Hobbes Locke Federalist vs. Anti Essay

Pages: 2 (861 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Black Studies - Philosophy

Hobbes/Locke & Federalism

One of the main things that Thomas Hobbes and John Locke seemed to agree upon was the notion that all men are created equal. However, Hobbes sees mankind as inherently evil, needing the control of a strong government, whereas Locke views the blank slate of human beings as positive and empowering. Certainly, the idea of equality has become one of the best known phrases in American history, used, of course, by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence as the antithesis of the rule du jour, or the divine rights of Kings. The issue becomes, not just for the framers of the Constitution, but for any reader of Locke and Hobbes, how to determine the actual individual to whom the philosophy applies.

For example, contemporary readers, having gone through the 1960s and 1970s era of Feminism, read the phrase more as "all humans are created equal." We do not necessarily distinguish race, nationality, or gender when viewing the rights of humanity. During the 17th and 18th centuries, however, the term "men" implied white men of property. The conception was to take the ideas of the Enlightenment, so new at the time, and establish a new way of looking at society and government. Once the definition fulfills its logical course, that is to encompass human beings, then the notion of egalitarianism is complete, not, to paraphrase George Orwell, "All Animals Are Equal, some are just more equal than others."Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Essay on Hobbes Locke Federalist vs. Anti-Federalist Assignment

For Thomas Hobbes, the government must exist to provide a control over the individual. For Locke, the role is to preserve natural law -- one pessimistic regarding human nature, one optimistic regarding human potential. The very heart of their argument is based on the way they interpret mankind's characteristic. Hobbes found the life of man to be "nasty, brutish, and short," and that humans find it difficult to "believe there be many so wise as themselves." Locke thinks humans are innately governed by reason. Humans are rational, capable, and cognizant individuals that have the capacity to coexist peacefully. However, we must also look at society during this timeframe: Hobbes was speaking more about the manner in which the majority of the population lived in 16th and 17th century Europe. Life was quite different during this time for 90% of the populace; there was a small merchant/middle class, an even smaller aristocratic class, and a large peasant and poor class.

Hobbes looked around, and saw a sewer of urban life; poor people struggling, disease, trash, pestilence and believed that without control mankind was nothing more than animalistic. Locke thought otherwise,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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