This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Explaining The Origins And Evils Of Society In Second Treatise Of Government By Locke And Discourse On The Origin Of Inequality By Rousseau

1262 words - 6 pages

Second Treatise of Government by John Locke and Discourse on the Origin of Inequality by Jean-Jacques Rousseau are books written to try and explain the origin of society. Both try to explain the evils and inequalities of society, and to a certain degree to discuss whether man in his natural state is better than man in society. These political science based theories do not appear, at first, to have anything in common with J. Hector St. John De Crèvecoeur’s Letters from an American Farmer, which are letters written by Crèvecoeur during the settling of America and the beginning of the American Revolution, however with examination we can see reflection of both Locke’s and Rousseau’s ideas about things such as human nature, government, and inequality.
When speaking about the nature of man, Crèvecoeur speaks about the natural man and man in society. He proclaims ‘Evil preponderates in both; in the first they often eat each other for want of food, and in the other they often starve each other for want of room.’ (Crèvecoeur, 608). He does not see one state as better than the other; he believes that they both have their disadvantages. On the other hand Rousseau as well as Locke both believes that man in his natural state was better. For Rousseau all man’s needs are filled in nature (Rousseau, 47), while in society man can take more than he needs which leaves his fellow man lacking. For Locke, even though man entered society in order to enjoy properties in peace and safety (Locke, 69) he believes that living in society has caused greediness as well as governments governing without the consent of their people. So while the authors disagree about what it was like in the state of nature, with only Locke really insisting that things were better in nature, Crèvecoeur’s opinion on what it is like in society is pretty reminiscent of Locke and Rousseau.
Something that deeply upsets Crèvecoeur is the idea of slavery and the treatment of slavery as it is at that time in America, specifically what he sees occurring in Charles-town. He is even more disturbed by the attitudes of the American people towards slavery, he says that ‘The chosen race eat, drink, and live happy, while the unfortunate one grubs up the ground, raises indigo, or husks the rice; exposed to a sun full as scorching as their native one; without the support of good food, without the cordials of any cheering liquor.’ (Crèvecoeur, 607). There is this long explanation as well about how wealthy everyone is in Charles-town, with the undertone that that town people are greedy especially when they can happily consume whatever they wish and yet their slaves are starving and not thanked for their work. Lock specifically speaks about how money, as well as the idea of property, causes greed and hoarding. He says ‘And as different degrees of industry were apt to give men possessions in different proportions, so this invention of money gave them the opportunity to continue and enlarge them….what...

Find Another Essay On Explaining the Origins and Evils of Society in Second Treatise of Government by Locke and Discourse on the Origin of Inequality by Rousseau

Property in Second Treatise of Civil Government and Robinson Crusoe

2557 words - 10 pages without his own consent" (Larkin 58). According to Paschal Larkin, the principle of Locke's Second Treatise of Government was to "discuss the origin, foundation, and limits of civil authority; his treatment of property was merely incidental" (Larkin 59). But even though the topic came up incidentally, Locke had much to say about it. He dedicated an entire chapter in his Treatise to discussing property and its importance in the laws of nature and

Revenge and Justice in the Iliad and Second Treatise of Government

1269 words - 6 pages same solution as Locke for vengeance, governance, represented in imagery contrasted with the image of war on the same shield. Unlike Locke, Homer does not specify that the government need be chosen by the people; his emphasis is on the gods, but it is well known that the Greeks typically believed in democracy. Although both the Iliad and Second Treatise make it clear that revenge is (putting it simply) a bad thing, they both offer exceptions to

The Significance of Reason, discussed in John Locke's "The Second Treatise of Civil Government", and in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's, "Emile"

1353 words - 5 pages The significance of reason is discussed both in John Locke's, The Second Treatise of Civil Government, and in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's, Emile. However, the definitions that both authors give to the word "reason" vary significantly. I will now attempt to compare the different meanings that each man considered to be the accurate definition of reason.John Locke believed that the state "all men are naturally in ... is a state of perfect freedom" (122

Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan and John Locke's Second Treatise of Government

2995 words - 12 pages Hobbes' Leviathan and Locke's Second Treatise of Government Hobbes’ Leviathan and Locke’s Second Treatise of Government comprise critical works in the lexicon of political science theory. Both works expound on the origins and purpose of civil society and government. Hobbes’ and Locke’s writings center on the definition of the “state of nature” and the best means by which a society develops a systemic format from this beginning. The authors

