Thomas Hobbes And John Locke

1659 WordsMay 6, 20177 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 always makes a mark on its people. The actions of the government, while frequently ridiculed or vilified, are the results 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 has been determined as a norm and agreed to by a majority. The following pages show how modern social contract theory especially…show more content…
To simplify it, Hobbes perspective on the 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 freethinking, 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 power, but from a majority. Rather than Hobbes’ social contract theory, wherein the people hand over all power to the authority, Locke’s theory insists that the authority not be absolute, but rather responsible to the people. That is whenever a person in authority crosses a

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