Hobbes And Locke 's Political Legitimacy

1530 Words Aug 14th, 2015 7 Pages
In defining political legitimacy, many theorists put forth a distinct set of values that frame their view on the authorities’ right to rule and citizen’s obligation to follow. Theorists such as Hobbes and Locke, both of their account on political legitimacy might look quite similar at first glance, because each theorized about the nature of mankind and the right political systems that would meet the needs of individuals. However, in Hobbes’ perspective, political authority does not pre-exist in individual’s state of nature, rather, it is created by the social contract and serves to ensure self-preservation which is threatened in a state of nature. In contrast, Locke thought that the social contract does not create authority, but that political authority is embodied in individuals and pre-exists in the state of nature, all individuals thus have the moral obligation to respect those rights made by authorities. In my point of view, Locke’s idea sounds more compelling than that of Hobbes’, because it allows individuals to have their own liberties free from an oppressive sovereign and prevents danger posed by absolute freedom.
I believe both Hobbes and Locke are similar in the way that both of their theories are based on the natural state of human, a situation where everyone is entirely free because there is no interference of laws, but where man fears for their survival on a daily bases. They both agreed that a ruler of some sort appeared absolutely necessary for people, without…
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