Answer to Question #199898 in Political Science for mahima

Question #199898

social contract theory of john locke (800 words)

Expert's answer

John Locke's version of social contract theory is striking in saying that the only right people give up in order to enter into civil society and its benefits is the right to punish other people for violating rights. No other rights are given up, only the right to be a vigilante. Even the right to be a vigilante is restored to the individual if the government violates the social contract by failing to punish individuals who violate rights. However, the principle of "People Must Not Be Judges in Their Own Cases" states that no single individual or group of people with the same grievance should decide that the government has failed to punish those who violate their rights. Before anyone takes the law into their own hands again, there should be a significant number of people who do not have a direct grievance but believe that the government is failing to do its duty. And the premise that individuals should not be judges in their own cases means that establishing at least an ad hoc civil society to compensate for the shortcomings of the regular government is preferable than resorting to anarchy.

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