Hobbes Vs Rawls Analysis

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Political theorists, whether they are realists, or liberalists, over the centuries, have come into conflict over what they believe to be the utmost important task of the state. Hobbes believes the most important task of the state is to ensure law and order, rooting his argument in the idea of a sovereign ruler. On the other hand, Rawls, a modern theorist, firmly believes that a state should focus on realising justice within their society. While a utopian society cannot be achieved by either of these theories, I will highlight why Rawls was right in his assumption that the main focus of a state should be to ensure justice for all within their nation, through analysing and comparing the conflicting arguments of Hobbes and Rawls. Hobbes ultimately…show more content…
According to Hobbes, a sovereign, whether the sovereign was placed into power by violence or force, is the only way to secure law and order. For him, if a citizen obeys the sovereign for fear of punishment or in the fear of the state of nature, it is the choice of the citizen. According to Hobbes, this is not tyranny; it is his idea of a society that is successful, one that does not have room for democracy. As a realist, Hobbes has a fierce distrust of democracy and viewed all of mankind in a restless desire for power. If the people are given power, law and order would crumble in Hobbes’ eyes. Contrastingly, Rawls views democracy as the only way a state can realise justice. Citizens all need a say in how they live their lives and this improves their political lives in the state. Hobbes’ sovereign rule is flawed as he believes each citizen will give up rights and obey a single ruler who has the final say in all decisions. This type of society will eventually crumble, be it by revolution or distrust in the sovereign’s ability; displaying the total failure of law and order while oppressed citizens rise and
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