Summary Of John Locke's Ideal Social Contract

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Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and John Locke all have different theories on how a government should be created. They each have their own beliefs on the ideal social contract, and these different social contracts all lead to different forms of government. Out of the three contracts that are presented, John Locke provides the only contract that is capable of leading to a legitimate state. The contracts of Rousseau and Hobbes are unrealistic and they would not lead to a legitimate government. Before we delve into the reasons why Locke’s theory is superior, we must first define what a legitimate state is. In order to be considered a legitimate state, a government must have the consent of the citizens that it plans to govern to be the ruling force of the society. This means that if a government wants to be legitimate, the people must agree with the policies, laws, and other rules of the state. Now logically, in order for the …show more content…
Locke’s contract states that after people give their consent to be governed, the government is responsible for the protection of the rights and property of the people. (Locke 5) The power of the government is also limited in order to prevent them from acting against the public good. The government must also be sure to make decisions in the interest of the majority. Unlike Rousseau, Locke acknowledges the fact that not everyone is able to participate in government. Because everybody can’t participate, Locke states that the government should do what most people want. This respects the rights of citizens who want to participate in government as well as the rights of those who cannot or do not want to vote. A government that protects the citizen’s rights and makes decisions that benefit most citizens will most likely gain the consent of the people. Due to the fact that it will gain the people’s consent, it will be considered

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