The theory of a social contract - its essence and history of development
The theory of social contract, which appeared inera of philosophy of education, suggests that such a social mechanism as a state was preceded by the natural state of man. The progressive philosophers of the time, Hobbes, Rousseau and others, regarded natural unlimited personal freedom as natural, but some believed that this freedom was contrasted with the will of the surrounding people, while others believed that it was the basis of a peaceful primitive society.
The theory of the social contract of Hobbes and othersphilosophers of enlightenment also implies that the emergence of the state was the result of a legal act - in fact, the most natural contract, which is the result of the will of people who decided to come up with this mechanism for the convenience of living together and better ensuring freedom. Revolutionary enough for that time was the idea that the monarch's power does not come from God, but from the people, and that his primary task should be, above all, the protection of the freedoms of citizens. This idea is most fully expressed in the works of Paul Holbach. According to his works, the idea of the sacred will and right of the monarch only served as an excuse for gaining uncontrolled power and arbitrariness of power. That is, part of the society used its privileged position and violated the natural contract. Using the principle of "divide and conquer," the monarchs sowed discord among citizens in order to become absolute rulers. The whim of the monarch was elevated to the rule of law, and they perverted the natural right of people by changing their consciousness and sowing seeds of immorality. His ideas were supported by many philosophers of education of the time and, above all, A. Radishchev, according to which the state was created not at the whim of the monarch, but for more effective protection of the rights of the oppressed.
The theory of the social contract Locke claimed,that any peaceful creation of the state was the reason for the agreement of citizens among themselves, and therefore this should be the only principle of the creation of the state.
But the definition of "theorysocial contract "gave the philosopher Rousseau. In his view, the main objective of the social contract is to find such a form of union between people, through which everyone, connecting with all, obeys only himself and remains personally free. The ideal state according to Rousseau is that in whose power citizens freely give part of their freedoms for the achievement of the public good. Thus, people are already not a person, but a certain community - a legal entity (it was also called a republic and a civil community). A big role in this society is played by fair laws. According to Rousseau, the most desirable is a system of direct, reliable government. Only the totality of the popular masses can pass laws restricting freedom for the sake of a common goal, and no sovereign has the right to violate them. The theory of the social contract also says that the people have the right to resist tyrants that restrict their legal rights, and the idea of the divine unlimitedness of the monarch's right is no more than the desire of an ambitious and unscrupulous monarch. This idea was truly revolutionary for that time.
Rousseau argued that the authority of the sovereign, foundedon the citizens' love for him is good, but only conditional and can not be the cause of his special rights. In addition, any sovereign in the pursuit of power will seek to weaken the people, so that he could not resist him and not limit his power and his own benefit will always be for him in the first place.
The theory of the social contract formed the basis of many ideologies of the advanced states of the New Time - the United States of America, the French Republic, and was enshrined in their constitutions.