Saturday, March 11, 2000

Thomas Hobbes vs. John Locke

         This paper is inspired by the founders of American and the men and women that came before them on the ship called the May Flower that set sail to America on September 16, 1620.  So what is the balance between individual freedom and liberty and his/her obligation to the state? The paper will analyze two English political philosophers, Thomas Hobbes and John Locke. Both presented their theories during the 17th-18th century Age of Enlightenment.  Of the two philosophers, John Locke had a profound influence on our Founding Fathers when they devised the United States' Constitution.  Earlier, Thomas Hobbes, whose theory of government absolutism, established a concrete reason why the Mayflower took the 66-day voyage to America. (, 2013)
     In order to understand the balance between individual freedom and liberty and individuals obligation to the state, we first need to explore the founding father of modern political philosophy, Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679).  Hobbes lived during a time when England was in turmoil with civil wars (1642-1646) and with political disputes over various political and religious, military and economic situations such as taxation.  Hobbes greatest fear was social and political chaos.   Hobbes believed his mother went into early labor because the Spanish Armada was sailing toward England to attack.  Thus, as a jest, he said his mother birthed “twins at once, both me and fear”.  ( Deutsch, Fornieri, p.226, 2009) (, 2005)
     Being very intellectually gifted, Hobbes started studying at Oxford at the age of 14.  After graduating from Oxford in 1608, he continued to enrich his mind by being a private tutor. His first student, William, was an eldest son of Lord Cavendish of Hardwick (aka Earl of Devonshire).  After William died in 1628, Hobbes continued to tutor students, whom also included the youngest Earl of Devonshire and Charles I's son Charles II.  Tutoring allowed him to travel with his pupil abroad, while at the same time, branching out his own studies, writings and publishing.  Thus his travels provided a means of escape from England's civil upheaval to such countries as France, Italy, and Germany.   While abroad, he was able to visit and share thoughts with prodigious individuals, notably, Galileo, the supporter of the relativity of motion, and mathematical physics.  (, 2013) (Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009, pg. 226) (Comrade Joe., 2009)
     Hobbes was one of the few, before and after him, intellectual giants who radically transformed Western thought through the age of reason; however, he consider himself the 'first' true political philosopher.  In 1651, Hobbes published an influential text called Leviathan, which says that government (“commonwealth”) or powerful state “which is but an artificial man, though greater stature and strength than the natural, for whose protection and defense it was intended; and which the sovereignty is an artificial soul, as giving life and motion to the whole body” that is created to impose order. With regards to this, the title of Hobbes's masterpiece, The Leviathan, was founded on mechanics (the motion of bodies / matter) and he saw society as a machine constantly in motion.(Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009, pg. 229) (, 2005, p.2)( rachmorr, 2009) (Comrade Joe., 2009)
     In the state of nature, according to Hobbes, “[n]ature hath made men so equal in the faculties of body and mind . . . one man can there upon claim to himself any benefit to which another may not pretend as well as he. For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself.” Specifically, no man is superior to another, similarly, “every man looketh that his companion should value him at the same rate he sets upon himself” (, 2005, p.107, p.109) (Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009, pg. 238) ( rachmorr, 2009)
     In leviathan, Hobbes contends that the natural state without civil government is war and “such a war as is of every man against every man. . . . [In] the nature of man, we find three principal causes of [conflict]. First, competition [for gain]; secondly, diffidence [for safety or trust]; thirdly, glory [reputation]”. In addition, because nature provides no security, except man himself for self-preservation, everyone suffers from “continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”.   In war, Hobbes argues, because there is no government, there is no law, with no law, there is no injustice.  “Force and fraud are in war the two cardinal virtues.”  Subsequently, “[t]he passions that incline men to peace are: fear of death.  And reason suggested convenient articles of peace upon which men may be drawn to agreement”.(, 2005, p. 110, p.111, p.112) ( rachmorr, 2009) (Comrade Joe., 2009)
     The right of nature according to Hobbes, is the “the liberty each man hath to use his own power as he will himself for the preservation of his own nature; that is to say, of his own life; and consequently, of doing anything which, in his own judgment and reason, he shall conceive to be the artist means there unto.”  (, 2005, p.112)  To put it another way, men have the right to maintain self-preservation by any means, including state of war, thus the laws of nature are inferred.  Hobbes continues by stating:  “Law of Nature is a precept or general rule, found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his life or which takes away the means of preserving the same. . . . For though they that speak of this subject used to confound jus and lex (right and law), yet they ought to be distinguished, because Right consists in liberty to do or forbear, whereas Law binds to one of them; so that law and right differ as much as obligation and liberty”.  (, 2005, p.113)   ( rachmorr, 2009) (Comrade Joe., 2009)
