His justification for the existence of a government entirely relies on the purported fact that, without a governing political authority, there would be complete anarchy and total insecurity on the part of each individual as there is no limit to how much power can someone acquire. Without an over-arching power and absence of law enforcement to effectively constrain the actions of men, we would be in the state of nature. He refers to this understanding as pre-societal existence, which according to Hobbes will inevitably dissolve into a state of universal war of all against all. This conclusion is essential in Hobbes’ construction of a political theory. He argues that the best way to escape that terrible state, guarantee social order and enjoy peace would be for people to invest their power in an absolute sovereign. In other words, a peaceful and stable society is dependent upon the presence of a common power until such a civil society is created the state of nature will be in a state of war.
In arguing that life in the state of nature will inevitably result in a state of universal war, Hobbes theorized what would happen in those conditions. In the natural condition of men, people are roughly equal in their physical and mental capabilities. In the state of nature, people are equal in their bodies in the sense that if one man is stronger than another, the former can join with others to overpower the other. T...
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...reedom we have in the state of nature to a more restricted freedom whereby we benefit through peaceful living.
Without a civil government, violence would reign on earth. It is upon this assumption that Hobbes bases his idea of man’s willingness to relinquish his absolute liberty, through pure self-interest, in favour of a system by which he will be satisfied with as much liberty against men, as he would allow them to take of him. Man, thereby, forms a covenant amongst himself to surrender his this right to an absolute sovereign who is the ultimate arbiter in all cases. The greatest power, says Hobbes, is that which is invested in one person, by all people. Hobbes maintains that the necessary and sufficient condition, which must be satisfied in order for man in to escape the state of nature is to recognise the rule of the sovereign as the legitimate source of power.
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