RSS Output
French    German    Spain    Italian    Arabic    Chinese Simplified    Russian

Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Gab@StFerdinandIII - Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from.  It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

Back     Printer Friendly Version  

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review, Thomas Hobbes: 'Leviathan' – political theory meeting political order.

Hobbes the seer of state power.

by StFerdIII

Hobbes' Leviathan is one of the major works of political theory. It was in reality a prophecy and its impact is obvious and real. Hobbes was a Royalist during the English Civil Wars, that is to say, he was on the wrong side of history and reality. He was a tutor to Charles II who acceded to the throne in 1660 after the fall of Cromwell and the Puritan Parliament. In 1651 Hobbes penned Leviathan, which is in essence is an ode to 'Divine Right' rule, and the unflagging power and inherent morality, of state might. It is an important book because it eloquently presents the case for state coercion and omnipotence. Such ideals were au-courant during the dynastic Kingships of early modern Europe. They are more relevant even now. Today our secular Leviathans can trace their lineage to Hobbes' theory which met the modern political order.

The crux of Hobbesian theory can be seen in the illustration covering his work. On it is a gigantic and majestic monarch who holds sway over the land. His body is composed of countless small citizens who have given up their freedom to form the corpus of the Leviathan state. The state in return will provide succor and safety to its 'children'. All that is needed is for the average person to give up his or her 'smallness' by joining the greater body of 'good' reflected in state power.

Hobbes wrote his work after the first phase of the bloody English civil war, which never really ended until the ascension of the Protestant William of Orange to the crown in 1688 and his victory over the Catholic James at Boyne in 1689. 1651 must have been a difficult time for Royalists after the Presbyterian victory in the civil war's opening act, and the granting of Parliament rights that had once been the exclusive domain of the monarchy. Post civil-war is usually a period of social disturbance and uncertainty. For Hobbes only state power refracted through the crown of divinely sanctioned royal, had the moral and social strength necessary to bring peace and stability to a civil-war scarred state. Indeed the Leviathan of state power was the only order which should govern society – represented solely by a monarchical house [bold mine]:

This is the generation of the that great Leviathan, or rather, to speek more reverently, of that mortal god, to which we owe under the immortal God, our peace and defence....it is one person, of whose acts a great multitude, by mutual convenants one with another, have made themselves every one the author....And he that carrieth this person, is called SOVEREIGN, and said to have sovereign power...”

Thus the creation of a state Leviathan, must be managed by a 'great man' or divinely appointed superior in the guise of a monarch. By destroying the individual ego, and much of individual freedom, the society en generale will gain peace, industry, and stability.

Hobbes' theory as developed in the mid-17th century was certainly nothing new. Divine right rule had long been practiced dating back to the times of Sargon the Great in 2500 BC. Tribal leaders, Pharaohs, city-state despots, caliphs, Kings, Tsars, National Socialists, Communists and every civilizational expression had long used the 'strong man' theory to justify totalitarian or despotic governance. Merging the church and state into one body, and even better, one man, has long been an objective of the power-hungry.

Hobbes' theory is little more than justification for the eradication of a parliamentary balance of power, and by extension, the crushing of freedoms, both real and theoretical of the population. In effect Hobbes would have the world turn away from the division of powers encased in the US Constitution, or the late modern period of British parliamentarism, to a pre-modern world of arbitrary governance by one man, who ruled over a sedate and subordinated commons:

The only way to erect such a common power, as may be able to defend them from the invasion of foreigners, and the injuries of one another, and thereby to them in such sort, as that by their own industry, and by the fruits of the earth, they many nourish themselves and the live contentedly, is, to confer all their power and strength upon one man, or upon one assembly of men, that reduce all their wills, by plurality of voices, unto one will..to be acted, in those things which concern the common peace and safety; and therein to submit their wills every one to his will, and their judgements to his judgement.”

Hobbes is calling for a cult. A cult of the state and a cult of the monarch. The problems with a cult are too many to list in full but could include inter-alia; a loss of free speech, expropriation of property, a loss of independent action, no check on state power, corruption, arbitrary laws, and even rule by inbred dunces. Hobbes seems to believe that 'royals' are designated by the immortal God as our superiors and are infallible. In actual fact royalist history reveals many incompetents, inbreds, sociopaths, miscreants and immoderate imbeciles. Not all 'great man' are bad or foolish, but too many turn out to be murderous psychotics along the lines of a Napoleon or Hitler.

Hobbes stands at odds with Locke, and the orthodox liberal position of Jefferson, JS Mill and Gladstone. History was moving on and Hobbes was standing still. Yet his ideas found a receptive audience and embedded themselves in the sub-conscious of our culture. The modern secular state is a monstrous Leviathan, more completely omnipotent than anything Hobbes could have fantasized. In an age of tepid Globalization we were told that the nation state would be obsolete or mortally wounded. It would be a 'race to the bottom' in social security and welfare nets. The poor, the young, the old and the sick would all perish. Of course the opposite has happened. With an increase in technology, trade and financial exchange, the state has accrued enormous strength and reach.

Hobbes' book is thus a prophecy. The monarch is the state. The state is King. Our individual wills have been neutered and transferred to the monarchical state. The process of the state is the all-power monarch. It rules and we the small little yeomen peasant on the front cover of Hobbes Leviathan jacket, swarm together to be warmly joined in the body politic of our great new master and King – the state. Hobbes' poem to the morality and omnipotence of Kingly power did not find its relevancy until the 20th century. It is doubtful that many in the 17th century believed that an all powerful despot was the only organizational framework for society. But 360 years on his ideas have became the de-facto template for state power. This fact is not a positive, but it does make Mr. Hobbes a seer of bad tidings and unfortunate cultural and societal degradation.


