The US Constitution is the physical blueprint of the first true democracy of the 'New World'. It is the first true 'social contract' between the government and the governed, the final fulfilment of the philosophies of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Its evolution was a long process, involving many experiments in trial-and-error.
A 5 page paper on the views and Philosophies of Thomas Hobbes
Most social change is chosen – you want to belong to a co-op, you believe in social safety nets or community-supported agriculture. But disaster doesn’t sort us out by preferences; it drags us into emergencies that require we act, and act altruistically, bravely, and with initiative to survive ourselves or save the neighbours, no matter how we vote or what we do for a living. The positive emotions that arise in those unpromising circumstances demonstrate that social ties and meaningful work are deeply desired, readily improvised, and intensely rewarding. The very structure of our economy and society prevents these goals from being achieved. The structure is also ideological, a philosophy that best serves the wealthy and powerful but shapes all of our lives, reinforced as the conventional wisdom disseminated by the media, from news hours to disaster movies. The facets of that ideology have been called individualism, capitalism and Social Darwinism, and have appeared in the political philosophies of Thomas Hobbes and Thomas Malthus, as well as the work of most conventional contemporary economists, who presume we seek personal gain for rational reasons and refrain from looking at the ways a system skewed to that end damages much else we need for our survival and desire for our well-being. Disaster demonstrates this, since among the factors determining whether you will live or die are the health of your immediate community and the justness of your society. We need ties to survive, but they, along with purposefulness, immediacy and agency, also give us joy – the startling, sharp joy I found in accounts of disaster survivors. These accounts demonstrate that the citizens any paradise would need – the people who are brave enough, resourceful enough, and generous enough – already exist. The possibility of paradise hovers on the cusp of coming into being, so much so that it takes powerful forces to keep such a paradise at bay. If paradise nowadays arises in hell, it’s because in the suspension of the usual order and the failure of most systems, we are free to live and act another way.
Thomas Hobbes - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
1: What is Jurisprudence?
Part 1: Theories of the Nature of Law
2: Natural Law
3: Classical Legal Positivism: Bentham, Austin, and Kelsen
4: Hart: The Critical Project
5: Hart's Theory of Law
6: Post-Hart Analytical Philosophy of Law: Dworkin and Raz
Part 2: Particular Philosophical Issues in Law
7: The Building Blocks of Law: Norms and their Nature
8: Governing and Obedience
9: Law and Adjudication
Part 3: The Intellectual Foundations of the Liberal Social Contract Tradition
10: The Legal and Political Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes
11: The Legal and Political Philosophy of Immanuel Kant
12: John Rawls' Political Liberalism
Part 4: Against and Beyond Liberalism
13: Marxist and Post-Marxist Theories of Law
14: Feminist Legal Theory
15: Postmodern Legal Theory
Thomas Hobbes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia