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1 mars 2023

Wars, wars, wars…, or, The state of human nature

Classé dans : Actualité, Philosophie, Politique, Société — Miklos @ 17:19

Plate numbered 28 of Tim Bobbin [pseudonym of John Collier], Human Passions Delineated, 1773, with two men fighting (source).
Click to enlarge.

In the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel. First, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory; the first makes men invade for gain; the second, for safety; and the third, for reputation… hereby, it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man… Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every man, the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their strength and their own invention shall furnish them with. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation… no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short… To this war of every man against every man, this also is consequent; that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice, have there no place. Where there is no common power, there is no law; where no law, no injustice… The passions that incline men to peace are: fear of death; desire of such things as are neces­sary to commodious living; and a hope by their industry to obtain them.

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, pp. 81-84. 1651.

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