Locke’s and Hobbes’s View of Government; Whose was Better

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Locke’s and Hobbes’s View of Government; Whose was Better?

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Locke’s and Hobbes’s View of Government; Whose was Better?


John Locke (1632-1704) and Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) were English philosophers that were deemed the founders of modern philosophy. They both existed in the era of enlightenment. Both Locke and Hobbes articulated and justified different views on the role of state. Hobbes subscribed to the idea of an absolute monarchy as the only true form of government. In his argument, it was the only force strong enough to keep humanity’s cruel impulses in check. In Hobbe’s view, having a wielded supreme king that has unlimited power over subjects was better than having a government. On the other hand, Locke rejected the idea of right of kings. He insisted that governments should exist, to promote public good and protect people’s liberty, life and property. In my viewpoint, Hobbes view of government is better than Locke’s view of the same.

Supporting Argument

Absolutism Guarantees a Better Feudal System

The main reason why Hobbes’ view of government is better than Locke’s is that it brings stability to a country’s feudal system. Looking closely at sovereign states with government and those that are ruled by monarchies, one can easily tell that the latter have better balance sheets and are more credit worthy. One would think that monarchs are likely to score poorly in credit rating, however, this is far from the truth. A report by Standards & Poors, a leading agency that rates credits of 129 countries, out of which 39 are ruled by a monarch, monarchies have an average credit score of A- (Lovins, 2018). Countries that are ruled by queens or kings get an average score that is below 3 rungs. Countries that observe kinship as a system of government are better at repaying their debts and making interest payments to bondholders on time earning them even a better score. The rulers of monarch nations tend to be more accountable than their counterparts in a democratic system of government. If a country’s finances are in order the company is likely to benefit because it will also provide its people with a good standard of living.

Succession is Usually Smooth Sailing

Another reason why Hobbes’s view about absolute monarchy being better than Locke’s view is that transition is usually a smooth affair. In monarch’s succession is determined by sex, religion, legitimacy, and descent. Under law, the king’s crown is inherited by the sovereign’s children or their nearest collateral line, who is childless. As such, elections are not necessary since kinship is passed down the family lane. Led by Emperor Akihito, Japan is an example of the oldest continuing hereditary monarchy in the world. Other examples of long-serving monarchs are Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II.

Counterargument Assessment

Absolute Monarchy is too Harsh

Some of the critics of Hobbes’s idea of absolutism say that the system of government has its share of advantages; it is too harsh on its subjects. Citizens rarely get a say in many issues. They do not even get a way on who becomes king as succession is passed down the family lineage. Absolute monarchs have become the subject of criticism for imposing laws that are very strict. However, the subject of strictness should not write off the fact that the benefits of absolute monarchs outweigh its disadvantages. Furthermore, all governments, including constitutional monarchies tend to be strict on its subjects. To some extent, the strictness can be justified because the rulers’ main goals are to protect their citizens.


In closing, Hobbes’s notion of government is better than Locke’s because it guarantees a better financial system and associated benefits such as better standards of living and healthcare. Additionally, absolute monarchies are better than constitutional ones because success tends to be smooth sailing seeing that succession is passed to children. While absolutism is advantageous, it has its fair share of critics; some people consider it too strict.


Lovins, C. (2018). Absolute Monarchy East and West: Chŏngjo and Louis XIV. Journal of Asian History, 52(1), 1-22.