Hobbes’ Social Contract Philosophy serves a dual duty; in one sense, it provides a political theory that shows the nature of authority, and in the other, it reveals a philosophical theory that justifies moral commitment as human beings. From a philosophical point of view, Hobbes’ Social Contract Philosophy affirms that the life of states is the product of people’s inventions and not the result of God’s function. Citizens are not permitted to overturn the life of the government after they have established it. He assumes that the government will be successful in its peace-making mission; thus, the people must grant them full authority. Hobbes believes monarchies are the most efficient form of government in establishing peace. This is because monarchies have better counsel and their policies are consistent than other forms of government. His beliefs are generated from his philosophy that human beings are selfish and evil creatures. If a man is not placed in a free state of nature, i.e., without a government, they would be in a constant state of war with one another (Hobbes, 2005). Therefore, according to Hobbes only selected individuals with power influence the state of the government.
According to Locke, political power comes from the consent of the people, the majority. Unlike Hobbes who believed in Monarchy that was based on the decision of particular individuals, Locke believed that by entering civil government individuals must submit themselves to the majority and abide by rules and decisions of the majority. Before issuing orders, the government should make sure that the orders are within the law and is equal to every member in the state of nature (Locke, 2005).
John Stuart Mill, British philosopher, lived in an era when women were subordinate to men and custom. Women were expected to marry, bear children and devote their time and themselves to their families and their husbands. Few or no women were supposed to get an education, own property, practice professional duties such as juries, or seek a divorce. Women were expected to exist in the shadow of their masters, their husbands. Mill’s argument on women disparities is reflected in his Utilitarianism theory. The submission of women, he argues, is not only “wrong in itself” but “one of the chief hindrances to human improvement.” (Mill and Mill, 2016, p. 7). Denying women equal opportunities as men show that the society is focused on the development of one side of the population at the same time denying itself the exploitation of its rich talents that are of the women. According to Mill such practices are carried out because the customs and the laws established to favor only the strongest. The fact that men are physically stronger than women has lead people to assume that men are typically superior to women. Mill states that those kinds of ideas have reduced women to states of slavery.
For a society to be in a state of progress, according to Mill, everyone involved, both men and women must be given an opportunity to prove themselves worthy. Women have the potential of doing as much as men can. The only means to scale the potential of women is to let them free from their cages and bondages that restrict them to domestic workers. Women should be given chances and opportunities same as those of men, and after that people should sit and watch the result. On the notion that women’s liberation will destroy marriages and families, he responds that a marriage based on equity and mutual respect is meant to prosper than one which is based on subordination.
John Locke’s argument on contrast theory and politics
John Locke’s idea of the contrast theory is different from that of the Hobbes. According to him, human beings are in a state of nature just like Hobbes’s concept, but his state of nature is different from that of the Hobbesian theory. According to Locke, the state of nature is in a state of perfect and complete liberation where one is authorized to live their life as they see fit. Nevertheless, it should be free from the interference of others. Although the state of nature is free from government involvement or civil authority to punish people, it has its form of morality. People are equal in such as state; hence have the capability of determining the existence of the law of nature. The law of nature instructed by God forbids people from harming others concerning their life, health or possessions. The state of nature cannot, therefore, be compared to the state of war. Men have abandoned the state of nature to establish a civil government because in a state of nature there are no rules. Political power is less relevant to the idea of the state of nature. The purpose of the government is to protect the natural rights of people. The political power originates from the approval of the individual citizens (Locke, 2005)
Hobbes, Thomas. (2005). Leviathan. Richard Tuck (ed.), Cambridge University Press, UK.
Locke, John. (2005). Two Treatises of Government. Peter Laslett (ed.), Cambridge University Press, UK
Mill, J. S., Ryan, A., & Mill, J. S. (2006). On liberty: And, the subjection of women. London: Penguin.