Hobbes believes that the natural psychological state of humankind is warlike. He believes they will destroy themselves and each other without governance in which all parties agree to keep the peace. For Hobbes, the government restricts humans from doing what they want to do, which is to wage war upon each other for various reasons mostly territorial or emotionally charged (as in revenge or anger). “And therefore if any two men desire the same thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies; and in the way to their end…endeavor to destroy or subdue one another” (Hobbes, Chap. 13). Hobbes is saying that the nature of men is to inevitably disagree to the point of war. Even if they both want the same thing, they cannot compromise amicably; they cannot share peacefully for a substantial time. The government is the body that introduces reason and the ability to force both parties to subdue their inherent nature to destroy one another and find a way to peacefully coexist.
Locke believed humankind’s natural psychological state included high levels of reason and tolerance. He did not agree with Hobbes that humans were one step above animalistic in their nature; he did not believe they will always revert to war and destruction. Locke believed that all humans had the right to defend themselves and their lifestyles, but a government was needed to mediate that defense so that it did not turn lethal or unfair at the expense of the weaker party. He believed the government was necessary to impart equal justice, or else the survival of the fittest design would rule, as in the animal kingdom. Looking at both points of view, Hobbes’ seems most practical based on the history of humankind. Governments and societies have formed as a result of incontrollable hostilities between factions; government has provided a safe place to the weak from being overtaken by the strong. Humans have compromised and socialized to end war; wars were not fought with the objective to establish societal rules and governmental authority. It appears that left ungoverned, human would revolt endlessly against each other to the destruction of all.
In Hobbes’ point of view, “society is a population beneath a sovereign authority, to whom all individuals in that society cede their natural rights for the sake of protection. Any abuses of power by this authority are to be accepted as the price of peace “(Yahoo.com, 2008). Hobbes insists that a sole sovereign must be appointed and anointed by God, “for there is no covenant with God but by mediation of somebody that representeth God’s person, which none doth but God’s lieutenant who hath the sovereignty under God” (Hobbes, Chapter 18). So to Hobbes, the sovereign ruler represents, or is the spokesperson for, God Himself, and a duly appointed mediator between humankind and destiny.
Locke believed in the legislative body subject to majority rule, and also advocated governmental separation of powers. He believed that revolution is not only a right but a requirement in some situations. Locke’s ideas would eventually come to have weighty influence on the development of the Constitution of the United States and its Declaration of Iit is not to end a state of war, but a state of injustice. From this perspective, the new government is impartial justice that was missing men in their natural state of independence” (Yahoo.com, 2008). So instead of God being the appointing power, Locke believed that a majority of humans could decide what is right for the common good of all who fell under its authority. For Locke, the majority rule system exists not to end a state of war, but a state of injustice, which is what Locke insists is the shortcoming of the true nature of humankind. From Locke’s angle, the new government is impartial justice that was missing men in their natural state of selfishness and combativeness. In this instance, Locke’s view are the more palatable; absolute power in the hands of one personage, God-appointed or not, lends itself to all manner of corruption and conflict of interest. A majority rule in agreement on the common good, however, encompasses all under its umbrella without obvious bias.