POLITICAL SCIENCE ASSIGNMENT 1
APRIL 13 2018
“THE KEY ARGUMENTS OF HOBBES SOCIAL CONTRACT. HOW DOES HOBBES ARGUMENTS DIFFER FROM THOSE OF JOHN LOCKE IN RELATION TO SOCIAL CONTRACT”.INTRODUCTION
This assignment profoundly highlight the key points of Thomas Hobbes and how it contradicts with John Locke as concerns to social contract. Both theorists are effectively distinctive with regard to their perspective and outcomes in particular nature and laws which the assignment will emphasize on. The assignment will further look at crucial realization of the theories of these two advocates.
A SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY
The conceptualization “Social Contract” denotes the state of the lives of people before societies came into reality. There was no ruling body and laws that can be enforced. There was a severe suffering and injustice on the part of the society. As a result, a non-democratic ruling body was encouraged to change the challenges faced and engaged in adjudication. The two were introduced, The Pactum unionis and Pactum Subjectionis. (O’Toole: 10)
The first agreement, pact of unionis solicit their views for safety of their lives and lawful homes (property). Exultantly, a society was established where people were responsible for obeying the rules, respect one another, and live in a non-violence society. (O’Toole:12)
The second agreement, pact of subjectionis, people constituted together and made an oath to see a rule and devote part of their liberty to set of rules. This set of rules were encouraged to assure everyone that their lives will be protected and given property. (Joseph R: 66)
Therefore there must reach an agreement and form a society entirely as a union and mutually repudiate any rights they had opposing one another in the state of nature and that they must.
THOMAS HOBBES THEORY OF SOCIAL CONTRACT
The theory of Thomas Hobbes to social contract came to light in Leviathan, publicize in 1651 throughout the time of the civil war in Britain. Hobbes legal theory is built on social contract. As stated by Hobbes, Man existed in the state of nature. A man’s life in the state of nature lived with terror and self-interest. Man lived in a much disorganized state and life in the state of nature was isolated, and in poor condition. (O’Toole:21)
A man is born with passion for safety and stability. In furtherance to strengthen the self-defense and security and to escape from hardships and sufferings man agreed to sign into a contract. The concept of self-defense and security are deep rooted in man’s nature. To reach this, they freely gave up all their rights and liberty to some governing body by means of this contract to take on a responsibility for order and stability. (Joseph R: 68)
Furthermore, the establishment of this contract was for the governing body to secure and shield property and their lives. As a result, there was a development for the establishment of the ruler and monarch who shall take total control. Citizens had no entitlement opposing total control and the ruler was to be accepted and observed in all decisions irrespective if not worthy. However, Thomas Hobbes set moral agreement on the supreme ruler who shall be obligated by natural law. (O’Toole:23)
Hobbes, was a follower of absolutism. In his view point, law is conditional in the sanction of the government and sovereign “without sword are but words and of no strength to secure a man at all”. Furthermore, Hobbes assert that civil law is the real law since it is directed and implemented by the sovereign. Therefore, he maintained the principle of “Might is always Right”. (Joseph R: 74).
Therefore, Hobbes ascertain from his theory of mechanistic human nature that humans are certainly and completely self-serving. All men practice what they view as their own interest. Humans automatically acknowledge being attracted to what they want and resist to what they dislike.
