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SCS 1160 Lecture Notes - Democracy Promotion

Social Sciences
Course Code
SCS 1160
Jordan Stancil

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January 30, 2013
John Locke
An opponent of hobbes, royal vs. parliamental controversy
His view- Took the side of parliamentary forces that the consent of the subjects to the king’s rule was
essential. The government didn’t rule because we needed to submit to each, it was set up so we can do
things for us. Desire to limit royal authority was right.
English history develops on Lockes term, state of nature isn’t such a bad place. Government protects our
property, becomes the rule of many countries.
Argues for limits on royal authority, writing against Robert Filmersomeone.
Hierarchy, authority by fathers and families, kings, churches the order of things before.
Locke is trying to argue that there is another basis of monarchy and patriarchy. The state of nature is
different than that of hobbes.
Starts out that reason is the base of equality, united and equal, equally capable of using reason to solve
problems. Reason is the rule between man and man, we’re able to talk about it naturally. That reason
can dictate to a man as conscious does, innate characteristic inside that help us make judgements
between right and wrong. The age, development, is irrelevant in human relationships.
The state of nature- we live in perfect freedom, equal to each other, capable of rational behaviour, and
are able to understand and cooperate with each other. Consequently everybody governs. Everyone has
political power.
The governments legit power will rest on the natural right of executive power that everybody has in the
state of nature. When we leave the state of nature we will grant this power we naturally possess to the
government. (Us and the State)
The right of governing and the power to govern is a fundamental, individual, natural right that we all
possess. The right to preserve oneself and preserve mankind. The state of nature is not a war of all
against all, the condition in which the executive power of which the law of nature lands exclusively in
the hand of individuals. The place where we all retain power as individuals.
The problem in the state of nature is that sometimes we might not be totally objective about right and
wrong when we ourselves are one of the against the case. There might be some question about our
objectivity. We will sometimes find that we don’t always have the way to make an intuitive decision.
Everyman is a judge in his own case, this is a bit problematic. Difficult to leave political power in the
hands of individuals. When things get complicated we would need assistance.
Political power- the right of making laws with penalities of death, the right to punish. For the purpose of
protecting property for the public good. Ability to use force to protect the community.
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