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Hobbes and Locke Why do we need Government?

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Presentation on theme: "Hobbes and Locke Why do we need Government?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Hobbes and Locke Why do we need Government?

2 The war of ALL against ALL
Thomas Hobbes The war of ALL against ALL ~Hobbes – 16th Century English Philosopher -What was life like without government? Earliest history, humans lived in unbridled freedom in which no government existed and no person was subject to any superior power What people could take by force …belonged to them No authority to protect one person from the aggressive actions of another

3 WHAT would bring us out of the wilderness?
Without Government – would be “continual fear and danger of violent death and life would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Wilderness (State of Nature) – Brute, savage, SELFISH WHAT would bring us out of the wilderness?

4 Real examples of Hobbes’ State of Nature?
After the disaster of Hurricane Katrina Numerous reports of people looting stores and pillaging for food after the hurricane had struck (mass confusion and chaos) Even a few cops… People in these instances were not looking out for others or forming alliances. They were intent on finding food, shelter, and anything else necessary for their survival

5 John Locke (16th century Philosopher)
Discussed a place where people had no government Also called it “state of nature” ? Question is : In this state, would people’s NATURAL rights be taken away?

Natural Rights : Everyone has a right to: LIFE – people want to live and will fight to survive LIBERTY – people want to be as free as possible to make their own decisions PROPERTY – people want to own things that help them survive (land, food, tools) ALL PERSONS HAVE THESE RIGHTS JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE HUMAN BEINGS (BORN with them) ? ? ? ?

7 In Locke’s “State of Nature”…
No rules, no one in charge, no way for people to have their natural rights protected Locke believed - Everyone is entitled to protect their life and liberty by any means necessary Ex: If someone tried to kill you, you had the right to do whatever it took to prevent that from happening (Natural Right of Life)

8 Example: Using Hobbes’ and Locke’s philosophy…In State of Nature
Ms. Kalhoon has cut down a tree and worked all day to cut it up in order to make a house for herself

9 Mr. Franklin comes along and makes her give up all of the wood under the threat of physical violence.

10 The Question is…? Who should get the wood? Think Hobbes’ and Locke…

11 The war of ALL against ALL
Hobbes would answer Whoever wins out (strongest) The war of ALL against ALL

12 Locke would answer: Since Mrs. Kalhoon worked on that natural resource, she added some value to it and it became her property. If Mr. Franklin just took the wood, it would make Mrs. Kalhoon his slave and that is a violation of her right to liberty. So, in a State of Nature, Mrs. Kalhoon has the right to FIGHT FOR HER CHOPPED WOOD.

13 Locke’s view of the disadvantages in a State of Nature
Stronger people might try to take away other people’s lives, liberty, or property Weaker people might band together and take away the rights of the stronger people People would be unprotected and insecure

14 Both Hobbes and Locke said that Humans overcame their unpleasant conditions by agreeing with one another to create a state (Civil Society) By SOCIAL CONTRACT – people within a given area agreed to give up (voluntarily) to the state as much power as was needed to promote the safety and well-being of all

15 Argued that people were naturally wicked and could not be trusted to govern (to make decisions on their own). So, people must agree to living together under common laws and create an ENFORCEMENT MECHANISM Therefore, Hobbes believed that an absolute monarchy - a government that gave all power to a king or queen - was best. Hobbes

16 The best government (state) was one that had the great power of a leviathan (or sea monster) and the sovereign (King) was powerful enough to be beyond challenge Hobbes felt a country needed an authority figure to provide direction and leadership.

17 Where is the Social Contract if the sovereign would have the right to make any laws he saw fit?
~Hobbes: The only responsibility of the sovereign was to defend the state and keep the peace. There was no direct contract between the sovereign and those who appointed him. **The only contract was the agreement between the people to appoint somebody they would obey.

18 Hobbes was not in favor of democracy def: supreme authority rests with the people
Isn’t the King a human man, who according to Hobbes, has selfish-interests…what’s going to stop him from carrying out his own selfish agenda? Allowing citizens to vote for government leaders would never work. Why? - People only interested in promoting their own self-interests Founding Fathers Created Electoral College (afraid of Mob Rule) If Hobbes supported having a strong, absolute monarch and believed that people would only promote their own self-interests…what can we question about this…?

