Hobbes argues that human beings are desirous creatures, we are driven by our passions. He suggests that human beings biggest desire is survival. If the desire of survival is satisfied then we seek to pursue our other desires, such as acquire luxury items (Hobbes 1839-45, 58). Hobbes suggests that when we are in conditions where we are not concerned about survival, then we begin to accumulate things (Hobbes 1839-45, 58).
Hobbes explanation of the state and the sovereign arises from what he calls “the State of Nature”. The State of Nature is the absence of political authority. There is no ruler, no laws and Hobbes believes that this is the natural condition of humanity (Hobbes 1839-45, 72). In the State of Nature there is equality. By this, Hobbes means, that there is a rough equality of power. This is because anyone has the power to kill anyone (Hobbes 1839-45, 71). Hobbes argues that the State of Nature is a violent, continuous war between every person. He claims that the State of nature is a state of w...
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... the existence of the absolute authority of the sovereign there is the threat of returning to the State of Nature because there is nobody to punish anyone who breaks the social contract. Furthermore, the people have consented to the existence of the sovereign with absolute authority and they must accept that whatever the sovereign decides to do is an action that they have consented to through the social contract.
Finn, S. (2010) Hobbes: A Guide for the Perplexed. London: Continuum International Publishing.
Hobbes, T. (1839-45) The English Works of Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury; Now First Collected and Edited by Sir William Molesworth, Bart. Vol. 3. Leviathan. London: Bohn. Accessed via: http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/hobbes-the-english-works-vol-iii-leviathan
Wolff, J. (2006) An Introduction to Political Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press
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