Sunday, September 25, 2016
The Common Flaw of Two Extremes
Over the summer, I met a true-to-the-bone anarchist. My curiosity led to us spending many an evening discussing politics and why he was so sure no government was better than any governing body whatsoever. I certainly did not expect to be reminded of these talks when reading about Hobbes’ pro-monarchial political philosophy, yet one similarity surprisingly materialized. Each ideology places an enormous amount of trust in human nature; an amount I personally find outrageously unwarranted and unrealistic! I agree with Hobbes’ predictions of the constant warfare that would result from anarchy, because conflict is in our nature, yet Hobbes’ ideology comes full circle and assumes absolute surrender to one sovereign will result in absolute peace. Oddly enough, I actually agree with both camps when they say that if the world were under their system, all would be well; I simply disagree that either plan is achievable, and therefore see no point in pursuing them. Humans will always end up forming a government, and all governments are prone to corruption.
On a bit of a side note, I find it interesting how blueprints for “the perfect society” keep showing up all throughout philosophy’s history. Plato certainly seemed to think he had the recipe correct. Since his day, countless others claim to have made one of the right philosophical stuff. One thread pervades nearly all: they will cordially provide happiness for all, and only charge the meager fee of giving up everything it means to be truly human.