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Plsc2211 Term Paper

846 words - 4 pages

Introduction
Thomas Hobbes is frequently credited as being a forefather to modern liberalism. With his beliefs on individualism, along with his agreeance and acceptance of intellectual and moral autonomy it is easy to understand why many modern liberals would agree with Hobbes’s political philosophy. However, Thomas Hobbes does not support the concept of a democratic government, rather he supported the notion of a absolutist government up until his death. Special attention must be given to Hobbes’s denial that autonomy can be thought of, or conceived as, a form of self-government. It is important to take note that Hobbes’s argument against democracy is significantly more exhaustive than ...view middle of the document...

Democracy and its Lesser Value to Other Forms of Government
After much hesitation Hobbes eventually accepted Aristotle’s typology of the forms of government. There are three types of government in this typology, first is rule by one, a monarchy, second is rule by the few, an aristocracy, and lastly is rule by the many, democracy. Aristotle had established deviant forms to each type of government. Hobbes discarded the idea that there were different deviant forms of each type of government. Rather he established that anarchy was the deviant form all three types of government. A state of anarchy is a literal state free from government intervention.
“In relation to anarchy, therefore, all three forms of government are, so to speak, on an equal footing; it is the opposite – or absence – of all three forms of government.” (Apperley, 2002, p. 166)
However, it is crucial to note, that they are not equal in a separate respect. For instance, in Elements of Law (Hobbes, 1640, p. ch.20 para.I) Hobbes ponders the issue of how such a vast amount of people would be able to free themselves from the state of nature and enter into a civil society. Since a ‘multitude’ is not a singular person nor do they act in a unified manner. Hobbes stated in Philosophical rudiments concerning government and society a substantial group of that size is unsound body for “though in their persons they run together, yet they concur not always in their designs.”(Hobbes, 1651, p. 126). What Hobbes is saying here is that prior to any type...

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