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John Locke's vs. Thomas Hobbes' Liberty

by Christian Ledford

John Locke’s 1689 
Second Treatise on Civil Government is, without a doubt, one of the most fundamental and foundational texts of the Enlightenment. Not only did the work of Locke directly inspire the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution, but Lockean Classical Liberalism has laid the foundation of modern day political movements such as American conservatism and rightwing libertarianism. Locke, in writing his Second Treatise, took Hobbesian philosophy on natural rights and extrapolated and elaborated upon it to produce a definition of natural rights that was in direct alignment with both capitalist social mechanics as well as Christian ethics. Rather than endorsing Hobbesian philosophy that argued for an idea of rights where the only rights an individual possessed were those they could personally grasp and defend on pure, brute strength alone (up to and including the very property and lives of other individuals), Locke distilled the idea of natural rights into a consistent, universal standard in which each individual, on pure basis of humanity alone and regardless of any natural strength, possessed inalienable rights: life, liberty, and property.
  • 30 November 2020
  • Author: Guest Blogger
  • Number of views: 40
  • Comments: 0

John Locke vs. Thomas Hobbes

by Christian Ledford

In the coming decades natural rights may be more vulnerable to subversion and violation than they have ever been. It is of the utmost importance that we return to the ideals of Lockean Liberalism and the Christian origins of natural rights. ...Individuals across the globe must rise up and declare that their rights come not from constitutions, not from politicians, not from laws, and not from the state, but instead as a universal and inalienable endowment from their creator: God.

*This piece is both timely and fitting for the current political climate. It is an excerpt from a longer speech that Christian wrote for last spring's Locke and Lewis / Faith and Reason speech contest at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He delivered this speech from the university's film studio on March 18, the first week after it had been shut down due to the Coronavirus. It won first place. The full video recording of the speech can be viewed in YouTube here: https://youtu.be/glhYFz7nxmc. Christian Ledford is a recent political-science graduate of the university (2019) who aspires to a profession in law.

**The Editor has divided this piece into three parts beginning with the final two paragraphs. 

  • 11 November 2020
  • Author: Guest Blogger
  • Number of views: 261
  • Comments: 0
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