Fear and the Social Contract: Thomas Hobbes was exposed up close to the terror of the bloody English Civil Wars
Throughout his work entitled Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes argues that the right to self-preservation takes precedence above individual liberties.
In the state of nature, man is given the right to do whatever he deems necessary to preserve his own life. Man can therefore commit injury to another man or his property if he thinks it is best to maintain his own life.
This state of nature, being naturally quarrelsome, leads to distrust and competition, and encourages dangerous acts and widespread fear. There are no limits on the injuries or vengeance that can occur within this state and as a result, citizens find themselves in need of protection from the violence of others.
The Hobbesian covenant thus creates government, by placing all power in the hands of a sovereign, to quell their fears and provide for their protection, thus establishing a state of peace.
This means that in order to protect himself, and finding others that desire their own protection above other things, man will give up all of his rights to a sovereign rule. Hobbes argues that failure to relinquish all rights to one ruler will place the covenant back into a state of nature.
The sovereign, having been given all rights of the covenant has absolute power and can dictate all laws and grant or withhold all freedoms. He is not to abide by any laws himself, if so he becomes subject to the commonwealth that he rules, therefore forfeiting his absolute power.
The covenant however, is not obligated to obey the sovereign in the event that his rule threatens their right to self- preservation. If it happens that the sovereign is in any way interfering with the right to self-preservation, a value held above all obligations and liberties of the commonwealth, members of the covenant may defy his commands and thrust themselves back into a state of war.
This however, does not dissolve the commonwealth; it only removes an individual from the commonwealth. Whereas Thomas Hobbes believes that an absolute sovereign government is the only form of legitimacy, Emma Goldman differs by claiming that no government is legitimate because they take away freedoms.
Goldman puts forth the theory that individuals, given absolute freedom, have the ability to govern themselves and coexist peacefully in social harmony supplied by the solidarity of interests. The threat of violence and fear stem from the coercive actions used by any and all ruling governments.
Since anarchism claims that violence by government harms citizens, governments cannot provide protection for citizens. Because of her insistence that governments, being coercive and harmful, are never legitimate, Goldman fails to even consider the origins of government and the limits of their powers such as Hobbes and Locke have.
The subordination of the people by government, degrading the population to mundane obedience, creates an environment that is colorless and spiritless.
Instead of adhering to the control of corrupt institutions, Goldman urges individuals to break the coercive hold of governments, defy all authority and pursue the freedoms they would acquire within a state social harmony exempt from authoritative rule.
This means that all legislative and executive bodies of governing are bound by the own laws which they make, so as not to become corrupt, tyrannical and illegitimate. The primary values Locke gives of life, liberty and property, claim that governments have a duty to not only protect the life of an individual, but protect their property and provide them with liberties as well.
Nevertheless, Locke does not go so far as to guarantee the absolute freedom that Goldman presents. He predicts that complete freedoms will lead society on a dangerous path and that laws are put in place to police self-interests and prevent man from causing harm to one another.
Locke also refutes the Hobbesian notion that only the sovereign has the power to dictate which liberties to provide and which to withhold. He asserts that individuals must be given fundamental rights which no authority has the power take away.
Governments cannot allocate this property otherwise and it must be entrusted to its rightful owner.Similarly, the rights of nature, the laws of nature, the social covenant, and Hobbes's scientific claims are all reduced to ideological maneuvers.
The Hobbes that emerges from this vehemently overzealous book is merely a long-winded Anglican apologist who cannot be taken at his word, a constructor of "figurative puzzles" (25) requiring.
THE SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY: HOBBES V. ROUSSEAU AN ANALYSIS The term social contract describes a broad class of philosophical theories whose subject is the implied agreements by which people form nations and maintain a social order.
Hobbes’s theory has far more in common with fascism, than it does with Locke’s theory.
To say that they were both social contract theorists is like saying that Adam Smith believed in the labor theory of value and Karl Marx believed in the labor theory of value, therefor Smith was . Accordingly, it has been argued that social contract theory is more consistent with the contract law of the time of Hobbes and Locke than with the contract law of our time, and that certain features in the social contract which seem anomalous to us, such as the belief that we are bound by a contract formulated by our distant ancestors, would.
Hobbes as a Social Covenant Theorist Essay - Hobbes as a Social Covenant Theorist Throughout the assigned portions of the Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes proves to be a "social contract" theorist, however inconsistently.
Hobbes as a Sociable Covenant Theorist Through the entire designated portions of the Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes proves to become a "social contract" theorist, inconsistently however.