Do you enter a Social Contract described by Locke/Hobbes by using government services or must there be a more significent entrance into this Contract?

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    Welcome! Is there any chance you could develop or unpack your concern a bit further? What might you be reading or studying that made this problem interesting or urgent for you? What have you found out already?
    – Joseph Weissman
    Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 19:39

1 Answer 1


I guess you mean the Social Contract described by Locke/Hobbes?

As soon as you somehow agreed with the reasons Hobbes/Locke offer for entering the contract you made your commitment. (this includes the pure acceptance of not being threaten by anybody around you)

Why should anybody willingly renounce their autocracy?

-> (translation from German, so please forgive if I missed the original text) John Locke: About the Government

The answer is obvious as he does have all his rights in his natural state but he cannot enjoy them as he has to be afraid of his security and is continuously threaten by the other around him. He also can never be sure of his posessions.

Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan

The people, who naturally love freedom and power entered that self-restrained called government to secure their existens and a peaceful life, in other words to flee from the normal state of chronicle warfare (the natural state of human kind)

  • thanx for the pointer
    – YUASK
    Commented Nov 23, 2011 at 5:55
  • I wonder how, after Stalinism and Fascism, anybody is still interested in the utterly naive Hobbes, who seems to take it for granted that the state "secures property and existence"? Ask a surviver of the Holocaust, they'll tell you.
    – Ingo
    Commented Jan 7, 2012 at 1:21
  • @Ingo I don't think Hobbes was oblivious to government institutions which did not act in the best interest of all the people. However you slice it, all governments "secure property and existence" for at least one group of people, whether the lines are draw between the ruling elite and the people, or the ruling elite + some favored racial/ethnic majority, etc. The government may very well not equally secure the property and existence of all the "in-groups" either; I'm sure the ruling elite of the Nazi party were even more secure in their possessions and existence than the average citizen.
    – stoicfury
    Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 16:14
  • @stoicfury - Indeed, but then, even a horde of robbers secure property and existence for some people. Actually, big criminal organizations like the mafia actually care very well for their people, which could be almost all people in a certain region like Calabria or Sicilia (in Italy). Hence they are the biggest threads to states, as they are themselves state-like organizations. Nevertheless, nobody thinks in earnest that the Mafia is the model for social life. (Or at least I hope so.)
    – Ingo
    Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 23:31
  • Yes, I would count those groups as categorically the same as a government. :)
    – stoicfury
    Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 0:03

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