December 5, 2011

Leviathan Book II: Of Common Wealth

Title: Leviathan
Author: Thomas Hobbes
Publisher: Public Domain Books
Genre: Philosophy

Our natural man seeks power of many different forms.  This desire precedes conflict and contention even combat.  Arise the need for laws (contracts) that protects man from man.  Laws are upheld by a common power (common wealth).  The head of the common wealth must have sovereign power and wield its power through fear of punishment.  This fear must be powerful enough to instill peace amongst the people.  Excerpts from Job 41:10-33 describe the Leviathan as such, "none is so fierce that stir him up...his teeth are terrible round about...his scales are his pride...out of his mouth go burning his neck remaineth strength...his heart is firm as stone...when he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breaking they purify themselves...upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear."

The primary reason for the creation of a common wealth is peace.  Peace is achieved through restrictions.  Our desire for peace is more powerful then our desire for liberty.