It Compares Hobbes, Locke And Rousseau In Regards To Social Contract, The State Of Nature And Each Of Their Ideal Governments.

1843 words - 7 pages

HOBBES, LOCKE AND ROUSSEAUTHE STATE OF NATUREHobbes invites us to take place in a thought experiment where equals and nonequals are placed together in a state of nature without the existence of a state power placed over them. Hobbes believes that the people will soon lapse into a state of war where each person is threatened with violent attack. He says the conflict is caused by three basic factors, which are, competition, diffidence and glory. Competition consists in the fact that in the state of nature, if there is some resource which a person wants there are no restraints on getting it other than the physical and mental powers of other people. Glory, consists in the concern that each person has to have value for others. But arguably, more important than either of these, is diffidence. This is essentially the suspicion that another may be about to attack you, a suspicion that makes it rational for you to get in the first blow.Locke's view of the state of nature is that man has the right to "as much as any one can make use of to any advantage of life before it spoils, so much he may by his labour fix a property in: whatever is beyond this, is more than his share, and belongs to others. Nothing was made by God for man to spoil or destroy." "Man obtained property through his labour and the availability that there was good and enough for others and that he would not appropriate more than he can use." Locke's argument is good so far, but greedy.Locke argues that man would use the good of his labour to exchange with others and appropriate different goods. No man was allowed to appropriate more than he could trade or use. Some goods were worth more than others; for example, maybe one year there is a shortage of corn but a lot of animal protein, obviously the corn has more value and the person who grew the corn therefore more wealth. Locke claims that eventually, man agreed to allow a certain metal or jewel common to all, that was not perishable, serve as money to appropriate goods, Locke states "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."Locke's argument would be valid if there was good and enough for others to labor upon and gain wealth, but since there is not because of unequal property, he has merely set up a system in which the government could be overthrown, but wealth maintained in the same hands. If no man should appropriate more than he can use and beyond this share is for others, what right does man have to massive property when others are starving and have none?Rousseau contends that man is essentially good, a "noble savage" when in the state of nature, and that good people are made unhappy and corrupted by their experiences in society. He viewed society as fake and "corrupt" and that the furthering of society results in the continuing unhappiness of man.Rousseau disagreed with Locke's view on the state of...

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