return to list of latest ideas

Single Idea 19886

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 5. Leaders / c. Despotism]

Full Idea

He that thinks absolute power purifies men's blood, and corrects the baseness of human nature, need but read the history of this, or any other age, to be convinced to the contrary.

Gist of Idea

The idea that absolute power improves mankind is confuted by history


John Locke (Second Treatise of Government [1690], 092)

A Reaction

I can't imagine who proposed the view that Locke is attacking, but it will have been some real 17th century thinker. Attitudes to monarchy changed drastically in England, but Louis XIV was still ruling in France.

Book Reference

Locke,John: 'Two Treatises of Government' [Everyman 1988], p.162