Thomas Hobbes Leviathan Essay

1867 words - 7 pages

A Hobbesian view of manThomas Hobbes' might be read as the father of modern day conservativeism. Hobbes was one of the most influential political philosophers, providing both support of a strong central government and justification of government. Hobbes describes human interactions as a mechanical interaction of cause and effect, the idea that anything can be reduced to material bodies in motion. Which more or less leads to humans being nothing more than machines or robots which process signs from their environment and then react to them. Hobbes believes that without a sovereign government to rule the subjects an imaginary state of nature will appear. "Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war, and such a war is of every man against every man." Therefore, without a sovereign men will regress from society, self-ownership, ethics, laws, and morality. Therefore, each man seeks out their own blind passions, which leads to utter chaos. Therefore, the question that I will discuss is if mankind were void of a sovereign would all qualities of compassion, camaraderie, and human conscious be replaced by a more predatory savage human existence?Hobbes has been accused of being an advocate of authoritarian regimes however; there are discussions of laws being promulgated to the subjects as well as a belief in limited liberty for individuals. Even though the Liberalism in Hobbes is the mere natural right of self-preservation which is thought to be a given in any social contract. That being said the social contract between the subject and the sovereign may only be broken if the sovereign commands, an individual to harm his or herself by self-incrimination or physical violence from the state. Hobbes will undoubtedly have his detractors due to the negative aspects of his human nature.Hobbes has a very grim outlook on human nature. In his description of the intermingling of man, life will be an all out war of every man pitted against everyman in a struggle for scarce resources and mutual survival. Hobbes believes the world of commerce and industry will cease to exist. Institutions of academics and the arts will be distant memories; fore they will be replaced with acts of wickedness and savagery. Men will become more beastlike and raw in their reasoning and life will be nothing more than a chaotic existence of human predators and human prey. I quote Hobbes at length below so nothing is lost in his description of the desolated "state of nature" which Hobbes foreshadows as mans existence without the force of the sovereign."In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently, no culture of the earth, no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth, no...

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