Differing Veiws of Liberty and Freedom from Machiavelli and Hobbes

1828 Words Feb 2nd, 2018 7 Pages
While both authors feel that the idea of liberty and freedom is directly tied to politics, rulers and government, the way they associate these ideas with each other is very different. Machiavelli has several different definitions of liberty. Ultimately however, he believes that liberty is a right that the public obtains and that the republic is a state of government in which change is constant, and power is not an absolute. He explains that once a group of people has become accustomed to liberty, that liberty cannot be completely taken away. On the other hand, Hobbes states that for a civil society to prevail, individuals must submit their liberty to an absolute sovereign and the sovereign in turn is in charge of deciding which liberties can be returned back to his subjects. In this way, both philosophers touch upon their own ideas of liberty and how this affects political rule. Hobbes wrote the Leviathan out of his experience of living through the English Civil Wars in the 1600's. This political instability of the era led Hobbes to believe that the political turmoil could have been avoided had there been an absolute sovereignty in place. Rather than agreeing with the beheading of King Charles I, Hobbes believes that this sort of situation could have been altogether avoided had the King had complete power over the republic thereby naturally quashing any…
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