Furthermore, to be completely self-serving, Hobbes attest that humans are rational. They have in them a very reasonable capacity, to follow their passion. From the establishment of human nature, Hobbes also contrive a very controversial and captivating debate for which they are committed to comply to political authority. Hobbes deliberately considered this by envisaging people in this condition initially to the creation of society, the state of nature. (Joseph R: 81)
Thomas Hobbes constrain subjects to give in their rights and lay all their freedom in the sovereign for the protection and safeguarding of their serenity, life and progress of the subjects. It is for this reason the natural law developed into a moral guide or rather a mandate to the sovereign for the protection of the subjects and their natural rights. According to Hobbes, all law is based on sovereignty. (O’Toole:33)
All real law is thus civil law, the law instructed and applied by the sovereign and are introduced to the world for non but to restrain the natural liberty of certain people. Hobbes further encourage for an establishment order. Therefore, materialism, individualism, absolutions and utilitarianism are interlace in the theory of Thomas Hobbes. (O’Toole:46)
JOHN LOCKE THEORY OF SOCIAL CONTRACT
John Locke theory of social contract is distinctive from that of Thomas Hobbes. As stated by Locke, man lived in the state of nature, however, his idea about the state of nature is completely opposite to one observed by Hobbes. John Locke perspective about the state of nature is not as contemptible compared to Hobbes. It was rational, fair and pleasant, however, property was not assured and protected. (O’Toole:49)
Locke deemed state of nature as a “Golden Age”. It was a state of tranquility, compassion, interaction and protection. All people had rights which nature can give in that state of nature. Locke provide a rational perspective by supporting that in the state of nature, the natural state of mankind was an ideal state and absolute liberty to maintain one’s life as one best view it. In that state of nature, all men are equal and self-contained. (O’Toole:51)
However, this does not signify that it is a state of lack of control and responsibility. It was not a state of nature where everyone will do as he pleases. Despite the fact it was a state wherein there was no civil authority or rule to explode and penalize people for offences, was not a state without ethicality, and principles. All men are presumed to be equal in such state, thus equally effective to observe and connected with Law of Nature. Therefore, the state of nature was the state of absolute freedom or liberty, where all men can reach their own interest independently without experiencing any destruction from the Law of Nature. (O’Toole:84)
Property is a very crucial aspect of John Locke view for civil government and the contract that substantiate it. As stated by Locke, private property is built or rather constructed when a person for example combine his labour with raw materials of nature. Property is a key element and a foundation for Locke perspective for the social contract together with civil government since it includes the assurance and safeguard of property, and this also signify property of their own bodies that men often look for when they have decided to neglect the State of Nature. (Joseph R: 105)
John Locke deemed property in the State of Nature as questioning and unassured due to this three cases in which I will highlight below,
The absence of natural powers to implement natural laws.
The absence of well-developed laws
The absence of unbiased judgement.
Therefore, man in the state of nature had an urge for securing their property and for the reason of securing and protecting their property, men committed themselves into social contract. And on the protection of a contract, “Men did not give up all their rights to another person or authority, however, they gave in their rights to protect and uphold order and to encourage and apply law of nature”. (O’Toole:92)
As maintained by Locke, the aim and objectives of the government and law is to sustain and safeguard the natural rights of everyone. In as much as the government commits to its aim and objectives, the laws outlined by it are rational and well-grounded, when it stops to commit to the objectives then the laws will be useless and without any foundation in facts. And as a result, the government can be refused to stay in power. Furthermore, in his perspective, absolute sovereignty is contradictory to natural law. (Joseph R: 114)
It is for this reason that Locke, encouraged the concept “The State of Liberty, not of Licence.
ANALYTICAL COMPREHENSION OF HOBBES AND LOCKE SOCIAL CONTRACT/ CONCLUSION
Hobbes theory of absolutism is a complete indistinct view in today’s scenario or context. Democracy is a definite thing. And according to him, the sovereign should have total control, this is however opposed to the rule of law, since total control brings about immoderation and arbitrariness. His model of social contract is postulated upon the dark concept of human nature. (O’Toole:97)
As a student of politics, I will contend Hobbes view point as uncorroborated and wrong. His social contract concept which assert that the state of nature is a ruthless place in which no logical person will want to reside is defective. Hobbes is clearly making a conclusion to human nature based on human experience than facts. I think it is important to also highlight the fact that Hobbes grew in destructive conflicts in Europe. (Joseph R: 120)
John Locke for example is a “Republicanism”. However, also his view is quiet or less unclear, since any conflict relating to property always bring about destruction in a society. Therefore, they cannot be a society in tranquility and security if they have been some recalled conflict with regard to property. (O’Toole:99)
However, most importantly John Locke is a symbol of modern political philosophy, since he reduced and polished more fundamental teachings of Thomas Hobbes and Machiavelli as well, to construct their views and ideas more and more fair, reasonable and tolerant to democratic government. So basically his concept is more or less of those of Hobbes and Jean?Jacques Rousseau. He supported natural rights to mention happiness, life and freedom. (O’Toole: 101).
Deutsch, Kenneth L., and Joseph R. Fornieri. An Invitation to Political Thought. Belmont, Cal.: Thomson Wadswoth, 2009.
Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. Indianapolis, Ind.: Hacket Publishing Co., 1994.
Jefferson, Thomas. The Delcaration of Independence. 1776.
Locke, J., An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Abridged and Edited with an introduction by A. D. Woozley, New American Library, New York, 1974. Google Scholar
John W, o’Toole, The Right of Revolution: An analysis of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes Social Contract. Boston College Electronic Thesis or Dissertation, 2011