Philosophy: Political Philosophy and Social Contract Essay

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The social contract or political contract is a theory or model, originating during the

Age of Enlightenment , that typically addresses the questions of the origin of

society and the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual. Social

contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either

explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the

authority of the ruler or magistrate (or to the decision of a majority), in exchange

for protection of their remaining rights. The question of the relation between

natural and legal rights, therefore, is often an aspect of social contract theory.

The most important contemporary political social contract theorist is John Rawls,

who effectively resurrected social contract theory in the second half of the 20th

century, along with David Gauthier, who is primarily a moral contractarian.

Under Marxism, outdated class structures were supposed to be overthrown

with force instead of being replaced through patient modification. It held that as

capitalism has succeeded feudalism, it too will be removed by a dictatorship of

the workers called socialism, followed quickly and inevitably by a classless

society which governs itself without a governing class or structure. It was jointly

developed in the 19th century by two lifelong German friends living in London –

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and it forms the foundation of communism.

Classical liberalism is a political philosophy and ideology that emerged as a

response to the Industrial Revolution and urbanization in the 19th century in

Europe and the United States. It shares a number of beliefs with other belief

systems belonging to liberalism, advocating civil liberties and political freedom,

limited government, rule of law, and belief in free market. Classical liberals were

more suspicious than conservatives of all but the most minimal…