Hobbes theorizes what humanity would be like in the state of nature, “where every man is enemy to every man”. The state of nature is also a state of war because without the security that comes from the mutual exchange of human rights, every human is essentially living in fear of everyone else. There would be no laws to avoid or fear, and people would do wicked deeds to achieve their desires. Hobbes continues by explaining that “men live without security, than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them with all”1. Without the aid of a secure society, all humans would be forced to use their own resources to survive. There would be no laws to force people to actually carry out agreements, and there would be very little mutual human co-operation. Therefore, some humans would struggle to survive without the option to form mutual contracts with other humans. Conversely, there would also be no laws to stop humans that desire power and resources from acting violently towards other humans. Hobbes then says that “in such a condition, there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no culture of the earth”1. If there were no laws to govern contracts, there would be nothing to stop any human from stealing goods produced by an industry. Therefore, the go...
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...equally” (3, 75) to carry through their contracts, and therefore to keep society out of a state of war where life is “brutish and short”1. Consequently, the coercive power, or sovereign, uses the threat of punishment that is greater than the benefits from the contract to keep his or her subjects from disrespecting contracts. In a commonwealth, humans should fear the idea of breaking the sovereign’s laws rather than fearing other humans as they would in a state of nature. Therefore, to maintain a condition of peace, a human must compromise and give up some of his or her rights in order to ensure that every citizen within a commonwealth is equally subject to the sovereign’s leadership.
Overall, in order to protect humanity from regressing to a state of nature, Thomas Hobbes believes that society must enforce and protect the social contracts that bind humans together.
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