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Political Discourse: Marx, Locke, and Rousseau Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Jun 1st, 2021


Diversity is one of the integral and fundamental parts of our world. It preconditions its further development, evolution, and survival. Applying this idea to human society, the existence of multiple opinions and perspectives on the same issues can be taken as the guaranty of the emergence of some new concepts that appear while debating or discussing a certain point of view. In such a way, the old saying that truth is born in arguments remains topical even today.

At the same time, the above-mentioned diversity results in critical differences in cultures and mentalities, which, in its turn, means that there will be vigorous debates and discourse concerning a particular question. This idea becomes especially topical for the sphere of politics as its significance creates an atmosphere beneficial for multiple discussions. Because of the radical divergences in views, compromise is still hardly possible even if various political theories are applied.


The fact is that disagreements related to the further evolution of our society or states emerged during the first stages of civilization’s development. The ability to think critically resulted in the appearance of different perspectives on certain actions or strategies that might help to continue growth and generate a competitive advantage to win the rivalry. These divergences, especially among individuals involved in policy-making activities or having the power to impact nations’ development, preconditioned the increased importance of political discourse.

Trying to understand the nature of this important sphere, numerous thinkers and philosophers proposed their understandings of the nature of power, state, and relations. These theories contribute to the improved understanding of some views and ideas and can be applied to solve some problems; however, they are not a universal tool to make sense of divisive political discourse because they emphasize the importance of different factors or propose different ways of policy-making.

Locke’s Ideas

For instance, John Locke’s theory of government and power rests on the idea that all people are born to be free, equal, and possess rights for the preservation of these fundamental states. These inborn, or natural rights, provide them with an opportunity to be selfish and independent.1. From this very perspective, government or any power can be considered a form of agreement that is needed to create an authority that will be able to protect and cultivate these values, caring about citizens and providing them with things that demanded their evolution.2.

In such a way, to understand political power correctly, one should also understand the state that is natural for all people, or the state of freedom to act and to make choices not asking for someone’s permission3. From this political theory, the authority can be disputed using these very rights and people’s natural qualities. These ideas remain topical for contemporary humanistic society.

Rousseau’s Vision

Another perspective on the political discourse and the nature of power offers Jean-Jacques Rousseau. In the majority of his works, the philosopher tries to explain the idea that modern societies are unequal.4. In accordance with this perspective, the state of nature is a primitive and undesired condition as there are no laws, morals, and ethical issues that are critical for people’s survival and evolution.5. If individuals remain in this state, they are doomed to degrade and disappear. For this reason, cooperation becomes a necessity that is accepted by all persons as the only way to resist and guarantee the evolution of species6.

However, this cooperation cannot be equal because of the division of labor, private property, and differences in available resources, which means that there is the need for institutions of law limiting people and providing them with different opportunities7. Rousseau states that only by engaging in the social contract and leaving their claims for natural rights individuals will be able to form a stable society, powerful authority and evolve8. These ideas become central to his philosophy and theories.

Marx’s Theories

As for Karl Marx, he also offered some unique explanation of the nature of human beings, the roots of the state’s emergence, and power. In accordance with his ideas, human nature critically depends on its ability to produce and possess material objects. This factor significantly shapes people’s mentalities, and any person can be actualized only through labor as the only way to create and own things.9. This assumption critically impacts the nature of power and people’s attitude to their labor power. Capitalism creates an environment characterized by the unfair distribution of authority as workers and owners have various resources.10.

At the same time, the desire for civic, political emancipation remains one of the most potent ones among many nations.11. For this reason, the ability to control labor and its results precondition the current attitude to power and can help to create the only fair society that will help individuals to evolve and acquire desired benefits and states critical for their further evolution and empowerment of the nation to which they belong.


In such a way, the ideas offered by the three philosophers mentioned above prove the fact that agreement in political discourse is hardly possible even if to apply these paradigms. The main problem is that due to the peculiarities of cultures of thinkers, their countries’ evolution, problems, and periods, all these paradigms have different perspectives on the nature of the state, authority, and people’s relations.

Locke is sure that all people are born equal, and the government should provide them with opportunities to evolve preserving these values, while Rousseau explains that there is a necessary inequality because of the need for social agreement, and Marx is sure that the only way to succeed is to own the ability to enjoy the results of labor. All these lessons remain topical and relevant today as they might be appreciated by various politicians and utilized by them depending on the situation. However, the diversity of perspectives make the compromise, or some sense, impossible.


Altogether, utilizing Marx, Locke, and Rousseau’s philosophies and their approaches to authority, we prove the idea that the political discourse and debates significantly depend on the perspective of people who are involved in them and on their views on certain events. The diversity of opinions and the increased importance of discussed issues result in the desire to protect a particular point of view and explain its role in further evolution. The use of political theories cannot help as they also offer multiple paradigms for the discussion that depend on the available resources, current problems, and people’s basic needs. For this reason, it is possible to conclude that political discourse will remain divisive, and multiple vigorous debates will emerge.


Locke, John. “Early Modern Texts, 2017. Web.

Marx, Karl. “Marxists. 2019. Web.

Marx, Karl and Frederick Engels. “Marxists. Web.

Rousseau, Jean Jacques. “American University of Beirut. Web.

.” Marxists. Web.


  1. John Locke, “Second Treatise of Government,” Early Modern Texts, 2017. Web.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Jean Jacques Rousseau, “Discourse on Inequality,” American University of Beirut. Web.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid.
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. “Selected Works of Karl Marx,” Marxists, 2019. Web.
  10. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, “Manifesto of the Communist Party,” Marxists, 2019. Web.
  11. Karl Marx, “On The Jewish Question,” Marxists, 2019. Web.
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