The Role of Political Thinkers in the Literature

Political thinkers provide views that help in guiding the understanding of the society. Political science has benefited from many thinkers who have made a lot of contribution to the literature. Their views guide the performance and duties. A review of ten passages by political thinkers is provided in this essay with each paragraph presenting the main ideas in the passage, how the ideas are related and the context of the writing in the larger writing by the author making the statement standout.

            The passage by Burke argues why the society is a contract and more so the state as a very strong partnership. The author considers the importance of the state in maintaining law order and preventing anarchy hence the need to respect and maintain the partnership between the leaders and the subordinates. The author believes that the government and the people have a social contract that is perfect and virtuous that transcends personal will and should be respected and protected hence cannot be dissolved at will as any other contract. The state seeks to protect the rights of the living and the unborn, offers a connection between the past, current, and the present and connects the visible and invisible putting in order the moral and physical hence is supreme. The ideas in the passage are tied together by the understanding of the social contract between the state and the subordinates and the need to protect institutions out in place to ensure continuity, law, and order, and prevent the emergence of anarchy. The passage is essential in its source by offering a strong basis for Burke’s criticism of the French revolution that did away with the state.      

            In the passage, Berlin seeks to show that liberty falls into two types, positive and negative. The first kind of freedom is that which allows an individual to choose and the other prevents others from making choices on one’s behalf. Berlin, however, shows that in fact, these two constructs of freedom are the same thing only positive and negative definitions (Forst, 2012). Despite being the same, the constructs of negative and freedom diverged in historical development following illogical steps to reach an end that conflict with each other. The ideas connect with each other by addressing the same aspect of freedom and liberty, and the author connects the central idea through logic. The passage is important in Berlin’s argument of liberty by offering an understanding of the state of negative and positive freedom and conflicting ends (Costa, 2014).     

            In passage 3, Smith argues for the intellectual capital and innovation evident in the barbarous societies. The ideas presented include the barbarous society consisting of hunters, shepherds, and husbandmen that precedes manufacturing and foreign commerce present opportunities for intellectual stimulation in performance. The large choice of tasks allows for innovation, and the mind is active. He contrasts this state to the civilized society where the mind is numbed by “drowsy stupidity” (Smith, 2010). The ideas are connected by a focus on providing a caution for the negative impacts that would emerge from commercialization and industry as advocated by Smith. The passage fits the context of Smith’s argument in The Wealth of Nations and is of importance by providing caution on the need to provide opportunities for the mind to exercise and limit the repetition and numbed creativity that would emerge from repetitive tasks in factories and other civilized establishments.       

            The ideas presented in Kant’s passage include the role of commerce in negating the role of war in the society. The importance of financial power to the state and the need for the state to promote peace not because of morality but a salient need to keep the benefits from commerce are also evident in the passage. The impact is the states coming together to promote peace in the world. The ideas in the passage connect through a focus on peace and the role of commerce on achieving this goal. The ideas considered together show the importance of state’s coming together for the common goal of peace to achieve sustained commercial prosperity in the world. The passage is of high importance in Kant’s arguments in Perpetual Peace by showing how nature guarantees peace through human inclinations. In this passage, human inclination to protect what is gained via commerce seeks peace through mediation and other mechanisms (Cavelty, Mauer, " Balzacq, 2009).

            The passage from Amin’s The Emancipation of Woman and The New Woman presents his defense for his ideas. Amin considers the opposition from the audience on his views on the need to make changes to tradition and social dealings. He concedes that the people would consider his views dissent against Islam but corrects that they are aimed at changes in tradition and social dealings and not heresy against Islam. In the passage, he questions the resistance to change by Muslims and offers this as a contradiction to God’s laws of creation that provide for life and progress through change. He connects immobility and inflexibility as characterizing death and backwardness. The ideas presented deal with change in social and traditional dealings hence have a united focus and form a strong basis for arguments towards a better society. The passage is important in Amin’s paper by presenting his view that there would be opposition to his arguments for the emancipation of women and offers clarification that he was not dissenting against Islam but an aim to provide better tradition and social dealings.        

            Hobbes presents several ideas in the passage including the need for a sovereign state to protect liberties. In a stateless society, Hobbes argues that there is no justice or injustice, no notion of right or wrong, only force, and fraud the cardinal virtues. He considers justice and injustice as relating to people in the society and not individually. The passage ends with the emphasis on no ownership and property in a stateless society. The ideas are connected by a strong focus on showing that when no common power exists, there cannot be any law or justice. The passage is important in its context by highlighting the challenges of lacking sovereignty and the lawlessness that abounds when justice and injustice cannot be defined for lack of a law.    

            In this passage, Locke highlights the need for religious toleration by the state. Locke highlights the futility of the state through the civil magistrate in trying to compel citizens to compel citizens to follow a given religious position. Locke considers the importance of persuasion of the mind to achieve a true and saving religion, which cannot be achieved through outward force as would be resorted to by the state (Mann, 2008). The inward judgment cannot be achieved through outward force including imprisonment, confiscation of the state, and torments among others. The ideas are connected through the statement of the argument and highlighting the support for the position. The passage fits well in its context on religious toleration but arguing on the irrationality of outward force of religious dissenters by the state.

            The ideas presented include comparing a virtuous leader to the polestar, which is unmoving and central; hence the leader should have a strong commitment to moral values. The passage cautions against leading by regulations and punishment as this would result in evasion and a lack of shame. Using rites to keep order and basing one’s leadership on morals offers self-correction and shame in the society improving a leader’s effectiveness. These ideas are connected through highlighting the need for strong leadership based on strong moral values. The passage highlights the importance of virtuous leadership by the leader to receive loyalty from the people. The passage also calls on the need for the King to acknowledge and reward those who are upright owing to the strong consideration for moral values highlighting the passage’s importance in the Confucius and the Analects.

            In this passage, Mill argues for a representative state as the best form of government. He states that a government that allows for all people to participate, even in the smallest public functions, aids in improving the society. Mill calls on including all in the sharing of sovereign power. He, however, considers the inability of direct participation by all calling for representative government instead (Aroroa, 2014). The passage connects the ideas by working towards a common idea of representative government highlighting the need for public participation and considering the challenge that could arise in implementation. The passage fits the general context through an understanding of representative government and its benefits to the society. 

            The passage highlights the power of money, which forms the connection between the ideas presented. The passage connects the power of money as an alienating and estranged to the alienation nature of man. The second idea on the power of money presented is the functions money can do allowing a man to do what previously he could not hence transform the essential role in the society. The passage manages to highlight the essential role money plays in the society and fits its context by representing the nature of money fitting Marx’s argument on the power of money.

            An analysis of the passages by different political thinkers represents a commitment to presenting logical arguments and supporting ideas to drive a point. The passages are also very crucial in the overall thesis when considered as part of the papers and books they wrote. I have learned the need to understand the context and the presentation of strong arguments backed by a logic that could stand alone and be understood both individually and within the larger context.                 


Costa, C. (2014). Lines of Thought: Rethinking Philosophical Assumptions. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Forst, R. (2012). The right to justification: Elements of a constructivist theory of justice. Columbia University Press.

Arora, N. D. (2014). Political science for civil services main examination. Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Smith, A. (2010). The wealth of nations: An inquiry into the nature and causes. Harriman House Limited.

Mann, W. E. (Ed.). (2008). The Blackwell guide to the philosophy of religion (Vol. 21). John Wiley " Sons.

Cavelty, M. D., Mauer, V., " Balzacq, T. (Eds.). (2009). The Routledge Handbook of Security Studies. Routledge.

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