It is not difficult to see that Hobbes is totally concerned with inventing ways and means for ensuring order and commodious living. He argues, and in our thinking true, that the state is established for human convenience, and obeyed on the grounds of expediency. It is obeyed in most cases, since obedience is more agreeable than disobedience. Consider the death toll of (in most cases innocent) people in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria as a result of the activities of Boko Haram terrorists. No matter what their demands are, reason should always be brought to bear on social actions and processes, including politics. The state will always be as Hobbes sees it, a conciliator of interests. He creates an all-powerful state, but it is not a totalitarian monster. Its end is to ensure peace and security of lives and property.
However, the modern world values the rule of law, rather than the person who really wields power. We therefore feel that with the democratic revolution going on, the struggle for power must be moderated with safeguards to prevent the abuse and misuse of it in any form.
Several reasons account for the strong appeal of Locke’s doctrine of minimal state. As a liberal construct, it begins with free and equal individuals none of whom have any claim to jurisdiction over others. This is a characteristic and essential assumption of liberalism. He acknowledges that the people are antagonistic enough to need a powerful state to keep them in order, but he avoids the Hobbesian absolutism. Moreover, Locke makes a unique case for rights to life, liberty and property, and warns that any government that violates these inalienable rights or fails to protect them should be removed.
However, so consuming is his attachment to the liberal cause that his notion on property gives rise to criticisms. His theory is seen as part of the political movement of the industrial bourgeois class meant to serve their self-interest, especially that of protecting their property and gaining political power. Locke is therefore considered a bourgeois apologist, a defender of the privileges of the possessing classes and whose state is completely elitist. As a result, there is a divorce between appropriating and labouring classes. Although from a society of equal individuals, Locke however accepts two classes with different right – those with and those without property – thereby providing the foundation for a market-capitalist state.