Sunday, October 2, 2016
This is a little late but we haven’t quite crossed the threshold yet, so time form some Machiavelli and Hobbes. These men are famous for a few things but really they are famous for being some of the great pessimists of political science and philosophy. Machiavelli, with his ideas in The Prince that the ruler of a (city)state should be a man who will do anything and everything it takes to attain his goals, arguing famously that the ends justify the means. Also, that the ruler should present himself a being virtuous religious, or anything else that makes him look like a god guy to the people but it’s all hogwash and don’t buy into it. That wonderful ray of sunshine Hobbes on the other hand had a slightly better view of religion, it wasn’t hogwash it was just politically correct superstition, but don’t worry about that because everyone and their dog is out to get you and the only reason your own mother isn’t clubbing you over the head right now so she can clean out your wallet is because she surrendered her right to freely do so to that great Leviathan, the state. Ridiculous right? Well, like Thrasymachus that faithful advocate of injustice I have to offer the opposing view. I will do it with another bit of Republic. There was once a man named Gyges who found a magic ring that turned him invisible. What this did was make it so he could commit whatever act he pleased and never be caught and punished for it. He was free to do as he wished. So he did what was in his best interest. He killed the king and took over the city. So ask yourself this and really dig deep and think. Do you do things because you truly believe in your heart of hearts they are the right thing to do, or do you do them because you fear the consequences more than you value the act. Is our high and might morality the result of some inner virtue, or is it, at least to some degree, only the Leviathan that prevents a war of all against all?