Why, according to John Locke, should one abandon the freedom of nature to join civil society, and what does he constitute as a legitimate government?
John Locke championed the principle of humankind’s inalienable rights. These rights are so inherent in the individual’s nature, that they are inseparable from the human experience. Rights such as self-preservation and the pursuit of property were duly noted by him to be granted by nature alone. However, Locke recognized that there needed to be a tradeoff. Since true liberty cannot exist without authoritative recognition and protection of the individual, he argued for an abandonment of nature’s anarchy so that people would bind themselves to the social contract of citizenship, wherein they would be responsible for both exercising their rights as well as protecting the rights of others. This citizenry would need to be governed, and their government’s main responsibility would be to protect their lives…
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