The Theories Of Hobbes And Locke



What justifies the authority of government? Under what conditions is revolution against that government justified? How does Locke's answer to the previous differ from Hobbes's? What difference in their "social contract" theories results in that difference? Each of these questions will be addressed in order to further understand the governmental philosophies of the "Dynamic Duo" and their implications. Citizens of the United States have enjoyed long-standing protection courtesy of their governmental system. In fact, we as citizens may take this system for granted, or not fully realize why we have it. Luckily, Thomas Hobbes has a view that may bring to mind the alternatives of government ...

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or group in an attempt to get out of that miserable state of war. Hobbes also contends that if there is not a power to keep people in awe, they will continually be in war against each other. In other words, there is no security without a system such as our own, with consequences for actions that infringe on the rights of others. The crucial part of this system is thus enforcement of policy. Hobbes explains this as, "And covenants, without the sword, are but words, and of no strength to secure a man at all." This makes sense that, without something for people to fear if they go against the laws, they will naturally infringe on the rights of others simply because it may be in their best interest. Hobbes saw government as a single governing body, made up of the power given to it by the masses; a "Leviathan," or giant sea monster that gains it's power from the sea of individuals. According to Hobbes this Leviathan may, in very specific conditions, be rightfully overthrown or at least ...

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Added: 2/3/2004 08:41:10 PM
Category: Government
Words: 980
Pages: 4

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