Philosophers have been studying this question for hundreds of years. Hobbes, Rousseau, Locke, Montesquieu and others all have very different ideas of how humanity should organize their government based on the nature of man. Some of those ideals have transferred over into modern societies that are prominent in our world today, while others have kicked the bucket alike their creators. The nature of man can be defined as many things weather it is that man is either good or bad, or something more complicated; Human beings are egocentric and self-interested, so therefore life in the state of nature is short and brutish.
The nature of man is much more complicated though and can be defined with an ample meeker broader statement. Baron de Montesquieu believes that all of mankind is born equal. It can be said that this doesn’t define the true nature of human beings, but this transfers into the most common and dominant type of government today which is democracy. Baron de Montesquieu’s ideals most directly translate into a fair and democratic government, and because of this humanity should organize their government in this fashion.
By regarding historical examples of how this style of thinking has succeeded, it can be seen that this the most effective way for a government to be administered. All men and women are born equal and therefore should be treated as so, and this ideal first came upon during the French Revolution. The French people were split into three estates, the clergy, nobility, and the commoners. Not all three of these estates were equally represented in the government so therefore the largest and the least powerful (Commoners) lived a poor quality of life, whereas the over represented (Clergy and Nobility) had a very high-quality of life comparatively.
During this period in time we can see the first eruption of citizens demanding equal representation as they believed that everyone is born equal and therefor they all deserve to be equally represented in the government. Montesquieu’s social contract theory states that a governments administrative duties should be split between three powers, and all of these three powers must be co-dependent on one another to prevent one have more power than another. This is the very principle many countries depend on to avoid mass corruption such as the United States of America, Canada, and Great Brittan.
Each one of these Governments has an executive branch, legislative branch, and judicial branch. Due to these very facts democracy seems to be the most successful and sustainable type of government at this moment in time, because they are founded upon these three pillars. Each pillar or branch of government is intertwined with one another. This entails that all of these branches have to be working alongside another as equals instead of one have supreme power over the rest.
For instance the three branches that Montesquieu uses in his social contract theory are an executive branch that is responsible for enforcing laws (Police Department, Military, etc. ) legislative branch that is responsible for passing and amending laws (House of Commons, The Senate, etc. ) and finally a judicial branch that is responsible for interpreting the laws (Supreme Court). Every single one of these three branches depends on another and without one another the whole system would be impractical.
This System of governance successfully reflects the true nature of man which is the equality of all individuals. The principle that everyone is born equal is not seen by every single liberal thinker as many believe that the true nature of man is something very different in itself. Thomas Hobbes was a liberal thinker who believed that human beings are egocentric and self-interested. In relation this means that life in the state of nature is short and brutish, and in order for man to coexist with one another there has to be a strong central governing authority with ultimate rule.
Hobbes ideals may have reflected a society in the past, but today’s society would not accept such terms of governance. Every day we see people fighting for the right to speak their thoughts, the right for proper representation in their government, and most importantly the right to be treated equally. Due to this very fact Hobbes’ views on man and how they should be governed are useless. The definite decision for the type of government people want today is suited towards Montesquieu’s ideals, rather than warn out dated thinking that Thomas Hobbes offers.
As can be seen Baron de Montesquieu was not a modern day political thinker alike other famous individuals that have contributed to liberal thought and social contract theory, but as societies have been demolished and fabricated one common theme has remained. People strive for equality among their peers as no one human deserves less than another, and because of this Baron de Montesquieu’s views on the nature of man and how they should be governed trumps all other possible options for governance.