John Locke Enlightenment

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Early Enlightenment thinker John Locke presented to the society documents which championed inalienable rights including life, liberty, and property. Liberty in specific becomes a most crucial topic in the debate deciding what conditions the state should prohibit speech offensive to some groups. Much later, John Stuart Mill built upon and constructed reformed ideas that contrasted the early enlightenment and would then be known as the Mature Enlightenment. In his works now classified as neoclassical utilitarianism- he was an avid follower of Jeremy Bentham, the father of Classical Utilitarianism- Mill also presents invaluable perspectives which can be used to discuss the debate While Locke’s philosophy would justify that speech can be banned…show more content…
However, it is precisely the idea of workmanship and therefore human’s impersonal lives, as well as consent of the governed which spurs discussion and tension. In the First Treatise of Government, Locke set out to dethrone Robert Filmer’s ideology of inherited authority while invoking the Bible for authoritative evidence. Ultimately, Locke argues that because Adam’s lineage cannot be traced, no one human has authority over another CITE. Furthermore, the only entity to have control over humans is God because God created humans, so God can do what he likes with his creations. Humans cannot as they “live together by no other rules but that of beasts” (Second Treatise 2). That is, they can rule over any else besides other humans. Another cornerstone of locke’s philosophy is his idea of the consent of the governed. In order for a government to be legitimate, it must follow orders and have consent of those intends to govern over. Ideally, this would require unanimous consent for any changes, Realistically, however, the only attainable possibility is a sizeable majority’s consent. Deciding what percentage constitutes a sizeable majority is a completely different debate on its own; so, the focus will be on characterizing Locke’s philosophy as consent of the sizeable majority governed. Putting these two ideas together brings…show more content…
This authority is susceptible to falling down the slippery path of power abuse. Another kind of speech could be barred and so on and so forth in the name of protection. An ambitious, cunning leadership could take advantage of this to ensure their longevity. One possible method of completing this objective could be through propaganda which argues that a certain speech/idea/opinion is dangerous and needs to be outlawed in the name of preservation and maximizing happiness. In fact, that speech, idea, or opinion could simply be those that are threatening to the longevity of the leadership. Through a successful propaganda convincing its constituents of the evil in those “offensive” ideas, the cunning leadership acquires the ability to legitimately eliminate opposition and garner support for ostensibly “protecting” his people. Through this crafty image, the leadership is merely furthering its agenda whatever that may be. Likely the most prolific example is the democratic rise of the NSDAP (Nazi or Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei) Party through recall elections, propaganda, and party coalitions. One of the party’s critical points was to dehumanize and antagonize the Jewish population. Speeches and continual propaganda exposed the population to enough cunning rhetoric to at least convince them that the Jews were a legitimate
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