May 10, 2012

Hobbes on need of Government


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 as is of every man, against every man. (Hobbes, Leviathan, Ch. XIII) 


Hobbes Argument (probably)

A) Each man follows his principles / ideals
B) Society consists of many men where
  1) the ideals of two people are the same
  2) they are different
  3) they are in opposition
C) Men are not rational (either impulsive / not clear enough reasons / ignorance of other possibilities) hence not tolerant; hence believe in
ideological superiority
D) A + C + B2/B3: disharmony  / conflict since the only way to remove differences is through coercion
E) Common Power: Authority which poeple hold in awe
  1) Fear of being harmed if you dont agree with the authority
  2) In your own interest to hold the superiority of the authority in order to gain benefits from it
F) Common Power needs to be just or else corruption & injustice will lead to more conflict
G) C + F: Objectivity required in resolving conflict
F) Common Power can keep people away from conflict,disharmony or "war"

My Counter-Argument
If a "common power" is feared by the people, it will eventually lead to corruption of the power. For it to be just and objective, it needs to be transparent and thoroughly rational. Such a power wont be feared but respected and would actually solve conflicts.