I apologize if I spelled "Rousseau" wrong, as I haven't the slightest idea of how to spell it.
Anyways, all of these dudes came into play right before the American revolution. Around the 1500's to the 1600's and some of the early 1700's. Y'know, right before the Industrial revolution.
There's some setting to help you out.
OK, so, like, these guys' ideas helped shape the American Constitution, even a hundred years after they sold the farm, if you nomsayin'.
Their ideas were the building blocks of modern government-citzen relationships. They were the ones who helped the monarchies crash and democracies rise.
OK, so, back to the entire point of this thread...
As an AG community, we will decide which of these bad boys had the best ideas of their time.
Now for some biographical treatment.
This guy believed that a man's rights should never be altered with, and, if a gov.t ever violated this, the people had the absolute right to overthrow their current gov.t/leader/whatever and start anew. John Locke was quick to say that man was naturally good in heart, and that their gov.t corrupted them.
A bit on the opposite side, Thomas Hobbes thought that people were evil by instinct and had to have a harsh monarchy to hold them down, and, without a mnarchy, people would go insane and create chaos. Today, were pretty sure this isn't true, but it can happen in miniscule areas.
Kind of the best-of-best-worlds guy, Rousseau thought that their should be a democracy to restrict people's rights, and, in return they would receive peace. However, people were to give up A LOT of rights and elected leaders for congress who made all of the decisions instead of voting for things as a whole.
"OK, so, what does this matter?" you may ask. Well, should the gov.t be able to take your things for peace? Should the gov.t be able to take your guns, filth, and riches for protection?
Locke = No
Rousseau = It depends
Hobbes = Absolutely freakin' sandwhich yessums (Or yes for English speakers)
I disagree with Locke because most of his justifications do have root in fluffy Divine and religious arguments, which doesn't make for a compelling case for me. Hobbes point of view was extremely justified for his time, gven that he lived through the lawlessness of the English Civil War; to a certain extent yes, even till today, we have all shown ourselves to be quite incapable of behaving without a strong enough authority and enforcer in place. I tend to favor Hobbes more when you apply his theory to international relations, i.e that it's a realist world. On the other hand, I tend to follow personally a more Rousseau like approach to life, since I find human suffering an abhorrence.
But to answer your question, I would say that I tend to go for a more Hobbes and Rousseau approach. To day that the government, at least a democratic one limits our freedom is quite the opposite; the government has to use the law to give us all a semblance of freedom. No one can truly do whatever he wishes to do, because there are so few private spaces in this world, everything we do will in one way or another affect someone else. The law and the government exist to demarcate as fair a space for everyone ad possible to maximize their freedom.
I would mix Rousseau and Hobbes ideas together, we should be able to vote for our leader and have freedoms but there is a line, and that's where Hobbes idea comes in. If we have too much freedom, we go out of control and when the police try to stop actions of violence, people just say 'This is police brutality'. With Hobbes idea the policeman would say 'Police brutality? I'll give you bloody police brutality'
We need freedoms but also discipline, without it we as a country becomes lazy and believes they have right over authority.
I like Hobbes and Rousseau. I always beleived that the key to get peace is to follow this: "Your freedom ends when the other's freedom begins". Of course it needs to have a balance, we don't want a totalitarian state or complete anarchy.
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