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From Hobbes to the end of the State

Are we allowing too many (mis)conceptions, (mis)interpretations and (mis)representations of the Hobbesian notion of ‘war of all against all’ to justify the ‘Leviathan’; the existence and endless evils of the state? The simplistic argument is that we need the state because without the state we will eat each other. Hobbes may have been writing during war time but he did not quite seem to paint a hopeless situation in which humanity is trapped in an eternally active state of violence in the sense that humans must co-exist with such precarity and that the only way out is the creation of the Leviathan; a monster to tame humanity's destructive self. The justification for the existence of the state as a necessity to save us from us; because without the state we are just going to endlessly devour each other may not be exactly it. The state itself is intrinsically evil; it eats, destroys and steals from humans than humans can ever do in the Hobbesian state of nature. The Hobbesian 'war of all against all' is more of hypothetical on the state of mind, which humanity seem to have the ability both to actualize and not to actualize. That you are inclined to be and/or have a tendency to be does not necessarily mean you be. Or are we helpless in the face of our tendencies and potentialities such that we must be what we have the potential and tendency to be? If we are to accept that we have the ability (then what we need is the will power) to tame our tendencies, including those that relate to who we are, then we surely can think of us as having the ability to be at war of all against all just as we do the potential and ability to avoid (decide not to) be at war of all against all. We can kick the state aside and put our act together. This is especially if we start reading Hobbes has having understood that the process of (re)constituting the Leviathan required complex (re)negotiations of power, legitimacy and identity. Our attempt to do this within the framework of the modern nation-state have failed for some 372 years, why do we think it will happen this year or the next? The case to abandon the nation-state project and return to Hobbes’ state of nature and (re)imagine, (re)invent it and find peace and freedom for ourselves therein. If we die, we die. We are still dying, re-dying and over-dying within states, anyway.


From Hobbes to the end of the State From Hobbes to the end of the State Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on September 04, 2020 Rating: 5

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