Sunday, April 24, 2011

Daily Kos: Founding Fathers and Wealth

Daily Kos: Founding Fathers and Wealth: "Republics, they concluded, require an equitable distribution of wealth. Where wealth concentrates, political power can never be democratically shared. Locke's conception of human nature was that we are capable of self-rule - that is, especially through the facility of reason, arguing that individuals can be (largely) trusted to manage their own affairs in ways that are (more or less) consistent with the interests and well-being of others. However Hobbes suggested

if human beings are primarily self-interested and desire-driven - we are not capable of self-rule. On the contrary: our ruthless competition with one another to satisfy individual desires will quickly lead to what Hobbes calls 'the war of each against all,' a 'state of nature' in which life is 'nasty, brutish, and short.' Hobbes' conception of human nature leads us to an either/or: either we enjoy freedom from society and its laws - resulting in chaos; or we give up this freedom for an authoritarian regime - and enjoy a social order established by force. By contrast, if Locke is right - if human beings are naturally rational. social, and thus capable of self-rule - then we don't need an authoritarian regime to save us from ourselves. For Locke, our reason is crucial precisely as it is able to determine for us appropriate goals or en"

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