Article Comments:

Related Articles:

Cult of Socialism / Statism

10/10/2020:  Covid Fascism. Destroying civil society through Statism.

8/1/2020:  Roger Scruton: Fools, Frauds and Firebrands. Destroying 'Leftist' Philosophers

7/24/2020:  Cultural Marxism: ‘Communities’ of ‘nations’ inside a state?

7/11/2020:  Nothing new in the modern cults of 'science'

3/26/2020:  Globalism, Corona and the cult of open borders and 'integration' of everything

5/20/2016:  Ending cash - easier to wipe out real currency values with negative rates, spending

2/19/2016:  Inflation and the ending of cash money

4/18/2015:  Friedrich Hayek and the 'Road to Serfdom' – a guide to the madness of collective/socialist ideology.

6/5/2013:  Fascism, or state/cult controlled Communalism

3/6/2013:  The Socialist Barbarians and their lies - never, ever, cut Governmental spending!

1/8/2013:  Cuba - another Socialist nightmare which the clever people love.

12/20/2012:  The wisdom of Bastiat

10/24/2012:  Nothing 'moderate' about the Dependency Culture

9/27/2012:  The jackbooted march of Barbarism.

8/23/2012:  F. A. Hayek, 'The Fatal Conceit' Chapter 9, 'Religion and the Guardian of Tradition'

8/19/2012:  F. A. Hayek, 'The Fatal Conceit' Chapter 8, 'The Extended Order and Population Growth'

8/16/2012:  F. A. Hayek, 'The Fatal Conceit' Chapter 7, 'Our poisoned language'

8/13/2012:  Hayek and 'The Mysterious World of Trade and Money', Chapter Six

8/1/2012:  F. A. Hayek, 'The Fatal Conceit' Chapter 5

7/25/2012:  F. A. Hayek, 'The Fatal Conceit; The Revolt of Instinct and Reason' Chapter 4

7/18/2012:  F. A. Hayek, 'The Fatal Conceit; The Evolution of the Market' Chapter 3

7/12/2012:  Hayek and 'The Fatal Conceit', Chapter Two

7/9/2012:  F. A. Hayek, 'The Fatal Conceit; The Errors of Socialism', Chapter 1

6/26/2012:  Hayek and 'The Fatal Conceit', Introduction

2/18/2012:  The alarming growth of state power. Statism is neither 'right' nor 'left'.

10/14/2011:  Herman Cain and lessons for the rent-a-mob children who 'Occupy' public spaces.

7/24/2011:  The death penalty is necessary. It is immoral not to have one.

6/12/2011:  Review, Thomas Hobbes: 'Leviathan' – political theory meeting political order.

4/11/2011:  How to kill industry and jobs – grow Government.

4/6/2011:  Daniel Hannan: 'The New Road to Serfdom' – European style.

1/28/2011:  The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism, Kevin Williamson

1/23/2011:  Review; 'The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism', Kevin Williamson

1/19/2011:  Von Mises, Chapter One of 'Socialism'

1/15/2011:  Von Mises and the economic fallacy of Socialism

1/13/2011:  Von Mises and Socialism

11/11/2010:  Remembering those who would defend freedom and civilisation

10/28/2010:  The New Extremism! Individual responsibility; character; choice; markets; faith.....

10/9/2010:  V.I. Lenin; 'Imperialism; The Highest Stage of Capitalism'; 1916.

9/6/2010:  On Hayek's yellow brick road to state domination.

9/6/2010:  Welfare state and Socialist collapse. Inevitable and based on lies and fallacies.

6/12/2010:  Leftists, Fascists, Marxists and Islam.

4/14/2010:  Socialist Diktat: 'Take away their Guns'. The first action to create a passive, docile, citizenry.

4/10/2010:  Marxism and Socialism. Oriental, mystical, philosophies.

4/8/2010:  The discovery of individualism.

2/24/2010:  Book Review, Thomas Sowell, “Intellectuals and Society”

1/3/2010:  The communal socialism embedded in Fascist theologies.

9/7/2009:  Hating capital, capitalism and hating life

8/8/2009:  Public re-education programs.

7/18/2009:  The malleability of the National Socialist program.

7/9/2009:  Review: Mein Kampf - an expression of academic intellectualism.

6/9/2009:  The Road to Serfdom and why Fascism is derived from Socialism.

5/27/2009:  Academics and the hatred of the West.

3/19/2009:  Hayek and the lessons regarding statist-socialist intolerance.

3/3/2009:  Mindless Government distortions – Thomas Sowell and 'Economic Fallacies'

2/24/2009:  Socialism and Slavery.

2/16/2009:  A cult of death: Abortion is murder.

12/31/2008:  Warnings from writer and political scientist Samuel Huntington - critic and prophet.

12/18/2008:  Reform our voting system please and limit suffrage.

4/4/2008:  How civilisation was not created.

2/14/2008:  Fascism is extreme socialism and statism.

1/11/2008:  Book Review: Jonah Goldberg's work on Liberal Fascism.

9/19/2007:  Why does socialism always fail?

4/13/2007:  The importance of ‘Realism’ as an ideology and a way to view an anarchic world

2/2/2007:  Natural Law and ‘Conservative’ thought

1/17/2007:  Why Cuba is 'superior' [as taught in public education programs...]

8/9/2006:  The failure of the 1789 French Revolution

8/2/2006:  Socialism always fails

6/28/2006:  The Welfare State and Rights – how to destroy a civilization

1/10/2006:  The poverty and corruption of national-socialism or ‘Statism’

5/25/2005:  Why the West hates itself – Philosophy of Utopianism

5/25/2005:  Fascism – from Orientalism, to Hitler, to Islam, to Putin