What would Hobbes and Locke think after September 11, terrorist attack

Essay by AntoniaCollege, UndergraduateA, December 2003

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Hobbes and Locke in our time

Nowadays, especially after the terrorist acts on September 11, 2001 and the war in Iraq, terrorism is a top issue, that turns the attention of the whole world. The reason for that is that the nations are threatened for their security and safety. Constant conflicts and wars keep people in tension. What should the government do for the national security? I would like to analyze on this question by looking at the theories of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes.

Thomas Hobbes and John Locke are two political philosophers; their theories were

about the formation of the society and what the social contract means. Their theories will help us to understand their views on the role and purpose of the government and how their response will be to acts of terrorism and national security. On the one hand, it is important to keep high level security sanctions and to provide safety for the country, but on the other hand, facing the reality that the war on terrorism is not likely to be a temporary situation of war, the decisions that the government takes, affect and restrict people in their liberty and right of freedom in a long term.

Doubtless, both thinkers have different opinions on human nature and state of nature; the state of nature is where people were in before political government came into existence. Hobbes considered that humans, in their nature, are selfish and tend to do everything for their own reason. In the state of nature, people are always at fight with each other, because everybody is acting on self-interest. When everybody is trying to get whatever he wants and the resources, whether it food, money or shelter, are limited, conflict appears between the people.

Thus, they have to live with...