Thomas Hobbes vs. John Locke: Who is the true liberal?

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Thomas Hobbes and John Locke are often referred to as the premier liberal philosophers, a label which is actually misleading. The political philosophies of Hobbes and Locke are only similar in their methodology, not in their conclusions or in the form of government they advocate. In fact, the ideologies of Hobbes and Locke are so dissimilar they should not even be counted in the same category. Hobbes and Locke both begin with a theoretical "state …

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…ruler. Thomas Hobbes begins his work with a liberal idea, that of allowing humans to choose their own government, but reaches conclusions that cannot be considered liberal. He places far too much power in the hands of the chosen government, advocating total sovereignty and authority on the part of the ruler. John Locke, however, provides a truly liberal philosophy, by advancing individual freedom, liberty, and a belief in the rationality of humans above all else.