Thomas Hobbes Injustice

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Thomas Hobbes: Injustice & Sovereign Essay, Research Paper Political Philosophy 101: Essay 2 Aaron Lavack ?It has already been shown, that nothing the sovereign representative can do to a subject?can properly be called injustice, or injury?? [Hobbes, Leviathan] What does Hobbes mean by this? Why does he believe it? In order to answer this question I must first examine the line of thought that led to the institution of a sovereign power. By doing so it will be easier to understand the motivations the led Hobbes to this institution. It will also be easier to understand the meaning of the above quote. The Natural state of Humanity, according to Thomas Hobbes, is war. This state of war is essentially anarchy. ??where every man is enemy to every man?? This definition does not

mean that there is always fighting, but rather that there is a period when it is known that people are willing to fight. In this state there can be no production or development of society. The life of man is, in this situation ??solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.? This is naturally not a situation that is desirable to live in. Therefore it makes sense that people would try to find a way to escape this manner of living. Hobbes speaks of the first method of attempted escape. This is basically banding together into small groups. However this banding together does not ensure a safe and prosperous environment. This is for a number of reasons. There are two that are prominent. The first is if any other of the small family type groupings gains another member then the balance of

power is significantly altered. The second I shall cover once I have looked at the next obvious step in light of the first problem. This step is to gather in greater numbers. Through this the first problem is obviously solved. Should there be, as was the problem in the first example a small increase of population on one side, there is no problem. The increase in population would have to be on the same scale as that of the population?s magnitude. Such an increase is difficult to achieve and so the balance of power is maintained. The second problem is however of a different nature. This problem is fraction within the population. ?For being distracted in opinions about the best use and application of their strength, they do not help but hinder one another?? Every member of this

gathering has an opinion. It goes almost without saying that these opinions would differ greatly between different people. For instance in the case of opposition from without, one group could support one means of defense while another supports another. This results in little being done as the two groups clamor over which route to follow. The natural end of this course is ineffectiveness. ??they are easily?subdued by a very few that agree together?? Not only this but their disagreement also spans into times when there is no enemy. Hobbes believes that during this time their quarrels will become even worse. What is the solution for this problem of disunity? Hobbes suggests the erection of a common power ??to keep them in awe and direct their actions to the common benefit.? Hobbes

states that this common power should be given the right to govern each person in the ?commonwealth?. This right should be given in a certain way. This, according to Hobbes, is through a covenant made by each man. ?I authorize and give up my right of governing myself to this man, or to this assembly of men, on this condition, that you give up your right to him and authorize all his actions in a like manner.? Once this common power, or ?sovereign? has the backing of the people then order naturally follows. This is because once everyone has submitted to him, or them in the case of a sovereign body, then he has a great deal of power. This power can easily be used to establish order . In much the same manner we exist in society today. If one of us disobeys the majority is still