002_HOBBES: THE STATE OF NATURE AS A STATE OF WAR

Thomas Hobbes argued that to understand political society, we first need to understabd its components – people. We then need to understand the agreements that form society,, and from these agreements we will understand what Human beings are like simply as Human beings. He argues that in staylte of nature, we have the right yo use our power however we choose in order to stay alive. Our natural right conflicts with other peoples natural right. Usually, if I have a right, someone else has a duty. For example,, if I have the right to lifr, everyone has a duty not to kill me. If I have the right to what I own, everyone has the duty not to steal from me. But because in the state of nature, no one has the authority to say how or how not to exercise the right to stay alive, if someone judges that in order to stay alive, they will kill someone else or steal from them, then they have the “right” to do this, and each person judges individually how best to do them.

Each person musy eventually rely just on themselves,, on their syltrength and intelligence. This will lead to a state of war, not in the sense that people will always be fighting each other, but that everyone will bedisposed or ready to fight if they need to, and will live in a state of “Continuall feare, and danger of violent death.”

Under these conditions, people will not work nor study nor create:

In such condition, there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no culturr of the earth…no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters. And so, as a result, our lives will be ‘solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short’ (Leviathan Ch.14)

Hobbes defines power into two ways. Power is to obtain what we want or is to now possess the means to get what you want in the future. There are many things that gives us power, including how other people see us. For examples, it people like us or if they are a fraid of us, then they may give us what we want.

In addition, our desires are never ending. Once we have fullfilled one desire, there will be another. And so we do not try to satisy our desires now, we also try to make sure we can satisfy our desires in the future. In the state of nature, First, we are roughly equal: no one is so strong that they can dominate others and overpower all resistance. Any difference of physical strength can be marched by the other person finding peoplr to help, or by their intelligence, or by their experience. Second, there is scarcity. Not everyone can have everything they want – especially when what they want includes the power to get what they want in the future. Third, we are vulnurable, -other people can cause us to fail to achieve the power we need to satisfy our desires. All this leads to aviscous cricle.

We might not be inclined to attack other people, but we know thay some of them may attack us. The best form of defence, the best way to get what we want is to attack first. Furthermore, the only way to have enough power is to have more power than other people. So even people who are not violent, have reasons to become violent of they fear losing what they want. We will fight for gain, to get what we need; we will fight for security, tobget what we need in future; and says Hobbes, we will fight for “glory” – the reputation of being powerfull, either because we simply enjoy it or because it is a kind of power in its own right (People tend to be compliant towards people who are known to be powerful).

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