Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan and John Locke's Second Treatise of Government

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Hobbes' Leviathan and Locke's Second Treatise of Government

Hobbes’ Leviathan and Locke’s Second Treatise of Government comprise critical works in the lexicon of political science theory. Both works expound on the origins and purpose of civil society and government. Hobbes’ and Locke’s writings center on the definition of the “state of nature” and the best means by which a society develops a systemic format from this beginning. The authors hold opposing views as to how man fits into the state of nature and the means by which a government should be formed and what type of government constitutes the best. This difference arises from different conceptions about human nature and “the state of nature”, a condition in which the human race
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Previously, the accumulation of perishable items was unreasonable primarily because of spoilage. The introduction of money, however, permitted perishable items to be exchanged for currency. Thus, money rendered the opportunity for accumulating property without the associated risk of resulting waste. The profits of this exercise were invested in the means by which they were generated – the land.

It was the land, when mixed with man’s labour offered the means of turning that outcome into money. Since land ownership is a prerequisite to making money and money is a pre-condition to owning land, the two became inexorably linked. In short, the introduction of money led to unlimited accumulation, scarcity and, ultimately, conflict. Although the sufficiency limitation remained intact, there was no longer “as much and as good” land for everyone and, as a result, a visible disparity between “owners” and the “wage makers” appeared and conflict between them arose. Locke commented on the problems inherent in accumulation of property in the state of nature;

…and though in the state of nature he hath such a right, yet the enjoyment of it is very uncertain, and constantly exposed to the invasion of others: for all being king as much as he, every man his equal and the greater part no strict observers of equity and justice, the enjoyment of the property he has
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