Compare And Contrast The Philosophies Of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, And Karl MarxThis print version free essay Compare And Contrast The Philosophies Of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, And Karl Marx.
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Compare and Contrast the Philosophies of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Karl Marx
In the idea of human nature; origin of state, the nature of government, the rights of regulation can be drawn as the reflection of insightful philosophies of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes and Karl Marx. By understanding this within the context of human nature, we can see their ideas play to how they perceive a modern philosophy. Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto illustrates the desire to build "a society without economic classes". John Locke's Political Theory claims the establishment of natural rights which will assist protest against unjust rulers. Thomas Hobbes's most famous publication, the "Leviathan" defines a government which unifies the collective will of many individual and unites them under the authority of sovereign power. Although the three philosophers desire the same result through their theories, its practices and use have indicated that there are difference and similarities both present. All are saying that there should be absolute government, but their areas of specialization are different.
Karl Marx and Thomas Hobbes both agreed on the theory of collectivism over individualism. Marx is more quantitative and calculative in his reasoning, while Hobbes's theories are based on natural laws. The contradiction between Marx's and Hobbes's concepts of material wealth is that Ð’â€“"Modern society view men to compete with each other for material goods and that is just. Humans do not live in isolation but work to achieve together a society that turns a blind eye to what is alienating man from his nature" (Marx). On the other hand, Hobbes argued that "Rights of liberty, property can be transferred from one person to another by means of legal contract. Human beings are naturally selfish, therefore they are always in the state of conflict of Ð’â€˜war' with each other, unless they are forced to obey a sovereign authority or governing power." Though, differences between the two are quite visible, their goal is the same, the establishment and betterment of a civil society.
Hobbes famous saying about the state of nature was, "Life is brutish, short and harsh, in the state of nature." Humans are always in competition for resources, primary or secondary and would go to any extent to meet those needs. This desperation to fulfill needs creates insecurity within the human society. Hobbes uses the term "Leviathan" which refers to the best way of protecting citizens would be to have a government that is powerful and intimidating. According to Locke, humans are usually peaceful in nature and do not bother others. He believed that in a state of nature, we should have a contractual relationship between government officials and other citizens. Regarding life in the state of nature Hobbes believed that life is not immoral, but immoral in a state of nature. So, killing someone, in a state of nature, would be exactly the same as letting someone live. The reason is a government must make laws and regulations in order to create a civil society, with minimal crime. Locke, on the other hand, had a different view. Citizens and leaders of a country can use and enjoy their rights as long as anything is not harmful to the fellowmen and society. Regardless of the differences between Locke and Hobbes works have been considered influential in shaping people and government in regards to how a society should be.
Marx argued for a materialist interpretation of society and history. He used concepts about how human societies change the material world in order to exist, as the key concepts to explain human nature. The class conflict is the motor that moves history and acts as an influential feature of any Marxist theory. According to Locke, the natural reason allows us to establish civilized relations without force. The Ð’â€˜Rule of Reason' law has to govern the conduct of the ruler as well as the subjects. Taking the quantitative aspects of Marx's theory and mixing it with the qualitative characteristics of Locke's theory will yield in the maximum benefit for the civil society.
Even with the same goal of improvement in society, Karl Marx, John Locke, and Thomas Hobbes had three different ways to reach to the same destination. Karl Marx claimed that "History is economics in action". John Locke's political theory advocates for common people can protest against an unjust ruler. Thomas Hobbes's "Leviathan" illustrates administration of natural and civil laws, as it powers many individuals who make themselves its people. "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways Ð’â€“ the point is to change it." Ð’â€“ Karl Marx
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