Differences Between The Social Contract Theory Of John Locke And Thomas Hobbes

2347 words - 9 pages

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What is Social Contract Theory?
The concept of social contract theory is that in the beginning man lived in the state of
nature. They had no government and there was no law to regulate them. There were
hardships and oppression on the sections of the society. To overcome from these
hardships they entered into two agreements which are:-
1. DzPactum Unionisdz; and 2. DzPactum Subjectionisdz. By the first pact of unionis, people sought protection of their lives and property. As,
a result of it a society was formed where people undertook to respect each other and
live in peace and harmony. By the second pact of subjectionis, people united together
and pledged to obey an authority and surrendered the whole or part of their freedom
and rights to an authority. The authority guaranteed everyone protection of life,
property and to a certain extent liberty. Thus, they must agree to establish society by
collectively and reciprocally renouncing the rights they had against one another in the State
of Nature and they must imbue some one person or assembly of persons with the authority
and power to enforce the initial contract. In other words, to ensure their escape from the
State of Nature, they must both agree to live together under common laws, and create
an enforcement mechanism for the social contract and the laws that constitute it. Thus, the
authority or the government or the sovereign or the state came into being because of
the two agreements.
Analysis of the theory of Social Contract by Thomas Hobbes
 Thomas Hobbes theory of Social Contract appeared for the first time in Leviathan published in the year 1651 during the Civil War in Britain. Thomas Hobbesǯ legal theory is based on DzSocial contractdz. According to him, prior to Social Contract, man lived in the State of Nature. Manǯs life in the State of NATURE was one of fear and selfishness. Man lived in chaotic condition of constant fear. Life in the State of Nature was Ǯsolitaryǯ, Ǯpoorǯ, Ǯnastyǯ, Ǯbrutishǯ, and Ǯshortǯ.  Man has a natural desire for security and order. In order to secure self-
protection and self-preservation, and to avoid misery and pain, man entered

Page 2 of 7
into a contract. This idea of self-preservation and self-protection are inherent in manǯs nature and in order to achieve this, they voluntarily surrendered all their rights and freedoms to some authority by this contract who must command
obedience. As a result of this contract, the mightiest authority is to protect and
preserve their lives and property. This led to the emergence of the institution of the Dzrulerdz or Dzmonarchdz, who shall be the absolute head. Subjects had no rights against the absolute authority or the sovereign and he is to be obeyed in all
situations however bad or unworthy he might be. However, Hobbes placed moral
obligations on the sovereign who shall be bound by...

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