“Locke and Hobbes were both social contract and political philosophers. Their views about man and the rule of natural differed despite them being in the same field of learning. According to Locke, man is a social animal while Hobbes believed that society cannot exists unless by the power of the state. Thus, Hobbes considered that man does only what he is coerced to do, and something that he knows is of benefit to him. Hence, to achieve that there is a lot of danger, poverty, solitary, violence and death and brutal and nasty never ends. Locke believed that man keeps his promises and honors his obligations. He agreed that life is insecure for man, but it is mostly peaceful and pleasant. The two theorists had different views. Thus, this study will focus on what the critics of Hume and Kant are on the views of Locke and Hobbes theories.
Hobbes believed that the government has the supreme power and mandate over the people it governs. He argues that obedience can be achieved only by the powerful sovereign government that has the authority to command. This is like God who has all the power to control the universe and expect total, obedience and respect. Hobbes attribute future success and goal achievement to power as according to him it is the main source of motivation. He reasons that if there was equality of power there could be war among man. This would result to more conflict as due to scarce resources that cannot be shared. To escape the state violence, people need to enter into mutual respect where they can give up their rights to everything considering other people will do the same. Hobbes believes that to protect human life man must work for peace to the end. Man must also enter into a covenant of limited rights with his fellow men and every man must keep the covenant for it to be effective.
According to Locke, the state of nature cause conflicts and war because of the different meanings derived by men. In addition, not all people are rational. He argues that as long as man live together and can learn to coexist in peace, there is bound to be conflict and tension. Locke argues that there is no law that makes anyone superior over another it is just the understanding that people are not similar, and for the sake of peace, it is necessary to accept nature. All rulers and governors are in the state of nature based on Locke’s argument. Thus is because the nature of man is mainly to preserve his own life and not to threaten other people’s health, life, possessions or liberty intentionally. The state of nature is a state of freedom. If a man acts out on his rights at the expense of another man’s rights, he invites the vengeful action of his victim. Thus, according to Locke, people work together for a common good and conflicts are likely to arise because there are no established laws nor is there a judge to settle disputes.
Hume criticizes these two laws in different ways. Hume criticizes the works of Locke and Hobbes by saying that men are obedient out of pain, fear, violence, complacency and subjugation. He argues that based on history and the modern society, authority and power are acquired through violent means and not through mutual consent (Hume, 1). The sovereign authority that Hobbes and Locke tried to explore in his work is critically criticized by Hume. It is wrong to think that political authority originated from the social contract. Hume aggress that God is the sovereign power and authority but does not agree that this is the source of sovereign authority. It is every person’s duty may it be a constable or porter to fulfill the roles to which he is bestowed (Hume, 1). Therefore, nobody should claim divine mandate for a social power that is given to them. Hume argues that since there is no chance that any person is bestowed power through the Deity, he does not deserve any sacred or exceptional treatment. Instead, he/she should not be superior or more valuable when compared to his followers. It is logically inconsistent for a sovereign to claim to be a representation of God’s will on earth because of authority and power because it is a misguided act.
Hume argues that considering how equal man is in bodily force and mental faculties and powers it is only their own consent that could bring them together. The vigor in a man’s limbs, and the firmness of his courage is what cannot subject many men into the command of one person (Hume, 3). Thus if, an original contract did exist, it is as a product of the earliest uncouth forms of human association. This could have been achieved in the case of a ruler using military influence and authority to rule. Hume speaks against the philosophers of an idealistic social contract or a metaphysical contract. Based on the example of Athens, Hume argues that there is no contract that existed as the law in Athens was not supported even by the slaves, the poor or those living in conquered states. It is out of the fact that they were never given a chance to enter to any contract of this nature (Hume, 5). According to Hume, modern governments are the products of conquest or usurpation or both as there is no presence of fair consent or voluntary subjection of people. Modern governments created obedient and docile subjects out of physical force and fear, which according to Locke cannot be termed as politic a, power. Hume goes ahead to criticize governments that replace force with the election because he believe that these governments are socially and economically exclusive. Elections are a few men who decide for the whole to the furry of the multitude. Man has justice and fidelity duties to fulfil. That is respecting property of others and keeping one’s promises. Hence, man must get over his hunger for domination and unlimited freedom through swearing allegiance to civil society.
Kant criticism of the Locke’s and Hobbes social contract theories are diverse. He argues that governments are different, but they all are the same if they do not meet their responsibility of fulfilling the citizen’s rights and freedoms. A government that has constitutions different from all others as it has a constitution with freedoms and rigs of the people (Kant, 73). Thus, the coerced people of a state by laws are given the freedom and right to be happy in the laws through sharing their laws with others. According to Kant, the civil state is based on the Priori principles that include the freedom of every society member as a human being…”
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