faculties of body and mind, with no claims to exclusive benefits. Conflicts will arise due to this equality. When a particular object is desired by both parties, their competitive nature will suppress their natural desire for peace. Due to this, a state of war arises in which individuals ...

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...rough a social contract, individuals abandon their natural rights in favor of liberty and freedom. The purpose and function of the government is to provide security of freedom, equality and justice for all members of the state. A failed government is one that does not function in a moral manner to its subjects. State interference is allowed, but only if it is in the interests of the general will. In Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s state, the main purpose of anything is individual freedom, for without this, there is no point to the creation of a state.


Hobbes, Thomas, and Aloysius Martinich. Leviathan. Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview, 2002. Print.
Locke, John. The Second Treatise of Government. New York: Macmillan, 1986. Print.
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, and C. J. Betts. Discourse on Political Economy ; And, The Social Contract. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. Print.

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