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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Two Treatises of Government

John Locke

1689

Link

2020-07-28

"in the state of nature I doubt not but it will be objected, that it is unreasonable for men to be judges in their own cases, that self-love will make men partial to themselves and their friends: and on the other side, that ill nature, passion and revenge will carry them too far in punishing others...but I shall desire those who make this objection, to remember, that absolute monarchs are but men; and if [authoritarian] government is to be the remedy, I desire to know how much better it is than the state of nature, where one man, commanding a multitude, has the liberty to be judge in his own case, and may do to all his subjects whatever he pleases?" - John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (1689)

In anarchy, we can imagine some time-zero where power is completely diffused -- one end of the spectrum. And that's not ideal. In a dictatorship, power is completely concentrated -- again, not ideal.