The foundation of modern democracy was laid by the British thinker John Locke, which was based on optimistic principles, before that there would be a state and it would have a law and order, this concept was laid by Thomas Hobbes. Influenced by which John Locke put his principles in front of the world, influenced by which America made the world’s first written constitution.
The purpose of writing with source of Stanford University official website about John Locke is to know how the foundation of democracy was laid and how there has been a struggle in history for this. The reason for taking this topic here is that democracy does not only mean voting, for this we will try to know what reasons have been given by this thinker. Locke believed in limited government with consent of the governed, protection of natural rights, and the right to revolt against tyranny.
John Locke (1632 -1704) –
John Locke’s early life was spent in Bristol, where, at the age of 10, he saw the conflict within Britain, which was between the polity and the British Parliament. He completed his education from Oxford University, in which he also obtained a medical degree.
John Locke’s father was a lawyer by profession and served in the British Parliament’s cavalry. Due to which after his education, he came in contact with political leader Anthony Ashley Cooper and became his medical advisor, so that he saw politics very closely and he himself continued to work as a thinker by staying in politics.
Thomas Hobbes had a great influence on John Locke, due to which he studied the same theory and included his thoughts in it and put it in front of the society in a new way, due to which he became very famous.
Philosophy of John Locke –
As we have seen, Thomas Hobbes’s ideas had a great influence on him in the early days. He considered his thoughts as negative thinking, so he put the same thoughts in front of the world in a new way. John Locke used to give great importance to the individual rights of the people and in that too he has been very insisting for the right to property.
That is why he is also called capitalist thinker. The true foundation of capitalism was laid by Adam Smith after 100 years, in which the ideas of Karl Marx saw a lot of changes in the model of democracy. In which an attempt was made to express his views about the social contract, state of nature in a positive manner.
He completely rejected the traditional polity and created such a system, in which the state would be formed with the consent of the society and he would create law and order to protect the interests of the society. If this system starts working against the interest of the society, then it will have the right to revolt peacefully.
Thomas Hobbs & John Locke –
Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679) In this period, John Locke was working in his early ideology, which has been influenced by the ideas of Thomas Hobbes. The period in which Thomas Hobbes lived was quite violent, in which he saw the conflict between Roman Catholic and Protestant, where there was no such thing as law and order.
Thomas Hobbes considered the creation of society and state as the reason for the earlier situation where there was no such thing as law and order and there was no system to protect the life of the people. John Locke did not consider the State of Nature’s system to be so bad and people there too were living their lives in a peaceful way.
In this way, the ideology of Thomas Hobbes was based on negative thoughts and the ideology of John Locke was based on positive thoughts, but the purpose of both was to establish the state in the society and to create law and order.
What is Natural Rights ? –
John Locke believed that even before the creation of society, man was very intelligent and that is why he did not need law and order, he knew to respect his own rights and the rights of others.
The natural rights which John Locke explained was based on reasoning, knowing the reasons in which he considered the traditional rights as irrational and respecting each other’s freedom and respecting the wishes of others along with his own wishes. admits.
Even before the creation of society, people respected each other’s rights and the right to life and the right to property is a right given to us by God, in which any person can make it his property by combining his hard work with natural things. He believed so.
State of Nature Theory –
Thomas Hobbes and John Locke’s Theory of State of Nature tells about the life of human beings before the formation of social order in different ways. John Locke believed that the transition from state of nature to society was a change over time.
The same Thomas Hobbes believed that this state of nature was a very unsafe condition for a human being in which he did not have the security of his life. John Locke presents this State of Nature in a positive way to the people in which people were intellectuals and they knew to respect each other’s rights.
John Locke says, even though there was no system called state or law and order in the state of nature, yet people exercised their rights peacefully.
Social Contract Theory –
John Locke puts the theory of social contract in front of the world in his own way, in which he says, first all the people of the society together created the state, this was the first social contract in the history of man, for which no system has been created yet. went.
