Essay about Social Contract Theory

1429 Words 6 Pages
The political world is one that impacts nearly every aspect of our day-to-day lives. Whether it be through its enforcement of laws, protection of the public, or use of taxpayer-raised monies to carry out its myriad tasks, the government makes a mark on its people. The actions of the government, while frequently ridiculed or vilified, are the result of the people themselves, operating within our system of government. So while many people may disapprove of the job Congress is doing or the direction the president is leading us in, the status quo remains the same. This is because our current state of affairs, however twisted and convoluted it may be, has been determined as a norm, and agreed to by a majority. In the following …show more content…
Even though to Hobbes a government brings peace and lifts people out of a state of war, it requires citizens to hand over certain rights in pursuit of this peace. Once an authority figure has taken the role of ruler, through social contract, it becomes the norm. Hobbes’ theory does not allow and makes no exceptions for questioning or rebelling against the government. To simplify it, Hobbesian social contract theory places an emphasis on the importance of a government that takes rights from the people to provide services and run the government. It favors a large government, and does not place any real importance on the rights of those entering into the social contract with those in power. Instead, the power once given to the authority is irrevocable, leaving a dangerous opportunity for tyranny to develop. Locke's is a nice contrast to Hobbes’ political philosophy. It offers a response to the absolute power given to rulers in Hobbesian theory. This classical liberalism, meaning that it seeks to curb power, rejects the idea of an absolute ruler, and places high importance on personal rights and freedoms. While Locke and Hobbes are similar in that they acknowledge a chaotic state of nature, the way in which each deals with that state of nature are vastly different. Locke recognizes that there will always be some people in a state of war, and that man alone cannot eradicate war from the earth. His theory obtains authority not from a single figure who wields absolute
Open Document