Second Treatise of Goverment: Equality in Nature Versus Inequality of Wealth

1222 words - 5 pages In the beginning of the Second Treatise of Government, John Locke showed his protest against Filmer's theory about the omnipotent power of government over human beings. He assured that political power must derive from the divine state of human beings. That is the State of Nature which includes the state of perfect freedom and the state of perfect equality. In other words, he argued that all men are by nature created equal; however, John Locke

Comparing Locke´s Natural Law with Rousseau´s Discourse on Inequality

2831 words - 11 pages . Rousseau believes that man, in his “natural state,” lives in isolation and is allowed to be free to explore the wants and needs that he has as an individual. When individuals congregate into a society, however, this is where the strong are able to prey on the weak, the rich on the poor, etc. Rousseau’s idea of the origin of society directly links the creation of civilization with oppression and power inequality: “The first man who, having

Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Locke: Their Relevance for American Society

2166 words - 9 pages In Second Treatise on Government and The Social Contract, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau each present and describe their own perceptions of what allows for equality, freedom and democracy. Of the many major ideas developed throughout these texts, the two main distinctions between the two philosophers are natural freedom versus civil freedom and individualism versus collectivism. John Locke, who provided the framework that would allow for

Social contract in the view of Rousseau and Locke

1416 words - 6 pages is "scarcely worth anything." He also notes that, "nature and the earth furnished only the almost worthless materials as in themselves." It is labor, and thus the laborer "that puts the difference of value on everything."In his Second Treatise on Civil Government (1689), which has come to be thought of as his greatest contribution in the realm of political theory, John Locke specifically centers his view on a rather narrowly defined aspect of

The Natural Ways of Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau

1382 words - 6 pages proprietor of the whole universe. (Rousseau 1964 [1762]:129). Each of the philosophers creates this popular notion of “human nature”, even though they craft their arguments in differing ways. John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau picture life of the natural man in a way that connects how nature has shaped into their present societies’ shortcomings. Works Cited Hobbes, Thomas. 1651. Leviathan. Oregon State University. 1-20. Web. Locke, John. 1690. The Second Treatise of Civil Government. Oregon State University. 1-19. Web. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1964. The First and Second Discourses. Masters, Roger D., Judith R. Masters. New York: St. Martin’s.

Rousseau and the "Government of Poland"

903 words - 4 pages Throughout Poland during the late eighteenth century, many disputes over land and politics were occurring. During the years of 1771 until 1792, Poland had been partitioned three times. By 1792, Poland didn't even exist due to a poor army and no governmental structure. Finally, Poland was split up between Russia, Poland, and Austria. Rousseau sees the Poles at this time as rather selfish people. Rousseau has many thoughts on how Poland could be

Rousseau and the chains of society

849 words - 3 pages , as society progressed, the right to have a home became more complex. Men now wanted a right to enjoy private property, which Rousseau believed was the evil of all evils. Out of this new right, greed and the desire to further one's own interests triggered political conflicts that infringed upon men's rights to life and liberty. Every war in history has sprung forth from this "dog eat dog" principle. The US, the biggest dog of all, starts wars to

Similar Essays

Comparison Of Leviathan, By Thomas Hobbes, And The Discourse On The Origin And Foundations Of Inequality Among Mankind, By Jean Jacques Rousseau

1289 words - 5 pages and contrast the human nature and individualism mentioned in Leviathan, by Thomas Hobbes, and the Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Mankind, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.In Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes presents the reader with an overall pessimistic view of human nature, void of human emotions and based on reason. Hobbes begins his critique of human nature by creating what he refers to as 'state of nature'. Thomas Hobbes and

John Locke In Leviathan And Second Treatise Of Government

1545 words - 7 pages When initially looking at the arguments of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke in Leviathan and Second Treatise of Government, they seem to agree on many things. Both philosophers believe that human reasoning is based on appetites and aversions, that humans have a fundamental right to self-preservation, and, above all, that a strong central government is the way to remedy the problems with the state of nature. However, after looking closely, many

John Locke: Second Treatise Of Civil Government

903 words - 4 pages Civil Government and Locke The Second Treatise of Government provides Locke's theorizes the individual rights and involvement with the government; he categorizes them in two areas -- natural rights theory and social contract. 1.Natural state; rights which human beings are to have before government comes into being. 2.Social contact; when conditions in natural state are unsatisfactory, and there's need to develop society into functioning of

Conflicting Visions Of Freedom In John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty And John Locke’s The Second Treatise Of Government

1525 words - 7 pages John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty and John Locke’s The Second Treatise of Government are influential literary works while which outlining the theoretical framework of each thinkers optimal state propose two conflicting visions of the very essence of man and his freedom. Locke and Mill have completely different views when it comes to how much freedom man should have in political society because they have obtained different views about man’s potential