Thomas Hobbes Leviathan Analysis

1083 Words5 Pages
When Aristotle said “man is a political animal”, he meant that man is made to live in society because that is where he can develop his moral faculties. In The Leviathan, liberal philosopher Thomas Hobbes enunciates his political theory starting from the pessimistic conception that “man is a wolf to man”. He then concludes the necessity for a strong state, this Leviathan, in charge of the people’s security and maintaining the peace in exchange for their absolute obedience. This is what he calls the “social contract” or “convenant”. The covenant creates a real unity between men and their sovereign as both parties. It’s a manifest to rethink the notion of political order in the Commonwealth. Indeed, a sovereign without his subjects is nothing…show more content…
With it, he justifies absolute monarchy, his ideal political regime. According to him, the sovereign needs unconditional obedience — the sine qua non condition for a state of peace, unless he is unable to keep the people safe. His Leviathan is created by the union of men, the head being the ruler and the body the people: “For by art is created that great ‘Leviathan’ called a ‘Commonwealth’ or ‘State,’ in Latin civitas, which is but an artificial man, though of greater stature and strength than the natural, for whose protection and defense it was intended; and in which the ‘sovereignty’ is an artificial ‘soul,’ as giving life and motion to the whole body”. Authority is what is preserving the state: “Covenants, without the sword, are but words and of no strength to secure a man at all.” Hobbes is trying to reinstate this sense of unity in political community even though he paints the absolute monarch as a god, rising above the covenant. Consequently, he is above justice as he is the most apt to serve the public interest and well-being of the people seeing as it is meshed with his private interest. Hence, the people should unquestioningly follow their sovereign and agree to this contract of submission because by making themselves the judges of what is right and wrong, they are returning to the state of
Open Document