John Locke says that the creation of the second social contract, man created a system of judiciary, executive and independent state, which would work to protect the rights of people in society and would work to establish law and order.
At the time when John Locke had put forth his ideas, this idea has been quite revolutionary, today we find this idea quite prevalent. Representative democracy was not born till that time but the polity would remain under the people, this idea John Locke placed before the society.
Doctrine of Consent –
Before this, many thinkers had expressed their views about the principle of social contract and the independent of the individual, but John Locke put forward the principle of consensus in front of the world for the first time. Which meant that after the establishment of a state, it would have to take the status of the state and the recognition of law and order from the people.
We know the principle of general contract, but there must be consent between the ruling and the ruled class, otherwise this state will not get judicial status and people can remove such state system from power. No one had put forward such thoughts before.
Today, what we see in the process of election after every five years, this public says that it is supreme. John Locke gave the people the right to change the power working against the interest of the society. Earlier, kings were God’s chosen people, which was considered a great crime to deny, which John Locke dismissed outright.
Social & Political Community –
John Locke has divided the society into two parts, the people who lived in the State of Nature are considered as social communities and when the state was created and the law and order was created, then it is believed that the political society was created.
Earlier we saw in detail the principle of social contract, this is called political community. In which every citizen of the society gets involved in politics. Therefore, it is necessary to have control of the society on the system of the state, this shows us through the principle of their consent.
Today we see that people say that we stay away from politics, politics is a bad thing, but this idea of John Locke says that the day we created the state and law and order, on the same day all the people of the society as a political community We have become a part of politics, so we stay away from politics, to say this means to deny democracy.
Separation of Power –
John Locke tries to keep his thoughts from a positive point of view, in which he believes that the people of the society are responsible and he is capable of choosing the ruler. Before John Locke, there was a social revolution in Europe, due to which people struggled a lot to separate religion and politics.
After the formation of the society, religion and state power established their supremacy over the society for many days, which was opposed by people like Martin Luther and changes started taking place in the society and religion decided to take two steps behind itself, due to which western countries First of all, education system based on logic was created and we get to see a lot of changes in science in this time.
John Locke laid down the principles of building a system of legislative, executive and federation, in which each one would work in his area to establish the individual rights and law and order of the people, such principles which were later developed greatly by other philosophers of France and England. Did it So that no system remains completely powerful and works in the interest of the society.
Legal System in India (1632 -1704) –
At the time when the revolution of education in the western countries had developed knowledge and science and people started to know about their freedom and rights and were opposing the wrong notions of society on the basis of logic. This time Western Europe was at the last stage of the social revolution and political upheaval was beginning, under which the king of England was killed in general and the polity was over for some time.
This was the period of social revolution in India, where the work of awakening was going on in the society by many saints. The British established their first colony Surat in 1600 and they were establishing themselves for the purpose of trade in India which was the time of the first Mughal ruler.
The Mughal regime was in rule and Religious legal system were there in Mughal period working with effective caste system was used in local level i.e their own legal system. Democracy, legal rights and social contract this type of thinking was far away from the Indian society.
Best books of John Locke –
- Two Treaties of Government – John Locke
- An Essay concerning human understanding – John Locke
On Toleration – John Locke
- Locke – Samuel Rickless
- Locke -A Biography – Roger Woolhouse
- The Cambridge Companion to Locke – Vere Chappell
In this way, we understood by looking at the views of John Locke that he gave his views about the negative social contract and individual authority of Thomas Hobbes. John Locke has tried to analyze the condition of the society before the formation of state and law and order.
In which, despite the absence of law and order, the society was living its life in a peaceful manner and he accepted the state and law and order along with the development of the society. He believed that the basic purpose of creating any system was to create the rights of the people and law and order.
Whatever power will work against the interest of the people, they believe that the society has the right to rebel against it. He has tried to directly reject the traditional polity and reward the system which works for the society.