19 “voice of the people” Hobbes proposed that… the king
Hobbes came up with the phrase which meant that one person could be chosen to represent a group with similar views. Hobbes proposed that… A diverse group of representatives presenting the problems of the common person would, hopefully, prevent a king from being cruel and unfair. an individual could be heard in government by authorizing a representative to speak on their behalf. Ever heard the phrase… “voice of the people” However, this "voice" was merely heard and not necessarily listened to - final decisions lay with... the king

20 In other words…The people should CONSENT to follow some laws in exchange for protection that these laws would give them Create a government to rule them and protect their natural rights

21 Best form of Government
John Locke, in his Two Treatises of Government, begins with the opposite opinion regarding man’s natural state, and concludes that the ideal form of government is democracy. Let’s take a look at a selection from his essay

22 Locke WAS in favor of democracy
According to Locke, the individual was naturally free and only became a political subject out of free choice. From its very definition, democracy is government by consent. Therefore, it is evident that Locke’s belief in the government by consent forms bedrock for the belief in democracy



25 Meaning…Since governments exist by the consent of the people in order to protect the rights of the people and promote the public good, governments that fail to do so can be resisted and replaced with new governments.

26 Ex: King Charles I was accused of treason against England by using his power to pursue his personal interest rather than the good of the country. He was beheaded in January 1649.

27 Ex: Declaration of Independence justified its revolution through the Social Contract Theory (Locke) arguing King George III and his ministers had violated the contract

28 Locke wrote Second Treatise one year after the Glorious Revolution of  Justifies the revolution Blood-less coup which led to the overthrow of King James II in 1688 and the establishment of William and Mary as monarchs Abolished absolutism and established a constitutional monarchy in England in which parliament had basic sovereignty over the king. The Glorious Revolution led to the 1689 English Bill of Rights (later) NO!

29 King James II became directly involved in the political battles in England between Catholicism and Protestantism, and between the Divine Right of Kings and the political rights of the Parliament of England. James also created a large standing army and employed Catholics in positions of power within it. To his opponents in Parliament this seemed like a prelude to arbitrary rule, so James prorogued Parliament without gaining Parliament's consent

30 An 'Absolute Monarchy' meant the king had the power to do do anything without any constraint by law or parliament A 'Constitutional Monarchy' meant the king acted as a figurehead whose power was limited by parliament Locke believed, contrary to claims that God had “made all people naturally subject to a monarch”, that people are “by nature free

31 The Glorious Revolution led to a spate of short-lived rebellions in the colonies which can be seen as precursors to the American Revolution.

32 *rebellion was not justifiable
*destructive and disastrous (state of nature) *it is better to keep the devil you know, rather than trade him for the devil you don’t know ~Hobbes

33 Basic Comparison

34 Examine an example of Social Contract: Mayflower Compact

35 Homework – What does Compact mean? Highlight (a – c)

36 Background On September 6, 1620, the Mayflower departed from England with 102 passengers. Virginia Company got charter (Def: written grant of authority to make laws “for the good and welfare” of the colony) to establish a colony (fishing) The Pilgrims had obtained permission from English authorities to settle in Virginia, whose northern border at the time extended up to what is now New York After a 65-day ocean journey, the Pilgrims sighted Cape Cod (Provincetown) on November 19, 1620. Who were these “Pilgrims”? Poor or middle class landless individuals Contract to Work 7 years  GET LAND

37 Problem  Not the originally contracted land
Intended to settle near the mouth of the Hudson River BUT  dangerous shoals and a near shipwreck on their attempt to head south, they decided instead to plant themselves outside the bounds of the Virginia Company patent Many mutinous speeches … boasted that "they came ashore, they would use their own liberty, for none had the power to command them, the patent they had being for Virginia and not New England, which belonged to another Government, with which the Virginia Company had nothing to do". What stopped them? FAILURE! 1580s ROANOKE (Lost Colony) 1570s Spanish Colony of AJACAN (Chesapeake Bay)

38 ALL 41 (adult males) of the ship's 101 passengers
What does Compact mean? Signed by ALL 41 (adult males) of the ship's 101 passengers What did they agree to? The Mayflower Compact was an attempt to establish a temporary, legally-binding form of self-government until such time as the Company could get formal permission from the Council of New England. Social-Contract!

39 Supplement for Intro Notes Lecture 1 Hobbes Locke
Locke What is a Social Contract and Why Do We Need to Form A Civil Society? Leviathan meaning  Best Government? Where is the Social Contract?  Democracy – Feelings? Problems with “best government?” How to keep “problem” in check?  They must be punished with accordance on the existing laws of the civil society What if PEOPLE violate the Contact? What if the RULER violates the Contact?

40 Reminder… Preamble Homework for tomorrow
- identify the purposes of government

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