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Compare and Contrast the Philosophies of John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Karl Marx

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Autor:   •  December 5, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  778 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,725 Views

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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'-"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''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


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