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Locke & Hobbes

Locke & Hobbes

As election season heats up with the conventions approaching and the news cycle sure to generate fluctuations in poll numbers, interest starts to heat up among the undecided voters and those otherwise not very interested in politics.  With party polarization at quite possibly an all-time high, many may not even know what the really believe.

It’s important to avoid the sensationalized topics such as shirtless Paul Ryan pictures, gaffes by candidates that are blown out of proportion, and letting a single issue that is self-beneficiary distort your view of the policies and beliefs that a candidate espouses.

However, let’s take it even a step back.  While many times political discourse and debates revolve around the economic and social benefactors and considerations of an issue, and rightfully so, some would say that a third issue is often forgotten: philosophy.  Karl Marx, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Alexis de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill, and Friedrich Nietzsche are a few of the most popular of such philosophers who span a wide variety of beliefs across the political spectrum.

However, the most encapsulating and eternal rivalry in political philosophy is that of John Locke and Thomas Hobbes.  The two Englishmen helped pioneer much of modern political theory, and by doing so, some of their debates address rudimentary beliefs and concepts that transcend party realignments and are not bound to an American Party System.

They truly are timeless, and learning more about their debates of the most fundamental roles and rights of government and the people they represent can help give you a good understanding of what you believe, and will help you discover and mold your own core political identity.

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