Tuesday, September 16, 2008

John Locke "Second Treatise"

Locke criticized Hobbes to a great deal, as he put “absolute monarchy, which by some men is counted the only government in the world, is indeed inconsistent with civil society,” and he’s asking “what fence against the violence and oppression of this absolute ruler?” As a saying goes, “to live by one man’s will, became the cause of all men’s misery.”

Locke’s political idea is to set up a civil society, in which people “are united into one body, and have a common established law and judicature to appeal to, with authority to decide controversies between them, and punish offenders.” It sounds like another commonwealth, but completely different from Hobbes, because “no man in civil society can be exempted from the laws of it.” I appreciate this idea very much, as it exemplified the ideal that all humans are born equal.

Locke was trying to drag everyone out of the state of nature, so as to get into the civil society. It’s like you want everyone to join you, and no exception. Using today’s term, everyone is forced to be modernized, to be involved in society. Maybe I read too much from Rousseau, who’s the very first to find modernization problematic, and to encourage people to get back to the state of nature, hence Locke’s ideas lost his attraction to me.

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