Essay On John Locke's Second Treatise Of Government

1816 Words8 Pages
In the Second Treatise of Government, John Locke argues that citizens have the right of revolution when the government acts against their interests. To Locke, revolution was an obligation, however, many other philosophers do not view it that way. Edmund Burke, for example, believed that gradual change was better than all out revolution. Other philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes believed that the people need to obey their government due to a ‘social contract’ between them and the state. This essay will argue that a right to revolution needs to be granted to citizens in the case of a tyrannical government because it is the government’s duty to serve its citizens, and if it fails to do so, the people need to replace it with an alternate form of…show more content…
While it is not far fetched to say that people prioritize their interest above the interests of other people, this does not mean that they would be in a constant state of war. People are able of cooperation, and in fact need to cooperate in order to survive. To assume that Hobbes’ state of nature was true would be to assume that the only thing stopping people from killing, lying, and stealing is the fact that the law prohibits it. However, most people carry some sort of morality that stops them from doing that, and they also know that cooperation would get them much further than competition. Even if we assume, however, that Hobbes’ state of nature is true, it still would not justify obeying a tyrannical government. Having to live under a tyrannical government that does not protect one’s rights is in no way better than having to compete with other people for survival. In competing with other people, at least everyone is on equal footing. However, when competing against a government, then there is a power imbalance and the government can use its power to oppress the people. Therefore, the people should have the right to rebel against such a government. Citizens should not be forced to live under a government that transgresses their

More about Essay On John Locke's Second Treatise Of Government

Open Document