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Nostalgia Is Great Essay

730 words - 3 pages

In his book Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes describes the nature of man as functioning solely upon the pursuit of desire for power and of war. Every emotion is a variation of desire, and these desires motivate us to act. He describes the natural condition in which humans are being without political authority. Living in a chaotic and unjust society where every man lives by his own desires, Hobbes argues that humans must use reason and follow the laws of nature. According to these laws, which I will explain further in depth, reason will cause individuals to search for peace, and cause people to appoint a sovereign, a “leviathan”, to administer peace. However, due to the human nature as described by Hobbes, even though a leader is elected, it would not stop humans from desiring power over others and continuing to pursue their personal desires.

Hobbes argues that humans have a continuous and restless desire for power that can only end after death (58). His claim of human nature extends towards claiming that all humans are equal. Because everyone is equal, this gives each man ample opportunity to take anything that he desires from anyone else, or act in any way, in their desire to live a more comfortable life. Hobbes calls this the “natural condition”, where any man can do whatever he wants; everyone is free. However, due to the fact that everyone is free, it also remains that no one is free. If one man wishes to kill another, there is nothing stopping him from committing such an act, considering every man lives solely to fulfill his personal desires. In the natural condition, if humans have absolute freedom and the right to act as they please, it leads to very little and no freedom because they live in constant fear of one another. By living in these conditions, men will live a life that is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (Hobbes 76). Furthermore, in the natural condition, no one is free to have or keep what they desire, because anyone can take it. There is no agreement on what’s good, what is just, or what is moral, and it’s difficult to...

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