Hobbes Absolute Sovereignty Analysis

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In this essay I will analyze Hobbes's position on absolute sovereignty and its failure. He claims that absolute sovereignty is the only government form that works out for people because of human nature and also the need for stability. My essay will claim that this perspective has oversimplified the issue as it fails to consider the evils the state can do with absolute power. I will argue that Hobbes's stance on political authority has oversimplified the issue by overlooking the evils the state can do with absolute power. My argument will proceed in the following format: In the first section, I will explain how Hobbes resolves the tension between our status as free and equal beings and the claim of states to political authority. In the second…show more content…
Hobbes presents a false dichotomy with the choice between the absolute sovereign and the state of nature, and because of this I do not accept Hobbes's view on absolute sovereignty. Hobbes shows that there are only two opposite options - that there could either be a state of nature or a state with an absolute sovereign. He thinks that without having absolute power, the state would be unstable as it would revert back to the state of nature. This is untrue as states can fall even if there is an absolute sovereign. If the state no longer fulfills its contract of protecting its citizens, or if citizens successfully overthrows the sovereign, the contract is broken. While absolute government is efficient in securing safety, it is at best a sufficient condition. Hence, the two options Hobbes presents are not the only solutions. Having shown that this is the case, I will explain why absolutism, the fact that power is solely concentrated on the sovereign, should be…show more content…
The purpose of the state is to carry out the function of bringing these goals to the people - the only thing that matters is that the state abides to the contract. No matter how it is achieved, as long as the state does it, the people cannot object. For example, a state might ban dissents even if they are factually accurate, because from a utilitarian perspective it is better off if people do not know about the limitations of the state as they would be more satisfied with it, hence less likely to revolt. Hobbes might say that it is this order that keeps the state from chaos, thus the people - suppose they feel repressed from the rigidity - cannot object to the state, because it does what it can do to keep society from breaking apart. The fact that the state does what it can - by limiting free speech - is a way of achieving their end goal of securing safety and peace. The price one pays for living in the state is not free - they give up their Right of Nature, in exchange for protection, because following the Laws of Nature protection is more valuable than their right to freedom. It is only when the state fails in its duty - protection of the people from the state of nature - that the contract between the state and the people is
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