Human Nature and Political Powers

Human nature

In order to understand the concept of political power accurately, and develop it from its source, we must first understand the nature of man. Naturally all men are in a state of perfect liberty meaning that they can dispose of their persons and possessions, can order their actions, in the way the see as fit, within the limits of nature’s law, without depending or asking permission from any other man.

A state of equality should exist amongst all men. This means that where all jurisdiction and power is equal, and where no individual has more than other of the same rank and species, born promiscuously to similar advantages of nature, and having identical facilities should have the same rights without any subjection or subordination of either to the other. This state of equality should exist unless the master of all of them declares of his wish to put one above the others and give him, by a clear and evident appointment the undoubted right to sovereignty and dominion. This state of equality is beyond any doubt evidence in itself the foundation of that requirement that there should exist mutual love amongst all men. This state is the basis of the responsibility that men owe each other and is the source of charity and justice.

However in as much as this state of liberty should exist it is not in itself a state of license. This means that in as much as man has the uncontrollable freedom to organize his possession or himself, this does not mean that he is at liberty to destroy himself or any creature that he possesses. He can only destroy it only where there is a nobler use to it than its bare preservation. The law of nature governs the state of nature, all mankind being independent and equal, no individual has the right to harm the other be it on his health, liberty, possession, or life. All men are the works of one infinitely wise and omnipotent maker, their sovereign master, and they are all sent into this world by his order, and they are all about his business. Therefore in this respect all mankind are his property, made to exist during his not any other man’s pleasure. Having similar faculties and sharing them in one society of nature, there cannot be any form of subordination amongst mankind which may authorize the destruction of one another as if we were created for each other’s uses. Each individual is responsible for his preservation and the preservation of the rest mankind and can only impair or take away the life of another, or what preserves that liberty, life, or goods only when it is done for justice of an offender.

Human Nature and Political Powers

When man has a criminal in his hands, he has no arbitrary and absolute power to use him at his own will’s boundless extravagance or passionate heat but only in retribution. The punishment should be made on a concise and calm reason and should be proportionate to his wrongdoing so as it may serve for restraint and repatriation. Restraint and repatriation are the only reasons for punishment, by going against the laws of nature the offender goes against the law of nature and the security and peace of all mankind. Therefore punishment should be inflicted on him so that it may make him repent and hence discourage him and others from committing such a crime in future. Every man as a result has the right to be the executioner of nature’s law and in this respect should punish an offender.

No state or government has the right to punish or put to death a foreigner for any offense he commits in their nation. It is clear that their laws, by the fact of any sanction they get from the disseminated will of the legislative cannot affect an alien. The do not refer to a stranger and they did he is not bound to abide by them. The authority of the legislative that covers the subjects of a nation has no power over a foreigner. Those with the supreme powers of making laws within a country are to a foreigner just similar to the rest of the world as they have no authority over him. Therefore the magistrates of a given community cannot punish a foreigner from another country; this is so because they have no more authority than what an individual naturally has over another.

Other than crime which is the violation of the law, which occurs when man becomes degenerate, varies from the right rules of reasoning, quits from abiding to human nature’s principles, and becomes a noxious creature, there is the aspect of injury inflicted to an individual or some other person. That individual should receive compensation from this injury, in which case the receiver of such damages, has in addition the right of punishment which is common to him and mankind. He has the right to seek repatriation from the person who committed it and any other individual, who finds it to be just, can also join the injured and help him to recover from the actions of the offender to the extent that they feel is satisfactory in light of the harm suffered.

Political power.

Human Nature and Political Powers

This refers to that power which each person in the state of nature, has surrendered up into the society’s hands and the governors whom the community has set over itself. With this tacit or express belief, this power shall be administered for the good of the society, and the protection of its property. Political power is also used for punishing the breach of nature’s law so that there that individual together with the rest of mankind are preserved. Political power when in the magistrate’s hand has no other measure or end but to the preservation of possessions, lives and liberties of the members of a given society. In this respect it cannot be an arbitrary or absolute power over the preservation of the fortunes and lives of the society’s members but it is the power to make laws and subject these laws to those who are so corrupt that they threaten the healthy and sound. Without such political powers there is no lawful severity, therefore political power has its origins from the mutual agreement and consent of the members of a given society.


Millar, A and others. Two treaties of government. Christ College, Cambridge. http://www.constit

(accessed on February 8 2010)