Thomas Hobbes and John Locke both had very different views on society and government. For Locke, natural rights could co-exist within a civil society and that natural rights and civil society were not mutually exclusive categories. While Hobbes thinks that the absolute power of the sovereign is simply the price mankind must pay for peace, Locke believes that absolute power is never a remedy for the state of nature. Hobbes and Locke also greatly differed in their opinions on the role of the state in society. Locke believed that government had obligations to fulfill, but not rights, and “cannot do as it pleases”. He saw necessary a separation of powers to protect the individual rights of the people, and if these rights were infringed or trust was violated, “people have the right to alter or abolish the government. These views were directly opposite to Hobbes. Hobbes was in favor of the opinion that the people have formed the government for peace and security, and that in return, people should not be allowed to change, judge, or protest against their government. He thought that an absence of government could lead to possibility of violent death, and therefore “government should never give up its power”. Lastly, I believe that the stance and role of government was the biggest difference in the philosophies of Hobbes and Locke. While Locke believed that the government’s job should be to protect the rights of the people and could be overthrown, Hobbes’ view was the complete opposite that government should never give up power, and was only there to protect peace and security, not the rights of the people.
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