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The Individualism Of Hobbes And Locke

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Chapter Summary

Hobbes developed an explanation of how human societies operated and how they should be organized. He believed that he had identified the main features of human nature and that such knowledge could be used in the development of the kind of social arrangements most conducive to human happiness. Hobbes brand of individualism foreshadowed the 'night-watchman' state of liberal political economy. It anticipated the development of the free contract society, which was expected to consist of 'free individuals' with no master other than the law. The same theory of social contract used by Hobbes to condemn rebellion was thereafter used by Locke to justify it in certain circumstances. Contemporary individualists create distance between the ideas of Hobbes and Locke. John Locke depicted the free use of money as an expression of consent on the part of the entire community to the inequality made possible through its use.

Keywords: Hobbes; individualism; Locke; money



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