Hobbes Commonwealth Analysis

2015 Words 9 Pages
Absolute Functionalism: Lack of Cultural Values of Hobbes’ Commonwealth Humans can never secure themselves in nature. In Leviathan, Hobbes proposes the natural state of all humans that they are constantly waging a war with each other. The only way to end this war is to form a commonwealth and build contracts. In the infamous literature work, the Jungle Books, Kipling shows to the readers a world of jungle with personified animals and various social groups. It seems that Hobbes’s theories of the commonwealth are totally accurate and can be perfectly applied to the jungle book case to address the formation and integration of a community. However, if examined more closely, there are moments of tension, resulting in a more complicated understanding …show more content…
As Hobbes mentions in Leviathan, “the passions that incline men to peace are fear of death” (Hobbes 90). This is the common reason for humans. In the jungle books, “it is death to kill at the drinking-places when once the Water Truce has been declared” because water, which is the first and essential condition of survival, comes before everything. This common reason of beings urges them to seek for security. Hence, these animals authorize their rights to the master of the jungle and abide by the laws of jungle to ensure their basic living rights. In this case, they also transfer their fear of death into the fear of the laws of jungle because of the deadly results of violation. The commonwealth allows men to transform the general fear of death coming from the possibility that anyone can kill anyone into a specific fear towards laws and sovereign. And the fear towards laws and sovereign comes from rigid enforcement of contracts and harsh punishments against violations. To clarify it more clearly, the Free People can be taken as an example. The contract of the wolf pack, Free People, does not allow wolves to kill the recognized cubs until they kill their first buck. As the law of jungle lays down, “the punishment is death …show more content…
In the Jungle Books, when Akela gets older and weaker, the weakened authority of sovereign fails to enforce the contract, which leads to the fade of fear of sovereign. Therefore, the ambitious and dominated nature of humans outweighs the desire for peace. The wolves are not satisfied to be led by Akela. They withdraw the rights they give him before and try to kill him. At the very beginning of the book, Akela has already worried about this situation, “his strength goes from him…, till at last he is killed by the wolves and a new leader comes up” (Kipling 9). In Hobbes’ theories, the power of the sovereign is absolute and can never be overturned because the rights of the sovereign are assembled from all other men and it is ridiculous to say that everyone abolish everyone’s rights. They authorize their rights “voluntarily, on confidence to be protected by [the sovereign] against all others” and since then they have to follow the contract unconditionally (Hobbes 121). Nonetheless, Hobbes also implies that humans are self-centered in nature because they all have the same opportunities to achieve the ends so that they would fight for their own goods. In this case, men authorize their rights to sovereign only for their own benefits. If so, when humans feel that the commonwealth threats their personal benefits or the sovereign fails to

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