Political Though paper 2

Political Though paper 2 - From the social contract...

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From the social contract theories of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, Locke’s version is the most defensible because it offers the strongest logic for leaving the State of Nature and provides the most practical form of government. According to Hobbes, people left the State of Nature to ensure a common defense, and fear of the sovereign was the single governance enforcing the social contract. According to Rousseau, the increase of interdependence in society caused the departure from the State of Nature since it became corrupted with vanity and inequality. A direct sovereignty was thus formed to prevent subordination, but there was only self-governance to enforce the law. With Locke, man did not leave the State of Nature because of fear or to balance competition, but instead to form a commonwealth that could preserve natural rights. He formed a sovereignty determined by the people but governed by a common judge, providing a balance necessary for the society to succeed. By detailing these theoretical contrasts, I will illustrate the more effective logic behind Locke’s departure from the State of Nature, and then demonstrate the more evident practicality of Locke’s form of government. Hobbes argues that the State of Nature is marked by individual quarrel and lacks the necessary protection of authority. He explains that in this state, men use violence first to conquer other men and their families, and then to protect these acquisitions. Because of this, “it is manifest that during the time when men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war, and such a war as is of every man against every man” (Hobbes, 76). Thus, a sovereign is necessary to control brutality in the State of Nature. He illustrates this need for a protective social contract by stating, “the passions that incline men to peace are fear of death, desire of such things as
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are necessary to commodious living, and a hope by their industry to obtain them” (Hobbes, 78). In Hobbes theory, the absence of an effectively protective society drives people from the state of nature and into a social contract. Contrary to the State of Nature’s individuality and inherent exposure theorized by
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This test prep was uploaded on 03/18/2009 for the course PSCI 2004 taught by Professor Vanderheiden during the Fall '08 term at Colorado.

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Political Though paper 2 - From the social contract...

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