Politics and Government

Thomas Hobbes views on social contract?


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Thomas Hobbes envisioned that the origin of the social contract was a protection from the state of nature, which occurred when no government or social organisation existed between human beings. In this state, no one had any rights nor protection from coercion (the use of force), which was the chief determiner of outcomes. To avoid the conflict and destruction Hobbes viewed as inherently part of this state, a social contract would be reached where individuals some of their rights in order to live under the protection of a sovereign. This sovereign, by maintaining the state of nature, would have the right to control his contractees and use force against his enemies. Hobbes thought this was an improvement on the state of nature, except that sovereigns would never truly escape that state.