The Rule of Law and Its Value

Table of Contents





Introduction to The Essential Leviathan

This particular study will reflect the views of Hobbes and Locke in context to the much debated question about what rule of law is for and what exactly is its purpose. There were several scholars and researchers who stated arguments in this context but the most popular names associated with this question are definitely Thomas Hobbes and Locke. There were two diverse opinions for rule of law encompassed by them. This difference is very much prominent through their works The Leviathan and Two Treatises of Government.

Discussion on The Essential Leviathan

In today's society, people are born into a system that is maintained by a government. In the context of modern society, it can be stated that they are controlled by a Government. In order to maintain peace, the governments are instrumental in levying Rules and regulations for those who are under their concern. While comparing the views of Hobbes and Locke’s State of Nature is the name that was given to the mentioned type of society. As the residents start in the direction of moving toward a civilized society they develop an understanding of the state of nature and its political power. A difference in both the scholars' views is observed when Hobbes' in his literary work of "The Leviathan and Locke's Two Treatises of Government" specifically examines numerous actions undertaken by humanity in context to the mentioned "State of Nature". This state as described by both authors is based on, the different ideas that are instrumental in presenting an appropriate definition of the concept in relevance to human behavior.

The rule by law as considered by Thomas Hobbes (a theorist) lies within the society members who disagree with the prevalence of a concept named property. Consequently was considered in the form of a thought that refers to the concept's conductivity in the direction of society based on sovereignty peace. While comparing the views of Hobbes and Locke it is in the way of making and declaring a rule for all men publicly in which every man knows his possession and limits as described in

Thomas Hobbe's "The Leviathan". As per him the concept is more likely associated with reality without any historical trail and addresses "state of nature" in one of his famous quotations "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." People under this system no individual form of natural rights are governed by means of self-interest. Self-preservation is an instinct that comes out amongst the societal being when they preach state of nature. Everyone fears death this underpinned fear deep down under the thoughts of dark minds drives us to humanity's survival. Hobbes explains that everyone is vulnerable at some point in time, no matter if they are the strongest or smartest. These vulnerabilities allow people the chance to kill one another. With this in mind, people will want to act first because they are just as likely to be attacked and killed. Hobbes believes that when people live in a state of nature, they also live in a state of war. At the end of his explanation of the state of nature, Hobbes talks about the driving forces that lead people to leave and enter into civil society[1].

In the context of The Leviathan after its 30years of its publishing by Hobbes, John Locke took on his pen and zot down his socio-political and philosophical views. His writings were engraved in "Two Treatises of Government”. Just as Hobbes did, Locke believes people start in a state of nature previous to entering into civil society. However, Locke's outlook on the state of nature has major differences from Hobbes. He believed in rule of law. On the question of how Locke's state of nature is governed by something, the reason states the answer in regards to rule of law[2].

"The State of Nature has a Law of Nature to govern it, which obliges every one: And Reason, which is that Law, teaches all Mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty, or Possessions". Locke's state of nature represented equality that believes in the concept of no individual possessing power against each other freely. On the other hand, the do as you please type of an attitude in the form, of describing liberty does not approve the abuse of others. Means states of nature are out of the leagues of the natural law. This belief of non-existence makes Locke's emphasizing a view opposite to the pole of Hobbes. Nothing can stop people from developing an urge to kill someone as Hobbes' in his state of nature states. He adds by stating a fact that nothing governs people from living within that psyo-sociological state. Locke is instrumental in viewing people as rational as well as a reasonable being. Describing the fact he adds that these qualities refrain them from getting engaged from this hideous act of violence.

While comparing both the literary works of them its purpose seems to be plausible and justifiable. The answer in Hobbes' description of the state of nature, he explains that people do not have any rights, civil or natural, and are not governed by any laws, including the laws of nature. Locke's idea of a state of nature is different from Hobbes regarding natural laws because of the existence of property as our natural right. One of the main reasons that Locke talks about the property is the acknowledged existence of God. Locke begins the section about the property by describing God's importance for humankind.

After comparing the views of Hobbes and Locke taking consideration of both arguments of the state of nature, I believe that John Locke presents a more plausible depiction. Hobbes's argument came across as very naïve regarding human behavior. He was instrumental in defending the traditions of natural law with lineage toward ancient Jews' cultural tradition. It undermines a fact that the rulers in any possible way cannot with legal authority do whatever they like as the aspect of societal morality applies to everyone. Comparing the views of Hobbes and Locke on the research question in regards to the rule of law and its purpose this paper states the plausible view. "Reason, which is that Law," Locke declared, "teaches all Mankind, who would but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty, or Possessions." Locke environed the rule of law that stands by the way of Ruling and living by. These are common to all societal beings and are created by elected Legislative Power. This refers to the aspect of social Liberty that follows the self-Will in all things. The Rule prescribes not to subject inconstant uncertainties that are unknown in terms of the arbitrary Will associated with another Man[3].

Conclusion on The Essential Leviathan

In conclusion it can be stated that the opinions of Locke and Hobbes to the aforesaid question were different as one of them believed in rule of law and the other theorist believed in rule by law. Like every theorist has their own set of opinions, I am more inclined towards the opinion reflected by Locke which can be well understood. Law teaches mankind and it very much reflects in the writings of Locke. Two Treatises of Government by Locke is therefore according to be very meaningful to state opinion for the question of the study.

References for The Essential Leviathan

Bookman, John T. "Leviathan." In A Reader’s Companion to The Prince, Leviathan, and the Second Treatise, pp. 65-137. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2019.

Hobbes, Thomas. The essential Leviathan: a modernized edition. Hackett Publishing, 2016.

Locke, John. "Two Treatises of government, 1689." The anthropology of citizenship: A reader (2013): 43-46.

[1] Hobbes, Thomas. The essential Leviathan: a modernized edition. Hackett Publishing, 2016.

[2] Bookman, John T. "Leviathan." In A Reader’s Companion to The Prince, Leviathan, and the Second Treatise, pp. 65-137. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2019.

[3] Locke, John. "Two Treatises of government, 1689." The anthropology of citizenship: A reader (2013): 43-46.

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