SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY ( the origin of the state)

SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY ( the origin of the state)

The social contract theory is one of the theories of the origin of the state. It has been emerged since the time of the sophists of the Greece but it has got recognition in the hands of the great trio. The name of these great philosophers were – John Locke, Thomas Hobbes and Jean Jacques Rousseau.

The term social stands for the society where these individual persons live and the term contract is an agreement or a promise made between the two or more individual and a groups/society. There were many other theories of the origin of the state but the social contract theory has explained the origin of state in a systematic manner.

This theory states that the society or the state came into being by a contract that was made between the individual and the society or the contract that was made amongst the individual people. It states that the conditions in the state of nature at some point became worst and to come of this situation the people entered themselves into a contract and according to this contract the people will surrender some part of their right to the sovereign. According to Hobbes people will surrender all their rights to the kings and king will not be a part of the contract, the king will be all sovereign whereas Locke says that the people will surrender only a part of their right to the king and is also a part of the contract and the people will have the right to change the king if he fails to fulfill his duties and Rousseau talks about the General Will, it is not the will of all nor it is the will of the majority but is a general will is the will of the people for the common good.

But this theory of social contract has been criticized from the historical point of view, it is not acceptable. History does not give a single evidence which could indicate that there was a stable society. This theory is illogical and baseless. The progress of the society has been from status to contract, contract is not the beginning but the end of society. The contract cannot be made by only one party as one sided contract as expounded by Hobbes. The relation between individual and the state is not by contract  but by birth.

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