Comparing Machiavelli And Hobbes ' Political Writings And The Leviathan

1423 WordsOct 30, 20166 Pages
Both Machiavelli and Hobbes have personal roots in violent historical times which are seen reflected in their respective theories about the use of violence in politics. The legitimate use of violence is a topic addressed by both theorists in their respective works, as read in Selected Political Writings and The Leviathan. Who has the monopoly over the use of violence, what its terms of use are, and what the consequences of its use are, are distinct from the works of both Machiavelli and Hobbes. Hobbes’ believed that the world, as well as humanity, was mechanic and operated according to physical laws and chains of cause and effect. He claimed fear was the determining factor in men’s lives, which would cause them to give their liberty over to a sovereign, which would act as man, operating according to the same laws of cause and effect as the rest of the world. This sovereign alone, as the sole political authority, held the legitimate use of violence. As an exception to this, another legitimate use of violence was in a member of the commonwealth’s own self-defence, “...because no man is supposed at the making of a Commonwealth, to have abandoned the defense of his life, or limbes, where the law cannot arrive time enough to his assistance.” In this way, the Sovereign defends his own power over the commonwealth by granting man legitimacy of violence for the sake of his own safety, thus further removing fear within the commonwealth, and ensuring their continued allegiance to the
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