Common Punishment

1855 Words8 Pages
One of the primary reasons both Locke and Hobbes form commonwealths is to punish violations of rights. Yet, each has different visions of what the ideal government looks like. These differences arise from their different views of punishment and the government’s authority. For Hobbes’ punishment “is an evil inflicted by public authority on him that hath done or omitted that which is judged by the same authority to be a transgression of the law, to the end that the will of men may thereby the better be disposed to obedience” (XXVIII.1),while for Locke politics is “a right of making laws with penalties of death, and consequently all less penalties, for the regulating and preserving of property, and of employing the force of the community, in…show more content…
For man, the form of government must be chosen at the beginning and represent all men “them every one”. It receives the right of all people whether it is an assembly or a monarchy. It is this stipulation that poses a problem for the assembly. If men “were to erect two sovereigns, and every man to have his person represented by two actors that by opposing one another must needs divide that power which (if men will live in peace) is indivisible, and thereby reduce the multitude into the condition of war” (XIX.3). All men must give up all their rights to the sovereign, but when the sovereign is many their rights become divided among the many. While this is not a problem when the many are in agreement and act as one, when the many oppose each other rights are divided and thus power is divided. If the power is divided then the sovereign lacks the power to enforce the laws and punish. Given that those who are being punished have the right to rebel, it is necessary that the sovereign have the power to enforce punishment. It is punishment that ensures people follow the laws. Thus, without the power to enforce the laws and punish transgressors the sovereign cannot protect the commonwealth. If the commonwealth does not protect its subjects then it will dissolve. Thus, monarchy is the ideal form of government because it
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