     The Leviathan, deduces many general rules of reason in the law of nature which directs toward civil peace:  such as seek peace; lay down the right to all things and transfer power to a sovereign; obey the social contract; promote the attitudes conducive to civil peace, such as gratitude, forgiveness, avoidance of pride, treating people equally, and acceptance of arbitration and impartial judgment. (, 2005, p.112 - 140 )  Hobbes also argues that in order to prevent conflict or war and promote justice and harmony,  an 'absolute sovereign' authority needs to judge right and wrong, just or unjust, while at the same time, utilize force and promote fear. (Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009, pg. 243-247)  To summarize, the laws of nature to the following precept: “Act toward others in a manner in which you would want them to act toward you”'. (, 2005, p.114.) ( rachmorr, 2009) (Comrade Joe., 2009)
     “The mutual transferring of right is that which men call contract” (aka covenant or social contract) (, 2005, p.116)   Absolute sovereignty is launched when men confer all their power to one person or an assembly of men through a contract, such as, according to Hobbes: “I authorize and give up my right of governing myself to this man, or to this assembly of men, on this condition; that thou give up, thy right to him and authorize all his actions in like manner. This done, the multitude so united in one person is called a commonwealth”. (, 2005, p.6 of 184)  (Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009, pg. 247) ( rachmorr, 2009) (Comrade Joe., 2009)
     The transferring of power is a voluntary action in order to obtain peace and preservation, however, the absolute sovereign is not subject or limited by the contract.  Likewise, a citizen cannot resist or judge the actions of the sovereign for crimes or injury, because doing so would be accusing one self. In a government of absolute sovereign, he/she governs the legislature, executive and judicial branches all in the name of peace. (Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009, p. 256) ( rachmorr, 2009) (Comrade Joe., 2009)
    In Hobbes's sphere of thinking, there is no 'separation of powers' in absolute sovereignty.  The separation of powers would impede or limit the government power to secure peace and does nothing to change the state of nature.  The rights of sovereignty are the following: “His power cannot, without his consent, be transferred to another: he cannot forfeit it: he cannot be accused by any of his subjects of injury: he cannot be punished by them: he is judge of what is necessary for peace, and judge of doctrines: he is sole legislator, and supreme judge of controversies, and of the times and occasions of war and peace: to him it belonged to choose magistrates, counselors, commanders, and all other officers and ministers; and to determine of rewards and punishments, honor and order”. (, 2005, p.30-31) ( rachmorr, 2009)(Comrade Joe., 2009)
     Hobbes considers religion as a competitor to an absolute sovereign.  The reason is that religion has the capability to create fear.  Since Hobbes describes religion as fear of “powers invisible”, religion is under the thumb of the sovereign's power. (Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009,  p. 257)  According to The Leviathan:  “The force of words being (as I have formerly noted) too weak to hold men to the performance of their covenants, there are in man's nature but two imaginable helps to strengthen it. And those are either a fear of the consequence of breaking their word, or a glory or pride in appearing not to need to break it. This latter is a generosity too rarely found to be presumed on, especially in the pursuers of wealth, command, or sensual pleasure, which are the greatest part of mankind. The passion to be reckoned upon is fear; whereof there be two very general objects: one, the power of spirits invisible; the other, the power of those men they shall therein offend. Of these two, though the former be the greater power, yet the fear of the latter is commonly the greater fear. The fear of the former is in every man his own religion, which hath place in the nature of man before civil society. The latter hath not so; at least not place enough to keep men to their promises”. (, 2005, p. 123) ( rachmorr, 2009) (Comrade Joe., 2009)
     The true liberty of a subject reported by Leviathan: “LIBERTY, or freedom, signified properly the absence of opposition (by opposition, I mean external impediments of motion); and may be applied no less to irrational and inanimate creatures than to rational./ And according to this proper and generally received meaning of the word, a free man is he that, in those things which by his strength and wit he is able to do, is not hindered to do what he has a will to. But when the words free and liberty are applied to anything but bodies, they are abused. /  So when we speak freely, it is not the liberty of voice, or pronunciation, but of the man, whom no law hath obliged to speak otherwise than he did. /  Lastly, from the use of the words free will, no  liberty can be inferred of the will, desire, or inclination, but the liberty of the man; which consistent in this, that he finds no stop in doing what he has the will, desire, or inclination to do. / Fear and liberty are consistent: as when a man therewith his goods into the sea for fear the ship should sink, he doth it nevertheless very willingly, and may refuse to do it if he will; it is therefore the action of one that was free: so a man sometimes pays his debt, only for fear of imprisonment, which, because nobody hindered him from detaining, was the action of a man at liberty. And generally all actions which men do in Commonwealths, for fear of the law, are actions which the doers had liberty to omit. / [W]e are to consider what rights we pass away when we make a Commonwealth; or, which is all one, what liberty we deny ourselves by owning all the actions, without exception, of the man or assembly we make our sovereign. For in the act of our submission consistent both our obligation and our liberty.  / . . .The obligation of subjects to the sovereign is understood to last as long, and no longer, than the power lasted by which he is able to protect them”. (, 2005, part 2, p.40-49)( rachmorr, 2009) (Comrade Joe., 2009)
     The paper now introduces the second enlightenment English philosopher and political theorist John Locke (1632-1704).  Locke presents a tamer view of the balance between individual freedom and liberty and ones obligation to the state in contrast to Thomas Hobbes's pessimistic view in “The Leviathan”.  Before going forward, however, keep in mind that “The leviathan” talked about motions and interactions of material bodies that incorporate fear as the determining factor of life.  Equally important, the absolute monarchy encompasses the means of maintaining a civil, peaceful order, at the same time, preventing the natural process of society into civil war.  Thus Hobbes saw rights as conveniences; liberty as the right to disobey.  Nevertheless, the powers of this Leviathan become the foundation for all civic obligations. (Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009, p.226-267) ( rachmorr, 2009)
         John Locke wrote the “Second Treatise of Government” which makes the assertion that man is naturally free and equal by God and not subject by nature to the monarchy. (, 2010)  The “Second Treatise of Government” allied with “The Leviathan”, where they both described the state of nature as a condition before government intervention or before civil society emerged and required social contract to secure peace. But it is at this junction, where both Hobbes and Locke polarity of thought becomes evident.  According to Locke, the state of nature is neither anarchy nor war as Hobbes describes it, although conflict can erupt from time to time.  Nor is it defined by what Hobbes called self-interest.  The Lockean state of nature is a community without government to act on its behalf.   ( Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009,  p.277)(Yale, 2013) (rachmorr, 2009)
     Locke indicates that in the state of nature, everyone is equal, because they are human beings with liberty and rights; therefore, everyone will follow the national law of reason.   “To understand political power aright, and derive it from its original, we must consider what estate all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of Nature, without asking leave or depending upon the will of any other man”. ((Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009,  p.279)( rachmorr, 2009)
    Locke continues by saying: “A state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another, there being nothing more evident than that creatures of the same species and rank, promiscuously born to all the same advantages of Nature, and the use of the same faculties, should also be equal one amongst another, without subordination or subjection, unless the lord and master of the mall should, by any manifest declaration of his will, set one above another, and confer on him, by an evident and clear appointment, an undoubted right to dominion and sovereignty”.  (Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009,  p.279 Sect 4)   Locke said that human rights such as life, liberty and property was included with the state of nature and was never meant to be voluntary or forcefully taken away from individuals. These were inalienable rights. (rachmorr, 2009)
     In regards of social contract, Hobbes considers a social contract a 'covenant' and Locke uses the term 'compact'.  Social contract according to John Locke, is not just an understanding/ agreement among the people, but a lasting trust that doesn't depended on ''calculation of returns” or transferring one's rights to the sovereign.  (Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009,  p.277-8)  Hence, Hobbes orientation to the state of nature as the state of war, while Locke's state of nature is destined to the positive and good,  thus weighing heavily on moral obligations to God.  It is also important to note, according to Locke, from the very beginning of one's life, one carries the common sense of obligation toward each other.  Therefore, the transition from individual to communal orientation is no problem. ( Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009, p.277) (rachmorr, 2009)
     “But though this be a state of liberty, yet it is not a state of license; though man in that state have an uncontrollable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions, yet he has not liberty to destroy himself, or so much as any creature in his possession, but where some nobler use than its bare preservation calls for it. The state of Nature has a law of Nature to govern it, which obliges every one, and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions; for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent and infinitely wise Maker; all the servants of one sovereign Master, sent into the world by His order and about His business; they are His property, whose workmanship they are made to last during His, not one another's pleasure”. (Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009,  p.279) (rachmorr, 2009)
