Hobbes State Of Government

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One of the most important foundations of Hobbes political philosophy is his reasoning for the importance of government. Hobbes argues that without the presence of government human life would be unbearable, in fact he even goes as far as to say that without government we would live a life of everlasting war with one another. In this paper I will support Hobbes’ claims as to why government is vital, I will also compare Hobbes’ description of the state of nature to the state of the world today.
Hobbes believes that in the state of nature there is a perpetual war of all against all. This perpetual state of war is driven by felicity, the continual success of satisfying human desires. According to Hobbes humans are driven by desires; humans naturally seek that which will benefit them. “There is no such thing as perpetual tranquility of mind while we live here; because life itself is but Motion and can never be without Desire” (Leviathan 129-30). Humans are naturally concerned with themselves, and most importantly with self-preservation. However, Hobbes believes that in a state of nature that which is required for self-preservation will be limited. For that reason there is no such thing as trust in the state of nature. Under these conditions it is rational to believe that whatever you are seeking others are seeking as well. Hobbes argues the state of nature is not violent because humans are cruel, but rather because humans are seeking defense for their preservation (Wolff 12). While people may not always be fighting in the state of nature there is always anticipation for conflict. Since everyone is uncertain about their safety, they are required to fight, as a result all others are also logically required to fight. Hobbes states t...

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...unavoidable circumstance for human beings because collective rationality is also available. The only problem with collective rationality is that humans tend to stray from collective rational behavior in order to pursue individual ambition. Agreements are insignificant in the state of nature since there is no guarantee that humans will act as promised. However, Hobbes suggest that a solution to this is a sovereign who will enact strict penalties against anyone who violates these laws.
Overall Hobbes believes that a state without government is a state fueled with distrust and war, where people will fight for power, gain, safety and reputation. In the state of nature life is a self-propelling war powered by fear. ThSe only way to reach a state of peace, according to Hobbes is to work in unity under a sovereign who will punish those who stray from the Laws of Nature.

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