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Social Contract Paper

Essay by   •  May 19, 2017  •  Research Paper  •  4,396 Words (18 Pages)  •  1,084 Views

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Introduction:

My name is John Locke and I am among the most famous philosophers and political theorists of the seventeenth century. I was an English philosopher during the Age of Renaissance and the early Age of Enlightenment. I am regarded as the founder of a school of thought known as British Empiricism, the idea that the origin of all knowledge is from sense experience, providing a main opposition for seventeenth century continental rationalists. I believe the mind is an "tabula rasa" (blank slate) and people are born without innate ideas. In my most important work, the Essay Concerning Human Understanding, I offer an analysis of the human mind and its procurement of knowledge. I had also made foundational contributions to modern theories of limited, liberal government. I believe the purpose of a legitimate government is to preserve the rights to life, liberty, health and property of its citizens, as well as prosecute and punish those who violate the rights of others and to pursue the public good even where this may conflict with the rights of individuals. I believe all men are by nature free and equal against claims that God had made all people naturally subject to a monarch; people have rights such as life, liberty, and property, that have a foundation independent of the laws of any particular society. Men are naturally free and equal as part of the justification for understanding legitimate political government as the result of a social contract where people in the state of nature conditionally transfer some of their rights to the government in order to better ensure the stable, comfortable enjoyment of their lives, liberty, and property. Since governments exist by the consent of the people in order to protect the rights of the people and promote the public good, governments that fail to do so can be resisted and replaced with new governments.

Margaret Thatcher's political career has been one of the most remarkable of modern times. She was born in October 1925 at Grantham, a small market town in eastern England. She rose to become the first woman to lead a major Western democracy. She won three successive General Elections and served as British Prime Minister for more than eleven years (1979-90). Thatcher served three terms as prime minister before putting in her resignation yielded by pressure from the other members of the party. During her term of office she reshaped almost every aspect of British politics, reviving the economy, reforming outdated institutions, and reinvigorating the nation's foreign policy. Margaret Thatcher's policies as prime minister changed many aspects of British life, and were collectively called Thatcherism; which describes her conviction politics, economic, social policy and political style. “Thatcherism represents a belief in free markets and a small state. Rather than planning and regulating business and people's lives, government's job is to get out of the way… It should be restricted to the bare essentials: defence of the realm and the currency. Everything else should be left to individuals, to exercise their own choices and take responsibility for their own lives” (UK Politics). In her Speech “The Principles of Thatcherism” Margaret explained how she “became even more convinced that liberty, prosperity, in fact all good things, were impossible without a rule of law… We set limits to government but we sought to ensure that government performed effectively those functions which are Government's alone… As a Conservative revolutionary, by temperament as much as by necessity, I relished doing this when weaker hearts did not. The principles and policies were all part of a total but anti-totalitarian vision.” (Principles of Thatcherism). Margaret Thatcher believed “that the great mistake of the last few years has been for the government to provide or to legislate for almost everything… we started off with a wish on the part of the people for more government intervention in certain spheres… now it is difficult if not impossible for people to get at the official making the decision and so paradoxically although the degree of intervention is greater, the government has become more and more remote from the people” (Whats Wrong With Politics). Margaret Believed much like Locke the government should be limited, where people help intervene with government decisions; but she recognizes that the government has distanced itself from its people lately, something she attempts to resolve in the duration of her career.

Today I will be evaluating Margaret Thatcher during her three terms as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Leader of the Conservative Party. I am evaluating three different aspects of her rule including; the state of nature, Social Contract, and natural rights and how her rule has changed over the course of her time in power and its effect on these different aspects. Thatcher's Governments demonstrated each of these aspects during all three of her terms through both foreign and domestic affairs.

Locke's Political Philosophies:

The state of nature, the natural condition of mankind, is a state of perfect and complete liberty to conduct one's life as one best sees fit, free from the interference of others; but this doesn't mean one is free to do anything one pleases, or even anything that one judges to be in one’s interest (Locke’s Political Philosophy). “No man in civil society can be exempted from the laws of it: for if any man may do what he thinks fit, and there be no appeal on earth, for redress or security against any harm he shall do” (Second Treatise of Government). “Men being, as has been said, by nature, all free, equal and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent” (Second Treatise of Government). The State of Nature, although a state with no civil authority or government to punish people for transgressions against laws, it is not a state without justice. People are to be equal to one another in such a state; therefore, equally capable of discovering and being bound by the Law of Nature. “Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions” (Second Treatise of Government).

The Social Contract theory is the view that person's' moral and/or political obligations are dependent upon a contract or agreement among them to form the society in which they live. The purpose of rulers is to govern fairly, and where people are supposed to help improve society. My most important and influential political writings are contained in Two Treatises on Government. The first treatise contains an argumentative position towards Robert Filmer’s Patriarcha, that political authority was

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