Nature v. Government

For those unfamiliar with the left-hand side, it is Thomas Hobbes's description of the 'state of nature', to which government based on a 'social contract' (as opposed to 'divine right') brings a way out of the madness. The right-hand side considers this idea further.

"Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of Warre, where every man is Enemy to every man; the same is consequent to the time, wherein men live without other security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withall. In such condition, there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short."


   One query for US readers that concerns this quote from Leviathan
   (section thirteen, 'The Natural Condition...'):
   Offhand, is modern life under the government much nicer than the
   oft-vilified 'state of nature'?

   With some signatories to the social contract toting rather more
   weapons than the rest in the union, it's easy to lock away scared
   academics or shoot them... political theorist Thomas Hobbes, were he
   still alive.

   Who survives?
   - Those men who're quiet: men with no honour who need the money,
      manifold annoying morons who've no constructive effect on society.
   - Men in uniform.
   - Internal Revenue informants.

   The final four words, forming an unfunny famous phrase, could quite
   easily be attached to ninny George 'Dubya' Bush - if he weren't a
   hundred eighty two centimetres tall.

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