Date of publication: 2017-08-24 11:01
The Medievals took for granted that natural law was morally and legally binding on freeholder, Emperor and Pope alike, and during the dark ages and for a little time after, men often attempted to enforce natural law against the Holy Roman Emperor, and these attempts were sometimes successful. On one occasion the Holy Roman Emperor was briefly imprisoned for debt by an ordinary butcher, locked up with the beef and mutton, and held by the butcher until the bill was paid, and this action was mostly accepted as lawful and proper, though such actions were safer against some emperors than others.
Rulers that use something other than civil society to provide cohesion for their states are in practice a danger to their neighbors, and an even greater danger to their subjects. For this reason civil society is the only legitimate material from which a state may be made. A state based on something else is illegitimate. The neighbors of such states rightly and reasonably regard themselves as threatened, and so they should seek, and for the most part they have sought, to undermine, subvert, corrupt, and destroy such states, and to assassinate their rulers. History has shown that not only was Locke correct factually, he was also correct morally. Not only are states normally based on civil society, they should based on civil society.
Utilitarianism contains false implicit assumptions about the nature of man and the nature of society, and these false assumptions lead utilitarians to the absurd conclusion that a good government should create and enforce a form of society that in practice requires extreme coercion and intrusive supervision by a vast and lawless bureaucracy, leading to events and consequences very different to those intended.
Locke’s social contract had as much in common with Hobbes’s social contract as Ricardo’s labor theory of value had with Marx’s labor theory of value.
Sparknotes editors, you need to review your definition of PLENUM in the glossary for Hobbes' Leviathan. A picture of the universe as a plenum makes a vacuum impossible.
Scott&rsquo s disagreement with this would be twofold. First, as an avowed anarchist, he&rsquo d deny that the state of nature was anything like as bad as Hobbes said it was, and he&rsquo d certainly be able to cite ethnographic evidence of pre-state societies where life was not &ldquo nasty, brutish and short&rdquo . Second, he&rsquo d never accept that building a state actually solved what problems there might have existed in a stateless society. As we have shown, his arguments in fact are that states typically reduce social welfare and that is why people fly from them and try to escape their power.
Hobbes claimed that in a state of nature, it is a war of all against all, and life is “poor, solitary, nasty, brutish, and short”. This of course is a direct contradiction of the usual natural law argument that man is a social animal, adapted by nature to live mostly peaceably with his fellow men, and do business with them quietly.