Part One: The Political Philosophy of John Locke
In his works “A Letter Concerning Toleration” (1689) and “The Second Treatise On Civil Government” (1690), philosopher John Locke created what would become the philosophical source for the founding principles of the United States. In what follows, I will summarize the central arguments presented in the Letter, followed by the arguments presented in the Treatise. Following the summaries, I will demonstrate the influence that these works had on the thinking of the founding fathers and the political documents they created.
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For President Bush to compare the Iraq war to the American Revolution, and, by implication, himself to George Washington, is morally obscene. The American Revolution was fought to establish the first and only country in history explicitly based on the principle of the recognition and protection of individual rights. The Iraq war is being fought, neither to protect the rights of Americans, nor to establish a new, free country that protects the rights of its citizens, but rather, to establish the so-called “right” of a philosophically bankrupt population to vote in any form of government they choose. In the context of the Middle East, this will almost certainly result in a new Islamic dictatorship, and ultimately, a much more threatening enemy than Saddam Hussein.