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Revolution - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Revolution A revolution entails fundamental changes in organizational or power structures occurring within short periods and may be characterized by partially modifying the existing constitution or completely changing it to new one (Boesche 114)…
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Download file to see previous pages... On the other hand, John Locke also opines that all humans are entitled to the right of liberty, life and property under natural law, which also comprises a social contract between a government and its subjects. As such, according to Locke, the government must protect its subjects’ interests. This paper will explain when it is appropriate to overthrow an established government in the views of Hobbes and Locke. It will further determine if individual citizens are entitled to their own judgments as to when it is appropriate to overthrow a government and highlight the differences between Hobbes’ and Locke’s view regarding revolutions. Both Hobbes and Locke are in consensus that there exists a social contract between a government and its subjects. They also agree that a majority of a government’s subjects cannot endanger itself intentionally. However, the variation in their perspectives of revolutionary situations stems from their different notions as to why social contracts exist and what, in the absence of social contracts, would be the state of nature (Thomassen 691). Hobbes views the administration as a unitary governing institution made up of the authority granted to it by its subjects. Hobbes’ justification of a revolution is based on the presence of a continuous state of conflict between the subjects and the legislature. In his opinion, the absence of a social contract would culminate into incessant states of war, fear and chaos occasioned by individuals pursuing self-interests. He believes that, under particular circumstances, the administration may be overthrown rightfully or, in the least, an attempted revolution may be directed at it. He bases his idea of “specific circumstances” on the fact that rational subjects would not harm themselves by being at war with an institution that draws its power from them, which is synonymous to fighting oneself. He supports his argument by stating that unless the subjects are at conflict with the legislature, the government still has much to offer (Ness 202). On the other hand, Locke believes that if the administration does not fulfil its part of the social contract, a revolution by its subjects is justified. He supports his argument by stating that when a majority of the subjects are endangered by the legislature, then that legislature is not representative of their interests and must be replaced. According to Locke, it is appropriate to stage a revolution when the government continuously abuses the rights of its people and consistently fails to protect their property (Boesche 119). He opines that, under such circumstances, it is appropriate and worth taking the risks involved in a revolution. He further points out that property, justice, morality and law exist before a legislature is formed and established and if that legislature contravenes the law of nature, it has knowingly put itself at conflict with its subjects. This is irrespective of whether the law is contravened via unavoidable or intentional circumstances because the government still earns itself a revolution (Ness 198). By this point, the views of revolution held by Hobbes and those by Locke become increasingly distinctive as Hobbes tends to take a more conservative stand while Locke is seemingly active in terms of triggering a revolution. According to the arguments of Hobbes and Locke, individual citizens have not been portrayed as being entitled to judge for themselves when it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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