The Governments and States of Locke, Aquinas, and St. Augustine

1380 Words May 6th, 2005 6 Pages
In John Locke's Second Treatise of Government, he identifies a government that is of the peoples consent with his essential raison d΄être being the preservation and protection of personal property. This type of government is extremely comparable with the type of government that St. Augustine describes in his work City of God, while at the same time contrasts the views of Aquinas in the ways a state should operate. The end goal of how each of these philosophers' states purposes presents the greatest split between each of their philosophies. To understand how each of these philosophers' states are similar and different from each other, a deeper analysis is necessary.
The first and possibly most striking similarity between the
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The purpose behind these virtuous rules is that if man is forced to encounter them of a regular basis, eventually they will "rub off" of him and he will become virtuous himself. Aquinas would even say that the virtues that would be made into laws are divine, and to go against them would be to go against God himself. This idea that no one can oppose the government because of its divinity is a point that Locke opposes drastically.
Locke views all men in the state as equal on all levels, with no man in a state of inequality. This differs from Aquinas and St. Augustine whom believe that the leader (even a tyrant) was one which god placed above all others. In the government created by Locke, the citizens have every right to revolt against an oppressive tyrant. Locke believes this because the government is a body that is composed of the desires of the majority. If the government or tyrant is not abiding by the majority's desires, then the people have a fundamental responsibility to install a new government. Obviously, this Lockean idea of majority rule is completely contrary to the divine rule in the writings of Aquinas and St. Augustine. Overall, the main difference between the states that are presented by the three theorist lies in how they believe the citizens will bind to the political community. Locke believes that the preservation of rights and protection of property binds the citizens

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