Hobbes and Locke

The world order is the arranged international governance that affects people’s lives. Some individuals mandated to assist on organizing the governance of a state and others do it on a voluntary basis. Also, there are people who engage in politics out of their personal interest. It does not matter what motivates these contributors, we appreciate that their ideas might have long-term implications and some may, in future, become very effective. In the discussion that follows, we are interested in Hobbes and Locks’ possible reaction to the French revolutions if they were able to give their views. We shall often cite their works, Of the Rights of Sovereign by Institutions (Hobbes 1889) and Of the Dissolution of Government (Locke 1821).

Both Hobbes (1889) and Locke (1821) try to express their ideas about good governance that is enshrined in the rule of law, the rule of the majority and democracy in general. Hobbes proposes democratically governed commonwealth where people take part in its organization by voting for or against. But being under the obligation of whoever rules because the outcome reflects what people most want. According to Hobbes (1989), “every one, as well he that voted for it as he that voted against it, shall authorize all the actions and judgments of that man” (p. 120). Locke (1812) takes the same direction when he states that, “with any clearness, speak of the dissolution of government, ought in the first place to distinguish between the dissolution of the society and the dissolution of the government” (p. 211). What is implied here is that we cannot have a government that is isolated from the people it is governing. Taking into account these two views, I do not see any reason for these the two ideologists to support Monarchy system which does not allow to discuss questions.

Both ideologists support the fact that the legislature is responsible for protection of its own people since they constitute the state. Locke (1821) states that, “it is in their legislative that the members of a commonwealth are united and combined together into one coherent living body” (p. 212). It is clear from this citation that the legislature and the civil society are two inseparable entities, one solely depends on one another. He points out that when one breaks from the other, peace ceases to exist which leads to an internal turbulence such as war. The abovementioned situation partly contributed to the French revolution because leaders had too much autonomy which enabled them to judge and make decisions without people’s needs in mind. The French had a very inhumane ruling system which contravenes Locke’s suggestions and therefore could not receive his support if he could give his opinion on it.

According to Hobbes’ ideas, the French revolution could be deemed as one of the most justifiable actions that could lead to liberation of mankind from social injustice. He suggested the idea for gradual development of a commonwealth. That means people first agree to have the commonwealth and only then, by voting, they choose someone who deserves to take power and take care of others by taking wise decisions. The French revolution showed what might happen when leaders betray the nation. In my view, Hobbes could have justified the use of force to oust bad and elect effective leaders. Most of the world revolutions, such as those that took place in Egypt and Libya, are partly caused by leaders.



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