This is an age old legal dilemma and is what is effectively meant by ‘balancing conflicting interests.’ In the nineteenth century, von Jhering recognised law as a means of ordering society in a situation where there were many competing interests, not all being economic; as he believed utilitarianism views he was concerned with social aims and results over individuals. His view was that legal developments were driven by the constant tussle between individuals and groups within society to have their interests portrayed and supported by the law. As a result the law acts to determine the true balance between different interests by examining the value of each. Roscoe Pound identified 2 categories of interests in the law. Firstly is social interest, such as health and safety and public order, whilst individual interests include privacy and domestic relations.
Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were two social contract theorists, and natural law theorists, whose views on government were very different. Hobbes believed in the power of the ruler, and he believed that society could not function without the power of the state. Hobbes believed in an absolutist government. Hobbes argued that people were driven by two things: the desire for power and the fear of death at someone else’s hands (Sayre, 2012). He believes that it was the role of the government that would keep these instincts in line.
Locke defended the proposition that government rests on popular consent and rebellion is permissible when government subverts the ends for which it is established i.e. the protection of life, liberty, and property. Jean-Jacques Rousseau philosophy was the idea that people give the government the power to rule over them. Locke advocated governmental checks and balances and believed that revolution is not only a right but an obligation in some circumstances. These ideas would come to have profound influence on the Constitution of the United States and its Declaration of Independence.
This clearly reflects Beatty’s beliefs, as captain of the firemen forces, but it also depicts the wide-spread way of thinking in the dystopian society displayed in “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, or in “A Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood, where the needs of the majority are put before the possibility of individual fulfillment. The themes of conformity to society against individualism are displayed in these two novels that push the reader to question himself on how regimes in dystopian societies are sometimes set up only for the sake of the majority, suppressing individual identities. In Fahrenheit 451, in order to maintain the sameness of society, books are burnt, as they are the symbol of knowledge; they also symbolize the suppression of individual or dissenting ideas that can go against the ideas spread by the government through mass media, in order to control the minds (therefore the actions) of the people. Fahrenheit 451 doesn’t provide a single, clear explanation of why books are banned. Instead, it suggests that many different factors combined created this result.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, and David Hume are some of the most famous philosophers on the notion of the social contract and the ideal political society. Their arguments pertaining to the relationship between people and government have strong influences on politics and rights today. While all three philosophers deal with the social contract in some way, Rousseau and Kant argue that a social contract, or the idea of one, is a fundamental basis for society that enables man to enlarge their freedom, while Hume argues that there is no need for a social contract to create a successful political order. Over the course of this paper I will show how Rousseau and Kant use the social contract as a means to allow man to enlarge their freedom, while showing Hume’s disagreements with the social contract and his own ideal state. Finally, I will discuss why Hume’s conception of man as egoist undermines Rousseau’s argument.
‘Liberal democracy’ embodies a whole range of doctrines and devices that actually seek to restrain popular rule and prevent government from flexing direct will of majority. The liberal’ features are reflected in a network of internal and external checks on government. For example, guarantee of civil liberty and healthy civil society. The ‘democratic’ features are that it is a system of regular elections, universal suffrage and political equality. In contrast James Madison saw democracy as a defence against majoritarianism, with checks and balances on government, which would make government responsive to competing minorities and safeguards the propertied-few from the property-less masses.
Individualism Thrown Out the Window In order to maintain a civilized society, it is necessary to work towards the betterment of the group opposed to self-improvement. The idealism of “inalienable rights” and “natural rights” has been drilled into American’s heads since birth. This core belief is due to our Founding Fathers notions and prevalent verse stated within both the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. One must throw personal wants and motivations aside for the just cause of benefitting the masses. Collectivism is an idea that a person’s life belongs not to him or her but to the group of which they are merely a part of, that he or she lacks rights, and that they must sacrifice their values and goals for the group’s “greater good.” Collectivists often focus on the community or society.
 In this condition, individuals' actions are bound only by their personal power and conscience. From this shared starting point social contract theorists seek to demonstrate, in different ways, why a rational individual would voluntarily consent to give up his or her natural freedom to obtain the benefits of political order. Hugo Grotius (1625), Thomas Hobbes (1651), Samuel Pufendorf (1673), John Locke (1689), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762), and Immanuel Kant (1797) are among the most prominent of seventeenth-
'Critically assess Rousseau's distinction between the ‘general will’ and the ‘will of all’ In this short essay I am going to briefly examine Rousseau’s argument and the distinction between the ‘general will’ and the ‘will of all’. I will then look to evaluate and critically assess Rousseau’s argument with particular relation to the aforementioned distinction. Rousseau suggests the State can only be directed towards the common good by the ‘general will’. Moreover, he proposes that only when political authority is consented to by the people does it become legitimate. By ‘general will’ he means the coming together of the people to contribute to the collective good of all.
Nationalism and its advocates’ aggression towards countries that opposed their ideology were root causes of World War I. Liberalism and Communism are political theories that struck a chord with early 20th century society due to their focus on the masses instead of political leaders. Liberalism is defined as a “philosophy that advocates the freedom of all individuals through nonviolent political, social, or economic institutions that will assure development for society in an unrestricted form that guarantees individuals rights as well as civil liberties” (Webster). Communism is discussed in “The Communist Manifesto of 1848” by Karl Marx; some would also describe this theory as Socialism. Communism is a social system that believes that all property belongs to the community at large so that no individual has an advantage over anyone else. These political structures try to form a Utopian society that benefits not only the government, but also the citizens as individuals as well as a community.