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The View of Human Nature and the Role of the State

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The view of human nature and the role of the state:

Human nature is difficult to define but can be summed up as the innate characteristics and traits that all human beings are born with, which is free from culture influence. What these characteristics and traits are, is often cause for debate as it is a general belief that these should apply to everyone. However the problem lies in the fact that no two humans are the same therefore reaching a unanimous decision on what human nature is, is near enough impossible. Over the years three ideologies have emerged as the leading theories on human nature; conservatism, classical liberalism and Marxism. The three have their own differing views on what the basis of human nature is. These ideologies have evolved into political parties and their policies are largely influenced by their views on human nature. This essay will look into the three ideologies, their beliefs on human nature and how this affects their view on the role of the state.

The state is a sovereign entity within a clearly defined region which has monopoly of violence, thus holding the ability to create peace or war. Views on the state, in terms of its function and involvement in society, stems largely from ones ideas on human nature. The conservative view on human nature is quite pessimistic. Conservatism is largely based around the theories of Thomas Hobbes who developed these theories around the time of a civil war in the 17th century. This could possibly explain the negativity around the conservative view on human nature. According to Hobbes, humans are limited creatures and due to these limitations humans are incapable of reaching a state of order by themselves. Left on their own, conservatives believe that humans would live in a “state of nature” which Hobbes describes as “nasty, brutish and short.” The conservative view therefore advocates a strong…...

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