Legitimate Government: Hobbes And Rousseau

1826 Words 8 Pages
Different forms of modern governments can be traced back to the philosophers Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau who had their own ideas of how a legitimate government should function. This is reflected through their view of human nature as well as their definition of a social contract that must exist between citizens and the government. A legitimate government requires that all citizens have political representation as well as having the right to speak freely. In addition, a legitimate government should have one or more elected officials to have authority over the government so it can run efficiently. Hobbes and Rousseau’s ideas about human nature and their social contracts are too polarized to lead to a legitimate government. However, Locke’s idea …show more content…
If citizens aren’t properly represented by their government, it eventually leads to internal division within the state causing civil unrest. Modern day authoritarian regimes often have many human rights issues, potentially leading to uprisings as we’ve seen recently in places like the Middle East. The goal of the government of maintaining stability would not be achieved this way because the more people are oppressed, the greater chances there are of an uprising. These uprisings would eventually lead to a civil war that have left many countries today extremely weak politically and militarily. Syria is currently in a civil war that has left the country scarred and divided. Bashar al-Assad was a ruthless dictator who killed many of his citizens during his regime. This is the kind of government that Hobbes would support because it was one supreme ruler who did everything to keep the nation stable. This came with many human rights issues which ultimately led to a revolution. Another example of a government similar to Hobbes’ ideas is Kim Jong-un and North Korea. North Korea is considered a rogue nation by most of the world and have very few allies. Jong-un is a powerful dictator who has deprived his people of free speech, economic opportunities, and cuts out most access to the outside world. Citizens also do not have free speech or any political representation. Many live in …show more content…
This was before large states were formed like we see today. The citizens were responsible for the power and duties of the government. There were no elected leaders to carry out and implement policy decisions. Instead, the citizens just voted on everything with the majority vote being the deciding factor. This form of government is not legitimate because it is inefficient and doesn't allow for representation from minority groups. The city state of Athens had a small population with almost no diversity, so this form of government could have potentially been sustainable at least in the short term. Since city states do not really exist anymore, this form of government would not be sustainable. If the system is to have a majority rule, the majority groups will be the only ones represented because every vote would be in their best interests. Minority groups would eventually have no political power or influence and they would eventually leave the community or be forced out by the majority groups. With population growth and globalization, countries are now more diverse and populated than ever. This form of government existed in a small city-state with no minority population, so this system could potentially work with those conditions, but no such scenario exists today. While there is certainly freedom of speech and political representation for citizens, there are no elected officials

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