Hobbes: What is Leviathan?June 28, 2021
Leviathan; It is mentioned as the name of a water monster representing evil in the Torah and Bible. This concept was used in 1651 by Thomas Hobbes in his famous work “Leviathan” to express a sovereign state with absolute power and authority.
Thomas Hobbes explains this concept in his book “Leviathan: The Content, Form, and Power of a Religion and World-State”: is to give to a single man or assembly of men… (Living in society) People must say to each other, ‘I am giving up my rights and giving all my rights to this man or to the assembly of men.’ Thus, all power and might are gathered in one man. this state or latin civitas It’s called the birth of the great leviathan.”
The Birth of Leviathan: The State as Protector of Rights and Freedoms
Can there be a stateless society? Or can the individual and society exist without the state? More precisely, is it possible to live in “order” without “chaos” in a stateless society? Of course not!.. The state is necessary primarily for the protection of people’s property and life, and rational individuals have created the state to protect their rights and freedoms.
“The way to protect them (citizens) from the invasion of foreigners, to prevent them from harming each other, to secure their industries and the fruits of the earth, is to give all power and might to a single man or assembly of men… People (living in society) say to each other, ‘I am giving up my rights and all ‘I give my rights to this man or to the assembly of men. So that all power and might are gathered in one man. This is called the STATE or CIVITAS in Latin. It means the birth of the great LEVIATHAN.” Thomas Hobbes
Leviathan’s Growth: The State as an Institution Violating Rights and Freedoms
The state, which was created to protect the rights and freedoms of us people, grew over time… The state, which was created to protect the individual, began to establish tyranny over the individual. People were oppressed under the oppression and oppression of kings, emperors and sultans, who supposedly represented the “benevolent state”… The right to life, the right to freedom, the right to property were disregarded… The centuries carried the traces of the “despotic state”… Parallel to the development of the economy, the state its activities also expanded… As its activities expanded, its expenditures increased. As his spending increased, he had to tax more. This was not enough, he borrowed unlimitedly and irresponsibly… He abused his power to print money… As a result, diseases began to appear in the economy. Waste and extravagance increased. The state has forgotten its real reason for being. And the state began to be an institution with a social cost rather than a social benefit.
“The larger the state, the smaller the freedom.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Hitting Leviathan: Towards a Limited State for a Free Society
The question “Is the state necessary?” is nothing but the “intellectual fantasies” of utopian libertarians or anarcho-capitalists. Therefore, the question “Is the state necessary?” is not the question, but the question “How much is the state necessary?” this is it.
“Despite the intention of the state to ensure and protect the security of society, it can be witnessed in almost every page of history that it is an institution that is prone to abuse its power.” John C. Calhoun
Edited by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım