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Contrasting Thomas Hobbes And John Locke

1042 words - 5 pages

Contrasting Hobbes and Locke

Nearly two-hundred and twenty-five years ago the
United States of America chose to fight a Thomas Hobbes
government, with the hope of forming a John Locke
institution. The ideas of these men lead to the
formation of two of the strongest nations in the history
of the world: Great Britain followed by the United
States. Thomas Hobbes viewed the ideal government as an
absolute monarchy, due to the chaos of the state of
nature in contrast, John Locke’s ideal government was a
democracy due to his beliefs of the equality of men.
These men have shared a few of the same beliefs, but
mainly contrast each other.
Thomas Hobbes believed that man by ...view middle of the document...

It was clear to Hobbes, that men
must group themselves together, with a leader capable of
ensuring obedience of these natural laws. It is
important that the group being governed is a large group
because the small groups are not stable. The addition of
only a few members with contrasting views to a small
group, could destroy the entire community. Thus, small
groups invite invaders and foster dissent. Hobbes to
accepted that man bestowing his power in one leader, “is
more than consent, or concord; it is a real unity of them
all, in one every man, I authorize and give up my right
of governing myself, to this man, or on this condition,
that thou give up thy right to him, and authorize all his
actions in like manner.” (CWT III, 38). The preceding
quote was Hobbes’s opinion of a social contract. This,
Hobbes believed, was essential to man escaping the state
of nature, and to the formation of a responsible
government. Through this, complete power should be
vested in one king, and the people who gave him this
power need to trust and abide by him at all times. They
are not to rebel, because rebellion would lead them back
to the chaos which they were trying escape. Basically,
Hobbes’s ideal state had rights against the people,
because it possessed all the sovereignty,and the people
had a responsibility to it.
Locke believed that man by nature is good. He lived
in a fairly peaceful era which had directly influenced
this view. Locke saw the state of nature as a state of
the natural freedom, of man; to order their actions, and
dispose of their positions and persons as they found fit
within the bounds of the laws of nature. The state of
nature, however, is not a state of license. (CWT,70).
This means although man has ability to deal with himself
and his belongings as he wishes, he does not have the
authority to act in a way which is destructive toward
himself or other persons because, in doing such, he is
breaking the...

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