Social Contract Theory

Social Contract Theory

In this Article, an author will explain what is Social contract Theory and why do we need it.

What is Common to all social contract theories?

1) Developed in close connection with the understanding of natural rights.

2) They have a democratic character. Modern democracy has smothered ideas.

3) The State has been established to protect at first human life, secondly, freedom, and also the property.

4) The contract has been entered into rationally. The man has been aware of what he wants to achieve.

The State shall establish, as a result of a deliberate act, by mutual agreement of the public or by entering into an agreement on the establishment of the State in the interest of the common.

Thomas Hobbs

Hobbs was living in England in 1588-1679.

Hobbs doesn’t look at the person in the hands of God. He looks at a man as a living being. The personality is dominated by egotism, so, initially, when the country was not yet, there was a natural state, a state of no state, and then egotistically tended individuals clashed with each other. In the pre-country state, each wanted to satisfy their interests and restricted each other’s interests. The public was in a state of internal wars.

The law

The law means “Man is a wolf for man”. Happily, a human has a trait – a self-preservation instinct and a human rational being. Self-preservation instinct leads society to the formation of the state. The State is a political organization of society governing relations between members of the public. A public organization shall be seen in a person of the ruler who has authority in the masses of the nation. Judge the court, rule the law, consider peace and justice.

A social contract company is entitled to conclude only once, and it is neither breakable nor reversible nor non-exhaustive. It follows, if there is a monarchy, that it remains a monarchy for the rest of its life. If there is a Republic, there is a Republic for a lifetime. What the shape of the country is, it remains forever. Hobbs thinks the ruler is absolute and sovereign. The State guarantees individuals freedom – the right to do everything allowed by law.

Hobbs believed that natural rights were above state power. State power advocates the natural rights of people.

John Locke

Locke was living in England in 1632-1704.

According to Locke, a person from the beginning lives in a natural state. A man lives a harmonious life. Individuals are independent, act on property freely, have equality. There are customs rights in a harmonious society. Customs law is guaranteed by society itself.

There is a problem, however. The rights of each individual but not able to prosecute a criminal. The individual is not alone because he lives in families. If you catch it, bills. The problem arises when everyone needs to be punished. A family can cut another family out and no killer gang is punished. The whole of society is being punished. Society combines forces to ensure legality so that the criminal is punished permanently according to the crime. Adequate and irreversible punishment of the criminal. In order to ensure equality, the right to enforce special, natural laws, people establish a political community – a country. There are two generations between Locke and Hobbs. Views on the country have changed.

According to Locke, the state must respect natural rights. If the monarch doesn’t, the nation rises, overthrows, takes another. The State acts in the interest and on behalf of the majority of the public. Laying the groundwork for democracy. The understanding of modern democracy was clear in the 18-19th century.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Rousseau was living in France in 1712-1778.

According to him, the man is the happiest in a primitive community. Before the establishment of the state, there is only physical inequality (men, women). The root of misfortunes is that the primitive community creates a private property that divides society. There are rich and the poor. The rich don’t work, the poor have no livelihoods. Mutual inequality forms in an already primitive society. The public is splitting into two hostile forces. Hatred is unacceptable. Chances of realizing are on the rich side. The poor depend on the rich. The poor can only work out. People realize that they are losing their natural freedom and that is why society decides to build civil freedom. Guarantee some civil freedom for all.

Common interests are a compromise. Civil liberty is a sham. The state gets all the power, collects private property, controls freedom. Instead of equality, a man gets equality in front of a despot. Ruso says – away with no rights and country – everyone is equal.


Ruso is laying the groundwork for the idea of popular sovereignty: The nation is sovereign. Nation must take the power whose power belongs; power stems from the nation.

Nothing if the people elected the leader. The nation has not devolved its sovereignty to the king, has not given power to the king, has only devolved, delegated power. Ruso is an idealist. Says the nation should not delegate any power to anyone. The only form of state – direct democracy, when the nation itself takes all political decisions. The nation needs to exercise power through the nation’s trustees. The idea of transparency of power – the nation needs to control the trustees. The nation is free to change the public contract, amend, change, replenish.

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