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2014-01-05T13:59:24+05:30
The social contract theory throws light on the origin of the society. According to this theory all men are born free and equal. Society came into existence because of the agreement entered into by the individuals. The classical representatives of this school of thought are Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Rousseau.Thomas HobbesThomas Hobbes was of opinion that society came into being as a means for the protection of men against the consequences of their own nature. Man in the state of nature was in perpetual conflict with his neighbors on account of his essentially selfish nature. ‘The life of man was solitary poor, nasty, brutish and short’. Every man was an enemy to every other man.Hobbes in his book Leviathan has made it clear that man found nothing but grief in the company of his fellows. Since the conditions in the state of nature were intolerable and men longed for peace, the people entered into a kind of social contract to ensure for themselves security and certainty of life and property.By mutual agreement they decided to surrender their natural rights into the hands of a few or one with authority to command. The agreement was of each with all and of all with each other. The contract became binding on the whole community as perpetual social bond. Thus in order to protect himself against the evil consequences of his own nature man organized himself in society in order to live in peace with all.John LockeJohn Locke believed that man in the state of nature was enjoying an ideal liberty free from all sorts of rules and regulations. The state of nature was a state of peace, goodwill, mutual assistance and preservation.But there was no recognized system of law and justice. Hence his peaceful life was often upset by the corruption and viciousness of degenerate men. The men were forced to live in full of fears and continual dangers.In order to escape from this and to gain certainty and security men made a contract to enter into civil society or the state. This contract Locke called social contract. This contract put an end to the state of nature and substituted it by civil society. The social contract was no more than a surrender of rights and powers so that man’s remaining rights would be protected and preserved. The contract was for limited and specific purposes and what was given up or surrendered to the whole community and not to a man or to an assembly of men. According to Locke the social contract later on contributed to the governmental control. The governmental contract was made by the society when it established a government and selected a ruler to remove the inconveniences of ill –condition.Jean Jacques 
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