     According to Locke, property in the state of nature is considered linkage where “all our rights are exercised”. (Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009, p.282)  In addition to this, private property is a necessary part of liberty.  Furthermore, Locke extends the idea of property of a person.  In Locke's line of reasoning, individuals are God’s property already.  Specifically, property is identified with our 'labor' that is accomplished through our own body and hands.  Property produces integrity.  According to the Second Treatise, no one can collect more property than they can use before it spoils. ( Deutsch, Fornieri, 2009,  p.283) (rachmorr, 2009)
     “God, who hath given the world to men in common, hath also given them reason to make use of it to the best advantage of life and convenience. The earth and all that is therein is given to men for the support and comfort of their being. And though all the fruits it naturally produces, and beasts it feeds, belong to mankind in common, as they are produced by the spontaneous hand of Nature, and nobody has originally a private dominion exclusive of the rest of mankind in any of them, as they are thus in their natural state, yet being given for the use of men, there must of necessity be a means to appropriate them some way or other before they can be of any use, or at all beneficial, to any particular men. ( Second Treatise,  chapt. 2, Section 25) (rachmorr, 2009)
     “Though the earth and all inferior creatures be common to all men, yet every man has a "property" in his own "person." This nobody has any right to but himself. The "labour" of his body and the "work" of his hands, we may say, are properly his. Whatsoever, then, he removes out of the state that Nature hath provided and left it in, he hath mixed his labour with it, and joined to it something that is his own, and thereby makes it his property. It being by him removed from the common state Nature placed it in, it hath by this labor something annexed to it that excludes the common right of other men. For this "labor" being the unquestionable property of the laborer, no man but he can have a right to what that is once joined to, at least where there is enough, and as good left in common for others”.  (Second treatise, chapt. 2, Section 26) (rachmorr, 2009)
      Locke favored a representative government like England with House of Lords and House of Commons.  However, Locke wanted men to be entrepreneurs. He also believed that only male property owners should be voting while keeping the people without property out of the voting system.  Locke held forth the opinion that the law-making legislature should have supreme authority where the courts are creating the legislature under its authority.  John Locke said in his Second Treatise that there should be life, liberty and the right of property.  John Locke said that all men are by nature created equal which means they are capable with unalienable rights.  That nature wouldn’t lone out who is governed and who is to be administered; there are no king’s privileges or legal privilege or rights of the reigning class. The Declaration of Independence is the founding article of the American political tradition. It pronounces the important ideas that form the American homeland: All men are created free and equal and enjoy the same essential, natural rights. Legitimate governments must therefore be based on the agreement of the ruled and must exist “to secure these rights.” (, 2013)
        As a practical matter, the Declaration of Independence announced to the world the unanimous intent of the thirteen American colonies to separate them from Great Britain. But its correct revolutionary significance is the declaration of a new foundation of political legitimacy in the sovereignty of the people. The Americans’ final appeal was not to any man-made decree or evolving spirit but to rights inherently possessed by all men. These rights are found in eternal “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” As such, the Declaration’s meaning transcends the particulars of time and conditions. (, 2013)
       The situations of the Declaration’s writing make us appreciate its extra-ordinariness statements even more. The war against Britain had been intense for two years when the Continental Congress via a resolution by Richard Henry Lee on June 7, 1776, chose a committee to discover the freedom of the colonies from Great Britain. John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston appealed to Thomas Jefferson to draft an official declaration which they presented with few enhancements, to Congress. On July 2, Congress voted for independence moved to discussion the wording of the Declaration, which was, with the distinguished removal of Jefferson’s passionate disapproval of slavery, firmly approved on the twilight of July 4. Every Fourth of July, America celebrates the act of independence . (, 2013) ( The Heritage guide to the Constitution, 2005, p. 46,179)
      Although the document was modified during the revolutionary war, the Declaration claims the foundation of widespread motive by disbursing “decent respect to the opinions of mankind” and appealing to “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” (, 2013) ( The Heritage guide to the Constitution, 2005, p. 46,179)
