The Natural Condition Of Man In The Leviathan By Thomas Hobbes

1634 Words 7 Pages
In the Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, he discusses the natural condition of mankind and the establishment of the commonwealth through social contract. The necessity of a commonwealth can be justified by the vices of human nature. He claims that in the natural condition, all men have a restless desire for power; thus, life in the natural condition is “nasty, brutish and short” (76). However, an alternative to the natural condition is the establishment of a commonwealth. A commonwealth is necessary to protect one’s life. I know this because all men are created equal and therefore have the ability to kill each other. The natural condition of mankind is made up of their felicity and their misery. Hobbes says “nature hath made men so equal in the …show more content…
This sovereign power will protect the commonwealth by instituting laws and punishments that hold people accountable for their actions. It is meant to suppress the desires of men by maintaining a threat of fear over them. Punishments are established in order to restrain the ruthless ambition men have when it comes to attaining their wants. In the natural condition there is no “visible power” tied to the “fear of punishment” (106). That is why it is necessary to have a commonwealth, or sovereign authority to force people to uphold the contract. By operating through fear and threat of punishment, it mandates the people to adhere to the social contract. Without it, the desires and passions of men in the natural condition will lead them to obtain such passions through violence. The “actions that proceed from those passions” will only continue unless “they know a law that forbids them” (77). They will continue to do as they please because they do not have consequences to impede their actions. There is no higher power or authority to keep men accountable. The absence of consequences is the very reason why the natural condition contains violence “for amongst masterless men, there is perpetual war” (140). A commonwealth in this term serves as protection for men who concede their powers for the sake of the contract. It is through the commonwealth where men are liberated from the natural condition and into a state of

Related Documents