Finally finished reading commentary of Frederick Copleston - indeed a very comprehensive and thought provoking one from phil-legal p.o.v - on Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes.
Being a highly insecure person who wonders why people with greater physical or other types of might put up with meek people say while going on road or while making a bargain, i found my intuition about an instinctively warring human nature confirmed in Hobbes' book.
His idea of an all powerfull, illimitable, indivisible Sovereign State rests of following premises:
In the state of nature (where every man is for himself / "atomic individualism") > all men are at war against all in self-perservation;
In such state, one's reason and conscience is the judge of good and bad;
There can be no peace and security in such a state - in fact, there can be injustice in this state, for truth and justice have no place in war
Hence, it logically follows, that greater good, peace, justice, pursuit of self-preservation and security for all - all must enter into a contract with each other to give their a) judgement of good and bad (including scriptural interpretation); b) power to inflict harm/punishment/make laws etc to one Sovereign (except the power of self-harm to themselves).
Important part of this logic is that Sovereign is above accountability; in fact he is not a party to the contract at all. He enforces the contract. And, he remains a Sovereign as far his ability to enforce the contract goes.
My analysis: This is a condensing outline of his theory. Obviously, today state is party to the contract. It may have monopoly of violence, but sovereignty today is no more indivisible. What appeals more in terms of legitimizing state is not its influence, but its conduct and commitment to Civilizational and cultural norms.
“words have meaning and taste”
5 days ago