The basis of justice, according to Socrates, is that you do what is socially most beneficial or what you do best.
Though on the surface, this statement may sound like an advertisement for a monarchal society, it was in reality merely a resignation to the fact that man is simply incapable of governing himself, though Locke saw that as the ideal. He vociferously spoke out against the divine right of kings and argued that governments should rely upon the consent of the people. Locke was convinced that human beings were born with "blank" minds and that only through experience could a person begin to form ideas.
They are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if they are wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. . . . Those who desire to suppress it, of course deny its truth; but they are not infallible. They have no authority to decide the question of all mankind, and exclude every other person from the means of judging. (18)
No man has the obligation to put his life on the line unless to do so would cause the downfall of the sovereign. Hobbes states that "when the defence of the commonwealth, requireth at once the help of all that are able to bear arms, every one is obliged; because otherwise the institution of the commonwealth, which they have not the purpose, or courage to preserve, was in vain" (270). The only reason to set up a commonwealth is to exit of the State of Nature or State of War and enter the State of Man or State of Law. Since, however, there is no authority or power to enforce a covenant between commonwealths, all commonwealths are in a State of War with each other, and it is the obligation of every man in a commonwealth to defend against the enemy in time of need. If the citizens in a commonwealth refuse to defend the commonwealth, the covenant between the citizens is void and the commonwealth reverts back to the State of Nature in which every man is at war with every man. Logically, the rational man would choose to defend the commonwealth since not to do so would be to put their self preservation at risk. The first Law of Nature states "That every man, ought to endeavor Peace, as far as he has hope in obtaining it; and when he cannot obtain it, that he may seek, and use, all helps, and advantages of Warre" (190). Man in seeking peace makes a covenant with his fellow man to set up a sovereign. There can be no covenants between sovereigns, because there is no power to enforce a covenant. Therefore all sovereigns are in a state of war with each other. If a citizen wishes peace he must defend the commonwealth "otherwise the institution of the commonwealth, which they have not the purpose to preserve was in vain" (270), and we are all in the State of War.