Thomas Hobbes Essay Research Paper THOMAS HOBBESIntroductionThomas — страница 5

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the influential entities could not be seen as average in the community of equals. However, the argument can be made that to gain an advantage during life does not mean that you were born superior to others, but indicates that you have developed useful knowledge, skills, and abilities over time. The Hobbesian model does not provide a democratic way of removing a ruler from power. In Hobbes’ view, once something has been given to someone, it becomes a possession of that person to keep and use for the intended purpose, until that person sees it fit to relinquish ownership. This is what, in his opinion, should be the case with political power as long as he who holds power can use it to protect his subjects. This means that the only way to remove a ruler is through revolution, and a

revolution is ‘just’ since it means that there is someone more capable of protecting the lives of the subjects by virtue of the fact that he is more powerful than the existing ruler. The people cannot criticize a ruler for unjust laws, since it is the people who gave him the authority to make laws in the first place, and therefore are as guilty as the ruler for any unjust laws. Hobbes makes the point that the only bad form of government is one that cannot provide security for its people. Governments are called despotic by those who do not like the rule of that government, but all governments are legitimate. The government cannot take some of the rights of individuals, and these include the right to protect oneself from harm. A person cannot be compelled to incriminate

himself, carry out dishonorable duties, or refuse food and medicine. The point is also made that while a man is obligated to abide by the law, he cannot be compelled to believe in it (Ebenstein & Ebenstein, 1991). Hobbes’ philosophy is therefore one of power, but a power that is bestowed on a person by the people over which it is to be exercised, or taken by an outside or inside force to whom the people would owe their subservience. Ebenstein, Alan O. and William Ebenstein. Great Political Thinkers: Plato to the Present. Orlando: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1991. Lemos, Ramon M. Hobbes and Locke: Power and Consent. Athens, GA: The University Georgia Press, 1978. Lynch, Thomas D. Public Budgeting in America. 4th Edition. Englewood Cliff, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999. Spielvogel,

Jackson J. Western Civilization. St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1991. Strauss, Leo. The Political Philosophy of Hobbes. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1961.