John Locke Essay - Robert J England II HON 211 David Gross...

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Robert J. England II HON 211 – David Gross Wednesday, October 11, 2006 I am struck by how important basic trust appears to be in John Locke’s theories on the proper forms of government. In his Second Treatise of Government , Locke promoted civil, democratic government as a proper, natural way of governing over people. In doing so, Locke argued against Thomas Hobbes, who used the same arguments to promote full, tyrannical government. Professor Steve Cohn, in his lecture on this text, mentioned that the reason Locke proposed democracy instead of tyranny was Locke’s belief that people would trust each other enough to not request the full control that tyranny delivered. This basic trust, or lack of trust, forms an important separation between the two systems of government, and plays an important part in our politics today. The thought process that Hobbes used was the “state of nature” argument for government. If, all of a sudden, the government of a society was completely removed, and the people had to organize a brand new government completely from scratch, what form would this government take? According to Hobbes, the people, possessing reason, would suddenly realize that they could not trust any other individuals with anything, least of all their lives and security. Following this line of thought, the people would “naturally” choose a tyrannical form of government, one that would exercise complete
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This essay was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course HON 211 taught by Professor Gross during the Fall '06 term at University of Maine Orono .

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John Locke Essay - Robert J England II HON 211 David Gross...

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