Locke Vs. Rousseau Essay

736 words - 3 pages

The Rule of Law has always been a widely discussed topic throughout the history of modern political thinking. It can be defined as, “the principle that all people and institutions are subject to and accountable to law that is fairly applied and enforced; the principle of government by law” (Dictionary.com). English philosopher John Locke and Genevan philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau have both developed well-rounded and detailed accounts on the Rule of Law and its crucial role in ensuring democracy and freedom in society. Despite the undeniable success and importance of their works and ideas, I believe ________ constructed a more persuasive and influential argument in explaining the extensive ...view middle of the document...

The Social Contract is the impetus that would drive people away from the State of War and into a civil society. However, the government Locke foresees would not be an absolute power, but rather a neutral agent that would serve to protect the natural rights of the people, including Locke’s famous three, “life, liberty, and property” (CITE). When an individual binds to the social contract and joins a community, he is giving consent to be governed. “The only way, whereby any one divests himself of his natural liberty, and puts on the bonds of civil society is by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community, for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable living” (Locke in Cahn 475). The government however, would not be one of total control. Locke was a firm believer in separation of powers and maintaining individual sovereignty for all. Locke’s rule of law is based not off of an absolute authority, but rather government whose powers are absorbed only through the delegations and direction of the citizens. The government Locke envisions functions off of reasoning and law. Its primary purpose is to protect the natural rights and...

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