The Nature Of Man In Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan

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In his work Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes discusses his view points on the nature of man and how man’s nature leads to the need for a social contract. Hobbes writes “…that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war is of every man against every man” (2). And according to Hobbes, when man lives in this constant state of “war”, there is no society, culture, industry, arts and knowledge among other things. Ultimately, there is “continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man [is], solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (Hobbes 2). To overcome this way of life Hobbes believes that there needs to be a social contract in which people give …show more content…
Hobbes writes that “as long as this natural right of every man to every thing endureth, there can be no security to any man…” (4). Throughout the text, Hobbes continually reminds the reader of the constant fighting that takes place between men, and how man is always at risk because of another man which is why man can never be secure. Yet, through his solution of a social contract Hobbes claims that man can be secure and have protection if they give up their rights and freedom to the leviathan. Hobbes contradicts himself by saying that man cannot be secure but also claims that by relinquishing their freedom to the leviathan man can gain security. Once again Hobbes’ leviathan goes against everything he says about the nature of man because it is able provide security even though man cannot be secure (because the livelihood of men is always threatened by other men), yet the leviathan is made up of a man or several. Just to reiterate, the “leviathan” that Hobbes refers to is not a monster (although it may sound like one), but human. So, people are supposed to submit to the leviathan in order to be shielded from the normal chaos of man and life, and if they do not submit to it but dissent from the leviathan they will be “destroyed by the rest” (12). But who says that the leviathan does not possess the same destructive traits of the people who give their rights up to the leviathan for protection? Hobbes believes that the solution of the destructive nature of man is to give up your rights to another man (or government) in order to be protected but to me this not the right solution. For example, if you look at autocratic governments, in which one person holds all the governmental power, people are more likely to not be protected by the leviathan. A prime example of this is Nazi Germany in which the lives of Jews

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