       The testimony in the document bases America and its regime on self-evident truths such as human equality and certain “unalienable rights.” The truths are self-evident, not in the logic of being directly clear to everyone, but somewhat in offering the rational or apparent assumption of what enlightened humanity recognizes by a human being. Self-evident truths are also not limited to any one era or nation; they are as correct today as they remained in 1776. To implement those rights is the contest of American politics. (, 2013) ( The Heritage guide to the Constitution, 2005, p. 46,179)
         Such rights are recognized and confirmed as liberties essential in human nature—the right to individual property. They are not only powers, and neither are they simply wishes or desires. “Endowed by their Creator,” these rights exceed the skill of any regime to abolish them. Thus, these characteristic or natural rights create authentic government and refute the validity of any government warranted only on, for example, religion, heredity, class, wealth, or race. (, 2013)( The Heritage guide to the Constitution, 2005, p. 46,179)
       In equality, so regarded, American government is essentially about rights or liberty. But these privileges follow from the equivalence of all men. This priority of equality clearly does not mean an equivalence of character, strength, or writing skill, batting averages; nor does it request a communistic equivalence of outcomes or situation. In fact the Declaration’s idea of fairness would forbid such accidental smoothing of the obviously varied human condition. Whatever our differences, there happens an important human uniqueness—that no one is instinctive to conquer or be conquered. Equality in this intellect therefore necessitates that authentic government be founded on “the consent of the governed.” (, 2013)( The Heritage guide to the Constitution, 2005, p. 46,179)
       In the Pursuit of Happiness, the purpose of such an authentic government in opportunity is to safeguard “certain unalienable rights,” including “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Rights conclude in the pursuit of happiness. And happiness is not about self-satisfaction or dazed choice but rather a life lived to its full latent—human prosperity. (, 2013) (The Heritage guide to the Constitution, 2005, p. 46,179)
        By creating three branches of government, the delegates built a "check and balance" system into the Constitution. This system was constructed so that one branch of our government couldn’t become too powerful.  (, 2013) (The Heritage guide to the Constitution, 2005, p. 46,179)
       Each branch is controlled by the other two in numerous ways. For example, the president may veto a law approved by Congress. Congress can overrule that veto with a vote of two-thirds in cooperation of Congress. Another example is that the Supreme Court may restrain Congress by announcing a law unconstitutional. The power is composed by the circumstance that members of the Supreme Court are chosen by the president. Those appointments have to be permitted by Congress. (, 2013) ( The Heritage guide to the Constitution, 2005, p. 46, 179)
         The concept of Separation of Powers is exemplified in the Constitution in the 1st Article, in the 2nd Article, and in the 3rd Article. Fifty state constitutions specify that government be divided into three branches: legislative, executive and judicial. While separation of powers is crucial to the mechanisms of American government, no democratic system happens with total separation of powers or a total absence of separation of powers.  Governmental powers and responsibilities deliberately overlap; they are too problematic and interconnected to be neatly compartmentalized. As a result, there is a characteristic measure of rivalry and struggle among the branches of government.  Throughout American history, there also has been an ebb and flow of supremacy among the governmental branches.  Such experiences propose that where power resides is part of an evolutionary process. (, 2013) (The Heritage guide to the Constitution, 2005, p. 46, 179)
        The Constitution covers no delivery openly announcing that the powers of the three branches of the federal government shall be separated. James Madison, in his original draft of what would become the Bill of Rights, included a planned amendment that would make the separation of powers explicit, but his suggestion was rejected, mainly because his fellow members of Congress thought the farewell of powers principle to be understood in the construction of government under the Constitution. Madison's future amendment, they concluded, would be a dismissal. (, 2013) (The Heritage guide to the Constitution, 2005, p. 46, 179)
      The first article of the Constitution says "All legislative powers shall be conferred in a Congress." The second article vests "the executive power in a President” who is obliged to faithfully execute the laws as written, and not to suspend some and enforce all others. The third article spaces the "judicial power of the United States in one Supreme Court" and "in such inferior Courts as the Congress may establish." (, 2013) ( The Heritage guide to the Constitution, 2005, p. 46, 179)
        Separation of powers attends numerous goals. Separation prevents attentiveness of influence (tyranny) and delivers each branch with armaments to fight off infringement by the other two branches. As James Madison claimed in the Federalist Papers (No. 51), "Ambition must be made to counteract ambition." Clearly, our system of separated powers is not designed to maximize efficiency; it is designed to maximize freedom.  (, 2013)  ( The Heritage guide to the Constitution, 2005, p. 46, 179)
