February 4, 2013
Q: The social contract between which parties, in locke?
Twp step process move to the state of nature to civil society. The first step involves creating a
community within the state of nature still, and then that community of people that are already living
together, then they set up a state. Who are the parties ? The social contract is first among ourselves,
then there is another contract with the state, we deligate some authority to the government in order to
do some of the things better for us as community becomes more complicated. The difference is that the
purpose of the state is to segregate these dangerous passions. Can’t live in the state of nature becomes
it becomes unconvienent. There is no reason we couldn’t cooperate in the state of nature.
Hobbes- go back to the state of nature, where everyone is for themselves, they will do whatever they
want to get it. I have to assume that any other person will kill, it would be rational to proactively kill the
people around to take resources that I really need in order to gain power.
What is the state of nature like in Locke?
It is a pretty decent place to live, it’s not that bad. In fact it’s not really bad at all, it might even be kind of
nice. People are judges in their own case.
John Locke Part II:
Do you consent anymore to a Lockeian government or a Hobbesian government? Does it really matter
to you whether the government was created by L or H, does it make any difference to you?
This is one of the weakest elements of what locke is saying. At some point we consent to be under this
government, in the decloration of independence political manifesto that takes the lockeian government.
Governments are based on the consent of the government. If the government doesn’t agree anymore
they can abolish the government. The government needs to be limited by law, they can’t go beyond the
contract of what government told them they can do.
In certain caseswhere there is an emergency, the government can go beyond the law to fix the
government. The law is there is revolution.
What difference is there between Lockeian State and Hobbesian State?
You can’t be put out of the state of natural freedom without your consent, people are born free and
natural in the state of nature. YUou can’t subjugate people without their consent. However, the majority
sometimes is going to be a minority that doesn’t agree. The majority is the strongest force in a group
and therefore can determine where the social body moves. The community there has to be certain
decisions made to do things together and you have to follow the majority. Section (96)
The main tie or bond between the people who are in the social contract is the acceptance of majority
rule. He’s trying to make a very very radical argument about how we live together, getting rid of the tie that
binds you to your country is acceptance of procedure that will be given out over a given territory.
Creating a totally different community.
He reinforces, doesn’t back away form the notion of consent. Then says that only consent can provide a
lawful basis for government. Then he spends part of this chapter 8 trying to say that consent can be the
only basis for government.
There is norwhere in history where there is free and open consent. People who are born into the
government don’t co