Hobbes vs. Locke

2028 WordsDec 12, 20129 Pages
Ashlyn Brunk Parson POS 352 October, 2012 Exam 1: Hobbes/Locke 1. Compare and contrast Hobbes and Locke on political power? In answering this question explain Locke’s argument against Hobbes’s understanding of “paternal” and despotical power. On the discussion of power and social structure, both John Locke and Thomas Hobbes introduce their theories on paternal and despotical power in Second Treatise of Government and Leviathan respectively. Both men believe that social order is constructed artificially and not by a divine being. In Leviathan, Hobbes’s discusses the differences between paternal and despotical power. Even though he recognizes these differences he explains that power claimed by institution and power claimed by force…show more content…
These differing accounts lead also to a disagreement in their conception of the “ideal” state or society. In Leviathan there is no society until there is a sovereign or governing force. Hobbes gives three types of sovereign governments, democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy. Democracy is the most instable, most conflict, and instills the most fear. Monarchy is Hobbes choice of government because there is no division, no factions, there can be no civil war between the king and himself, and it makes the passing of power more stable with less conflict. The whole basis of his ideal society is on creating as little fear as possible because fear is instability. There can be no civil disobedience, protest, or dissent because is creates fear. In direct opposition to Locke’s ideal society, Hobbes’s gives sole loyalty to the government. Man cannot give loyalty over the government meaning there should be no more loyalty to a religion or a pope than the ruler of a mans society. This is because religion could cause more instability meaning more fear. The sovereign power has no limits of power because he is not included in the contract with the people; his power is absolute. A one-world government would be ideal to Hobbes because with only one loyalty for all people there should be no conflicts. Locke disagreed with Hobbes
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