Conservative Bastion
The only blog that can factually claim to shift the Bell Curve, along with the hearts & minds of America, to the right.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Hobbes Vs. Locke
Long story short, I had to take the CLEP on Western Civilization II last week (yes I passed and am now a college graduate). In order to pass the test, I picked up a practice booklet.

Western Civ covers a long period in history and nearly every facet, but one of the points of focus was The Enlightenment. It was in this subject that this practice booklet triggered an idea in my head. How? It was while I was reading the sections of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. It helped me see the differences between those two philosophers and how their differences can still be seen in American politics today. Here are some quotes from the book to illustrate my point.

Hobbes:

Left to their own devices, Hobbes famously wrote, people will create miserable lives for themselves and others the because they are naturally selfish, greedy, and shortsighted; their lives will be “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” To solve this problem, Hobbes continued, people give their power to an absolute authority, the “Leviathan,” who keeps order and makes peaceful living possible. Though Hobbes quoted the Bible frequently – his title comes from the biblical book of Job – he had no use in his politics for theology. Thus, his philosophy is symbolic of the increasing secularization of Europe, which had begun around the early 1500s.
Translation:

Without Big Bother, some people will make bad decisions that will make their life harder. These people will be poor. Those who are fortunate enough to not be poor will maliciously exploit their fellow citizens economically. The reason this happens is because they are selfish, greedy, and shortsighted. You can easily see contempt for mankind by the rich in practices such as outsourcing, pollution, poorly manufactured products, a low minimum wage, etc. These motivators and their byproducts will lead to a life of poverty that lacks healthcare and other basic human needs [DVD players and XBOX 360’s exempt]. The only way to stop this is through creating a vast welfare state that can protect us from these evils. Some call it a welfare state, others call it big brother, but I call it the Leviathan. The Leviathan will make life as peaceful as possible.

P.S. Religion sucks.

Locke:
Of fundamental importance – in England and later in the English colonies that would become the United States – was Locke’s idea that a ruler could rule only so long as he or she kept the people’s trust. The ruler did this by respecting the inherent rights human beings possess to life, liberty, and property. And if a ruler trampled on those rights, Locke argued, the people had a responsibility to replace that ruler.
I don’t think this one needs a translation. The man whose political ideas inspired our Founding Fathers believed in the right to life [abortion bitches], liberty [somewhat open ended, but common sense can make decent boundaries here], and property [property is anything you own…more tax cuts please].

Let me ask a simple question. What is the meaning of conservative? This is what Dictionary.com says:

Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.

In other words, conservatives want to keep things the way they are, and/or restore things to how they used to be. I think I have made my point clearly.

John Locke – a lover of freedom and the man whose ideas the Founding Fathers used to help found this country – belongs in the Republican Party. After all the Republicans are the conservative party, the Founding Fathers lived in the past, and the Republicans want to make things the way they were in the past.

Thomas Hobbes – promoter of big government – belongs in the Democratic Party.

To be intellectually honest, John Locke would definitely be defined as a libertarian. However, we all know that the Republican Party, despite its shortcomings, is much closer to being libertarian than the Democratic Party. Just face it. The Libertarian Party is where disenfranchised Republicans go while disenfranchised Democrats turn to the Green Party.

All that aside, Locke favored reason as the basis for his politics. Hobbes turned to control and power. I just reported, you decide.
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