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The Basis Of The United States Government

1433 words - 6 pages

The Basis of the United States Government

The United States government was formed based on one thing—the science of man. Many different psychological and political theories are founded on the basis that there is an actual science of human beings. The ideas and theories of Hobbes, Locke, Roseau, and Montesque all contributed to the formation and compellation of our governmental structure, among others. In fact, they all agreed on one principle; man in a pure state of nature can be analyzed and theorized. The conclusions of all were vastly different, some even directly contradicting. But regardless of the opposition in belief, the result of their collective writings was the ...view middle of the document...

In order to obtain this, a government must be established. In his writings, social contract is the link between the state of nature and a civilized law. But, reverting back to his principle theme of self-preservation, a contract between two people can't ever be valid. This is because self-interest will always be a factor, therefore if the incentive to break a contract is evident--one party will intrinsically do so. Hobbes continues to offer problems and solutions, finally resulting in the end of the inherently evil instincts of man: a monarchial government.

The reasons Hobbes gives that support his insistence that a Monarchy is the best form of government are all based around the principle of self-preservation and interest. He displays the need for government and the solution like this:

1. The State of Nature results in a State of war.
2. Members in a State of War will be unhappy and inherently seek peace.
3. Peace leads to social contract, yet social contract will fail due to self-interest.
4. Self-interest can only be solved with an over seeing arbitrator—but an arbitrator alone won't succeed due partiality and lack of authority.
5. The arbitrator then needs to become a governmental authority.
6. Deciding on which type of government is best has led him to the conclusion that an absolute monarchy is the only system that can have success.
7. The reason being that because every man is self-interested, by giving power to only one authority who has complete control of society is the best alternative. Because every man is evil, it is better to give up power to one individual, so that the evil in the society is limited.

John Locke's theory directly opposes that of Hobbes. Locke's view of the state of nature is a state of being where all men are created equal, and all men have the right to protect their life, freedom, and possessions. He believed that men were neither inherently evil nor good. Therefore, no one individual has any more right over another. For example, if a person commits a crime, the people have the right to punish him. If one man kills another man's sheep, then the people have the right to kill one of his sheep—and that is justice not crime. Locke felt that man, even without civilization, will begin forming contracts and carry the importance of justice and equality.

Human beings decide to form a society out of the state of nature because there must be unity among men in order to protect one another. Locke says that men carry self-love, partiality towards friends and family, ill-natured intentions, passion, and revenge—all reasons that a society cannot govern itself. In order to uphold the basic rudimental values of nature, government is the only way to ensure and secure them.

The next question Locke answers is his postulation deciding the best form of government. He feels that men form a government under the rule of an individual that is selected by the people. The...

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