The present research has identified that one of the greatest strengths of the social contract theory is that it acknowledges the need for consent from the population before a government can attain legitimacy. Consent, in this case, might be considered synonymous with democracy because consent can, in most circumstances, only be achieved through the active participation of the population. Most democratic states in the world today have developed constitutions that require elections to be carried out regularly so that governments of their choice can be selected. Therefore, following Locke’ s argument, one would suggest that consent is recognition of the symbiotic relationship that exists between a state and those people subjected to it.
This relationship is normally contractual in nature because each of them needs the other in order to survive and this means that they have to fulfill their obligations before there can be order in society. The social contract recognizes that once a society establishes control over a territory, it becomes a state and the latter is essential in ensuring that this control is maintained because, without state control, the society would most likely be in danger.
The consent of the people who it governs is necessary for both the legitimacy as well as the authority that the state needs to enforce its role within society. Consent is also a means through which individuals within a territory come to accept the laws that have been put in place to govern it, so that even though an individual might not have been born in the said territory, once he enters it, he consents to the laws that have been set up to govern the territory.
This consent is essential in enforcing law and order in society because it helps in the recognition by the state that all individuals in the society and territory that it governs are equal. The social contract is the means through which there are guarantees of the liberties and natural freedoms that are enjoyed by individuals. According to Hobbes, all men have liberty, which means that they have the ability to do as they wish since it is their natural rights.
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