The Social Contract Essay

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It is said that man will need an enlightened benevolent leviathan, to lead a country through political and economic turmoil and the people may need to sacrifice their individualism for collectivism, temporarily. This is supported by Thomas Hobbes, who would say we need a Leviathan that men should give up their rights to, so he may act on their behalf. Although this can only be achievable if a social contract is created to establish a civil society. John Locke would agree with this to the extent that it benefits all and meets the general interest of the people. Locke believes that people posses the ability to be reasonable and rational and in fact do not need a leviathan to act for them. We can then derive that, all of man have different opinions, thus creates the social contract under popular sovereignty. The social contract is, essentially, the process in which people in a state form an association, without sacrificing their general will. Hobbes and Locke agreed that man began in a state of nature and developed a social contract that created a government, and that the right to do so originated in natural law. Where they disagreed was over the importance of order vs. liberty. Hobbes thought that the government needed to be very strong, a” Leviathan”, to keep order and prevent people from doing evil things. Hobbes revolved around the idea that man with unlimited freedoms was dangerous and thus the freedom to harm all who threatened our self- preservation. So he thought of a social contract in which each person gains civil rights by subjecting themselves to civil law or to political authority. John Locke's concept of the social contract differs from Hobbes' in several ways, but retains the central notion that persons in a state of nature would willingly come together to form a state. Locke believed that individuals in a state of nature would have stronger moral

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