I love John Locke’s ideas, especially that of the social contract; even though his initiatives are too ideal/perfect sometimes, I still feel that it would be very advantageous if today’s nations of the world follow his lead. This paper intends to look into John Locke’s thoughts, specifically, his version of the Social Contract. In addition to that, it also aims to provide reactions to his brilliant statements.
Locke’s Version of the Social Contract The most significant thoughts of John Locke include the following: First of all, he says that men by nature are liberated, equal, self-governing, that they acquired the faculty of rationale, and have the right to safeguard their possessions which consists of the following: existence, independence and land properties (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143).
Liberty, freedom, and material things is naturally what man wants and needs as well and so it is extremely important that these be saved and preserved as much as one could, rather the government could…and really should (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143). Second, he reiterates that the state of nature is a state of ideal/faultless sovereignty/autonomy, equal opportunity, level-headedness/judiciousness, as well as, liberation, but not an authorization/warrant (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143).
In relation to this, he states that, however, the nonexistence of a common moderator to settle on on situations concerning infringements of commandments/regulations results in a sense of lack of self-confidence and unsteadiness among the populace and because of that, there is a predilection to shift from the state of nature to a state of war which is a condition of mischievousness, aggression, and antagonism (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143). Indeed, the shortcomings of the state of nature!
Without the consent of the people, which we all know is exceedingly important to John Locke, then the state of nature automatically turns into a state of war (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143). Third, according to him, that being the case “men enter into the social contract” to stay away from the difficulties/troubles of the state of nature; they prefer/pick a government and hand over/entrust their civil liberties/constitutional rights to it (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143).
Here, the government thus serves as the concierge, custodian or trustee and acts as the spokesperson of the populace, wherein its most important undertaking is to make certain the safeguarding and conservation of the people’s properties (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143). And then, the general public in turn are indebted to tag along the commandments put forward by the government (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143). It’s a good thing though that unconditional compliance or conformity is not compulsory (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143).
I really love this idea of John Locke and I wish it becomes true to our nation today; here, he makes clear that the main responsibility of the government is to guarantee that the properties of men are safeguarded and conserved (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143). Simply put, the government should only be there to uphold the people’s interests and not its own (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143). Last but not least, since the government is basically the trustee, the people who are the trustor and recipient of the trust or contract have the justifiable right to refuse to go along with a authoritarian or repressive government (Locke, 1980, pp. – 143). Here, the populace can withdraw their constitutional rights/privileges and reassign this to a new one – “a government that they feel is fitter to serve their interests” (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143). When the people implement their civil rights, they are not fighting against the government, but it is actually a reasonable, and even a lawful reaction to the government that has “rebelled against the people by not performing their responsibilities towards the citizens” (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143).
This is a very good idea of John Locke; it only shows that he is extremely aware that certain abuses may result if the government is given the absolute power to rule (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143). He was absolutely right in putting restrictions on the exercise of powers of the government by: 1) instituting laws specifically designed only for the good of the populace; 2) to hamper the transfer of authority/power to another unless ordered/consented by the general populace (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143).
I totally agree with this proposition of his! Conclusion I can only agree to John Locke’s ideas. It is very true that the state of nature may easily convert to a state of war if people’s consent is not followed (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143). Thus, the government should only act according to the interests of the people and not its own (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143). His ideas, if it is to be taken seriously, will bring about liberty and non-chaotic life, which the world needs right now (Locke, 1980, pp. 1 – 143).