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Rousseau vs Locke vs Hobbes

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by DrPhilosophy, May 1, 2012.

  1. Which political philosopher would you guys agree with most?
    Personally I like Rousseau the most because I feel that the less society we have the more freedom and peace we will have. Society leads to more problems than it solves for example Over-population, Using of non-renewable resources, destruction of our plant, WARS, radiation. I feel in that state of nature is where humans lived the best.
    Like the native americans instead of sitting there complaining about school and watching Jeresy Shore and Desperate housewives. They were out running after deer, worrying about getting food (not making loads of money), taking care of their tribe, spiritually taking care of nature. Yeah they may have fought with other tribes and died from diseases but that is no where as near as what we do today like bombing countries and other nonsense like that.
    What do you guys think? :D
    I'd sure love to hear a good counter-argument.
  2. Dude, fuck nature. The whole reason why humans invented tv, beer and video games is because natures boring as fuck. I'd much rather watch Jersey Shore than freeze in the winter and wipe my ass with pinecones. But, hey, thats just me.

    And out of those 3, I like Hobbes the most.
  3. I have to ask:

    Do you go out every day and hunt your meals with a bow and arrows (which you chipped out of sticks and rocks), skin it, gut it, cook it over a fire? Or is that something you'd like to do, if only you weren't too lazy to.

    I'm sorry to say this position looks rather silly posted on the internet.

    I'm only familiar with Locke and Hobbes in a social justice context, and I'd have to say in this case I'd put my backing behind the both of them. Society is not our problem, but what we are allowing to be done with it.

    A system for organizing is only natural to arise among social beings such as ourselves when we reach sufficient in number that dealing with our differences becomes a sort of chaos. Whatever we do, there are too many of us for there not to be some society.

    Locke, of course, gets a lot of the credit for the foundation of the present liberal society. There are aspects of this that I like a great deal. I like Locke on his property ideas, but I think they apply not only one person but to all who enabled the labor. His formulation works well in a Lost island type of setting though.

    I agree with Hobbes on the idea that a society should enable success, but that the successful should want to give back to the society to promote the success of others.

    We do not properly value the fruits of labor, therefore we are not entitled to a fair portion. Some manage to take advantage of that, but most struggle with it. It's less the fault of the organizing principles of society than with what we as people allow to dictate the content of those principles. The wealthy and powerful reach the top, and place their thumbs upon the scale. I think it is tolerated because the way we communicate is dominated by elements the powerful control and influence.

    This is probably what should have been expected from liberalism. The less we ask of those who succeed on the fruits of our labor, the less we will have every day.
  4. #4 Boats And Hoes, May 1, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2012
    Rousseau promulgated, people "must be forced to be free"; the social contract is best depicted by Rousseau. A big part of Locke's thought involved private property; private property and public democracy don't mesh... And Hobbes is too atavistic with his beliefs.
  5. I don't necessarily have to live in nature just because I agree with Rousseau. Boredom is a product of our society. We take our lives for granted, I highly doubt we a appreciate life as native americans did. Our minds are basically polluted by our society. I like Locke's idea of ownership of what we make with our hands but we didn't make the earth (so far as we know) so why should we own land when we born without choice and condemned to be free as Sartre would say. Our society is in to deep to even change back to a state of nature
  6. After meeting so many beasts, I have to say Hobbes.
  7. But don't forget.
    There is power in numbers and wisdom. Beasts due to their high ego probably won't get together with other so called Beasts so I'm sure even in a state of nature beasts can be taken by a smarter group.
    The only reason I dislike Hobbes is because we are left with so little freedom due to his idea of Monarchy.
    If we were given the freedom of nature now things would be chaotic but back when that's how things were. Things were obviously better than theybare
  8. Better than they are now
  9. #9 Boats And Hoes, May 1, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2012
    So, you'd go against nature, and relinquish sovereignty over YOUR OWN body in the name of a omnipotent king? Rousseauan and Lockean government's both promise security, for to preserve an individual's liberty is the primary priority of both philosopher's; but, they, Rousseau and Locke, don't believe Man must rescind their natural right's just for parental security...

    "Anyone who trades liberty for security, deserves neither liberty nor security."
  10. All this really boils down to is... the age old question in politics, does the individual come before the state, or does the state come before the individual?
  11. #11 Sam_Spade, May 1, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2012
    This is a good healthy and lively discussion on western philosophy, but I would like to address some ethnographic assumptions being made in the original post.

    You need to understand the the separation between civilization and nature is a social construction -- it varies significantly, and represents a narrative within the very civilization in which we all participate. The very term "nature" is a socialized construction and does not posses a universal definition that crosses cultural boundaries.

    I can recommend some reading on the subject,

    the term "Native Americans" represent an extremely diverse collection of nations with incredibly variety in cultural expression and modes of production.

    The idea of the accumulation of wealth is actually not a purely Western ideal. Various systems of centralized redistribution, bride wealth and dowry are functionally based on the accumulation of material goods and property rights.

    Not all aboriginal inhabitants of North America were small corporate tribes and bands. There is a lot of variety in political organization and modes of production.

    I would argue that it is fairly similar. It's about the avail of technology.

    A Professor of early modern history once posed the question to me: If the technological roles of the Aztecs and Spanish were reversed, do you think the Aztecs would have taken a bite out of western Europe?

    I think the answer is quite obvious.
  12. Thanks Sam_Spade for giving light to my errors. You seem like quite the intellectual with whom I could talk to about philosophical subjects and would even provide help with my faults.
    But i was wondering what is your take on these 3 political philosophers?
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