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The Evolution of the Civil Society - Term Paper Example

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The essay "The Evolution of the “Civil Society” focuses on Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and his book Leviathan greatly influenced political thought in the seventeenth century. Besides, John Locke (1632-1704) and his work Two Treatises on Government (1690) is also a seminal work on political thought…
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The Evolution of the Civil Society
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Download file to see previous pages Locke and Hobbes diverge on the notion of sovereignty. Locke argues that civil society precedes the state. For him, it is a society that provides the state its essential source of legitimacy. He contends that when the rulers fail to encourage interests, independence, and equality of individual humans, the social contract is breached and it is the responsibility of the members of society to oust that ruler. This is based on Locke’s assertion that the state of nature is based on equality and if people are equal, then the civil society is the state. The state is no greater than the society that made it: “A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another” and that “the lord and master of them all should, by any manifest declaration of his will, set one above another, and confer on him, by an evident and clear appointment, an undoubted right to dominion and sovereignty”. Hobbes believes the contrary because it is the state that creates a civil society. Civil society is the product of civil society’s enforcement of the social contract, as he expresses in the Leviathan: “This is more than Consent or Concord; it is a real Unity of them all, in one and the same Person, made by Covenant of every man with every man” (Hobbes). For Hobbes, the people authorized the government to have the authority in directing civil society. I believe that Locke and Hobbes make good points. I agree with Locke that sovereignty is not only about the autonomy of the state. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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