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A Good Citizen

7 Pages 1671 Words

For one to be a good citizen, there are certain expectations a person must follow to achieve this goal. While many people have their own ideas of what makes a good citizen, there is little consensus to exactly what this would be. Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in their books The Leviathan and The Social Contract, create a system of political governing where the citizen plays a certain role and has certain expectations to carry out this role for the governmental system to work properly. In this paper, I will discuss what each of the men believed to be the role of the average citizen to support the state. Both men have quite different opinions in regards to the roles of citizens. While both are good theories, and create a strong case for government, neither is applicable in the real world because what is demanded of the citizen in these systems of government is based on certain assumptions. The assumptions made by these men, both good and bad, are not evident in the every day person. Thomas Hobbes believes, that all men are egocentric, by nature. This is to say that men spend their whole lives looking for what makes the happiest as an individual. Even when men socialize, it is not for the benefit of building strong ties between each other, but simply for personal benefit. Hobbes argues that man is self- centered in nature because he desires power. This arises from the fact that man, unlike animals, may seek things that are not tangible. Hobbes argues, not only are men egocentric, but also equal. Hobbes believes that even though every person may have different levels of strength, intelligence or character that all men are equal. “For such is the nature of men that, howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty or more eloquent or more learned, yet they will hardly believe there be so many so wise as themselves, for they see their won wit at hand and other men’s at a distance.” (Leviathan, 98) More importantly ...

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