Thursday, 25 September 2008

Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes

“The human potential for evil and the propensity to abuse power are the bases for one of the strongest arguments against government” [1] — and the bases for one of the strongest arguments for it.

“Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of Warre, where every man is Enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withall. In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.” [2]

[1] Bob Koepp, commenting on William F. Vallicella, “Why I Call Myself a Conservative (2008 Version)”, The Maverick Philosopher (weblog), 24th September 2008.
[2] Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1904), Pt.1., Ch XIII., p.84.


Ilíon said...


If one happens to be interested in reading my ramblings, I have (coincidentally) been touching on these very things on Victor Reppert's blog, Dangerous Idea, in the thread: Concerning that anarchist friend of mine (and in other recent threads on his blog).

Warning: I'm not at all "polite." Many people react very negatively to that.

But, also, there are other persons arguing (and in some cases, pretending to argue) in the thread. So, even if I'm not your cup of tea, others may be.

jcw said...

Hobbes's vision is so dark. In a similar vein, have you read Cormac McCarthy's The Road?

Deogolwulf said...

Ilion, I shall have a read.

JCW, I have not read it. I shall look it up.

Ilíon said...

JCW "Hobbes's vision is so dark."

It seems to me that the pertinent question is: "Does Hobbes' vision accord with reality?" I think it does ... or, rather, that perhaps Hobbes was too much the idealistic daydreamer and so but scratched the surface. ;-)

James Higham said...

He'd clearly had a poor breakfast the day he wrote that, poor man.