The believe is just and equal to man

The United States of America is a nation known for it’s unique
system of government which was inspired by well-known empires such as for
example the Roman Empire and great philosophers such as for example, Thomas
Hobbes. The goal of our functioning government is derived from what we, the
people, believe is just and equal to man while diminishing from the concepts
described from the past that hinders individuals in a society. The belief that
man had their own rights was not always in existence, we know because history
explains periods of time and repeats itself, for example, where societies like
the Egyptian dynasties and the establishment of kingships. Hobbes’s works
signifies a time in history in which people spark their minds and realize
social science as well as political science and philosophies. Also, how to
create a better organized community. In relation to Hobbes claims in Leviathan that
are tyrannizing and also nonefficient, one can be aware that now with our
political knowledge, how his society fails to actually reach its intended
purpose of a commonwealth. However, Hobbes addresses many important observations
on the nature of man and how violence drives man to achieve their desires even
if it means denying that of another.  Arendt also makes claims in On
Violence in regards to acts of violence but on how it is linked with
inequality as she believes that with violence total power within the hands of
an elite few can never be reached. Hobbes also contends that to overcome this
nature of violence that man has, their rights must be stripped and given to the
Common Power, but as we read in King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail, man
has a duty to stop and interrupt unjust laws. Both Arendt and King describe
ways of running a society that oppose debunk Hobbes’ concept of the Social
Contract. In this analysis I will attempt to interpret Hobbes’ work
from Leviathan by explaining the obligations man has to create
commotion by King and Arendt’s honest statements on how violence and rage are
acceptable if it means reaching a small goal.

In Leviathan, Hobbes makes one clear argument which is that of
how humans act based on their natural instinct. Man will perform in ways of
violence, similar to how we once used to be, to get what we want. If man has no
power above it then violence will continue until we are no longer left which is
why a superior power must be instated. When everyone in the society gives up
their own wants for the greater good then man can be tamed because if one does
not succumb to the commonwealth or body that Hobbes speaks of than they are
faced with punishment. Punishment must be used because without it man will
always try to fight for power however, by using fear of violence to stop
violence, Hobbes is creating a hypocritical idea that will eventually only lead
to tyranny. While Hobbes makes a valid point about man’s nature to act out with
violence as seen throughout history; Crusades, Spanish conquest of the Aztecs,
WW1, etc., Arendt makes some very acceptable answers to this observation such
as for example when Arendt means to say is that that no human life would
function without others being there and testifying and just watching them and
their actions. (On Violence, 138). To further explain the example, even a small
animal in the ocean must rely on the communication with its other fellow
animals in the community and not on forced or relying on violence. The example
and its similarity to human activity helps refute Hobbes argument of human
natures dependence on violence because to Arendt, if we do not act in violence
we will become nonviolent.

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Another key point Arendt addresses in On Violence is the
separation between public and private life, a right that man has, which
contrasts that of Hobbes opinion on the matter. Hobbes believes in diminishing
a private life for the society that lives and works solely for the commonwealth
and for the “body” of Leviathan, this way the personal rights that man had
before which always lead to a struggle of power disappear. Hobbes argues that
by taking away their rights he takes away the possibility of violence. “The
only way to erect such a Common Power, as may be able to defend them from the
injuries of one another is, to conferre all their power and strength upon one
Man, or upon an Assembly of men, that may reduce all their wills, by plurality
of voices unto one Will. This is more than Consent, or Concord; it is a real
Unitie of them all, in one and the same Person, made by Covenant of every man
with every man, in such a manner, as if every man should say to every man, I
Authorize and give up my Right of Governing my selfe, to this Man on this
condition, that thou give up thy Right to him .This done, the Multitude so
united in one Person, is called a COMMON-WEALTH. This is the Generation of the
great LEVIATHAN” (Hobbes on Leviathan, Ch. 17). When a ruler or set group
of people are implemented and place violence on those who step out of place by
having a private life or acting on their own rights, than we lead the way
towards a tyrannical society but when numbers are low then violence only
happens when forced. Arendt describes power as either a whole society against
one and violence as being one against all, and that violence can always
destroy power. What never can grow out of it violence is power. The greatest
example we have is that of how the U.S. democracy has become a sample for other
nations around the world and label it as positive western ways.

Looking at Dr.King’s movement that takes a very different perspective
on violence than Arendt but yet still manages to help discredit Hobbes argument
on needing to take away man’s right’s in order to have a properly functioning
commonwealth. Dr. King used his natural right to protest, or as Hobbes would
consider acting violently, because he was placed in a society that was not fair
and equal and gave rights to white’s but not black’s. The society he had was
not perfect so King argues that man has a duty to use disrupt the peace, and
challenge the government in order to reach a perfect society. After King
protested in Birmingham he wrote a letter addressing the clergymen of the south
who attacked him for it and stated they were uneasy at the protestors
“willingness to break laws.” These laws however were unlawful and immoral
anyway so King stated that man should be able to differentiate between a just
and unjust law, if not then it was their right to break those laws. In King’s
“Letter from Birmingham Jail” he describes what a just law is: a law that
upholds human dignity, and an unjust law: a law that “degrades human
personality.” The bigger picture Dr. King explains is that those that are
oppressed are not the only ones being misguided, but so are those doing the
oppressing because they begin to feel a false sense of superiority (175).
King’s idea to use “violence” against the oppressing laws shows what Hobbes’
Leviathan society would have become had it been implemented. In Leviathan anyone
who broke a law was punished and rights were not given to anyone in the sense that
we know of today. The reason why Hobbes society would not work is because just
as he said himself, man is destined to act in their natural way of violence,
King helps show that when one elite group thinks everything is perfect the way
it is when it is not, man will act violently to make it right. By using power
in the right way, King shows that large numbers create a change even though it
is technically a peaceful form of change, Hobbes would consider it violent but
his society would have shattered at the power of large numbers.

Nonetheless, by contrasting Hobbes with both King and Arendt we can
see just how mistaken Hobbes was in his belief in a society like Leviathan.
Today we are able to see just how wrong and unjust and not crucial a society
like that of Hobbes would do and how far behind the world would be towards
reaching equality and freedom of rights. King helps establish the idea that man
can make a change peacefully and without violence if society fails to meet the
standards of life. If man, as Hobbes states, is really inclined towards
violence in order to reach power than it would contradict so many powerful
leaders we have today that range from CEO’s to tribe leaders.

 

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