     Freedom in the US Constitution is freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion from the first amendment. Such freedom as is appreciated by the citizens of a state or country under the safeguard of its constitution; the collective of those individual, civic, and political rights of the separate which are guaranteed by the constitution and protected in contradiction of invasion by the management or any of its agencies. (, 2013)
     The Bill of Rights, Amendments 1 to 10 of the Constitution protects the individual's rights to liberty from the power of government. The 1st Amendment, for example, says that Congress shall not take away a person' freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition. Rather, the Constitution undertakes that all people mechanically have these civil freedoms and therefore confines the government from using its influence to abuse persons. Thus, there is an isolated jurisdiction of life, which government officials cannot occupy without disrupting the Constitution. (, 2013)
     Some freedoms at risk today are religion and gun rights.  The US Government is creating a nationwide gun registry so the feds can eventually remove guns from responsible gun owners, just like Canada removed guns when it created a gun registry in the 1980s.  Amendment II states: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, should not be infringed”.  (The U.S. Constitution; Reader, 2012, p.59)
     The First Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits Congress from passing any law that infringes the free exercise of religion. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; . . .”   (The U.S. Constitution; Reader, 2012, p.58)  The question today is whether or not this freedom will still be permitted when it comes to the public life of Christians. (, 2013)
     The conflict is arising over the matter of contraceptives in health care plans. The Roman Catholic Church holds that all contraceptives are immoral. Most Evangelical Christians do not forbid all contraceptives, but hold that contraceptives that induce abortions are sinful. The current issue is the mandate under the Affordable Care Act for businesses, including those owned by Christians and Catholics formed to uphold Christian values, to provide contraceptives that include 'the morning after pill' in the insurance plans of their employees. Religion liberty violations are becoming an issue, where Christian businesses, Universities, hospitals and charities would have to pay for healthcare that is traditionally absent from the decades long expenditures of their public charity funds and belief. (, 2013)
     The 17th amendment rectified since 1913, states:  The Senate of the United States should be composed of two Senators from each state, elected by the people [not state legislators] thereof, for six years”.  (The U.S. Constitution: A Reader, 2012, p.62)  There are no limits on how many times each Senator or House representative can run for congress. What we see over time, is many of our congressmen have become professional politician, whose agendas are becoming more distance of the needs of their constituents, resulting in a situation where more democratic and oligarchic (power is vested in a few people). The state can crush the civil society institutions, such as church, family, and community that are the essence of American society. (Levin, M.R., 2013, p. 30-32) Just in the past weeks, the Democratic Party in the Senate abolished the super majority vote replacing it with a simple majority, because the super majority no longer works in the Democratic oligarchy.
     In this paper's opinion, individuals should be able to freely select (not the government) our own health insurance and if need be, purchase one's healthcare insurance across state lines. In the very near future, insurance companies will be limited and selections reduced to the single state.  Since April 22, 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency has been doing economic planning with five year plans since its establishment. The Article 1, Sec. 8 has the “Commerce Clause” which grants the federal government “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” When the commerce clause was written, the federal government had ever-expanding scope and power. (, 2013)
     So is our Liberty and freedom at risk in today's state?  "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed." — Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence.  In regards of Thomas Jefferson's famous above quote, this paper does not believe that our present government is listening to or has the “consent of the Governed” which stands in contrast to the European's “will of the majority”.  So what is the better way to organize a society so people can be free and flourish, Hobbes or Locke?  Possibly Locke's smaller government, more limited government, that promotes more individual freedom and liberty is more favorable over Hobbes's Leviathan state, a big state, an entitlement state that can crush the civil society institutions, such as church, family, and community that are the essence of American society.
     In conclusion, this paper would like to reflect on the echoes of John Locke, through Thomas Jefferson's powerful words for liberty:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness”.  (  Perhaps, the next time in the voting booth, we the “governed”, should all remember Thomas Jefferson's powerful words for liberty, 'period'!

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        Retrieved November 27, 2013 from University of Oregon website
Anonymous (2013) Leviathan
        Retrieved November 27, 2013 from University of Oregon website

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