By Bosco – Irish Sentinel Contributor –
Englishman Thomas Hobbes believed that the lives of individuals in the state of nature, or the natural condition of mankind, is markedly one that is poor, solitary, brutish, and short. To anyone who would deny this one could easily pose the question, do you lock your door at night?
According to Hobbes, man in a state of nature inhabits a world where self-interest is present because there is an absence of any rights. This prevents social contracts from being implemented, which makes it impossible to form a society. It is a place where life is essentially anarchy. Moreover, in this state of nature, people are atomised, engaging in a materialistic solipsism of sorts.
People living in an anarchic environment are individuals where their state of nature is asocial and apolitical and where “might” becomes “ right”, at least in the practical nature of things. Watch a programme about nature and you will soon find that the most powerful animal subdues the weaker members. One could even conclude that the aristocrats that still exist today were fashioned from a similar phenomenon. After all, despite the “blue blood” trope, theirs resembles a hue what flows in all our veins, whether you are a duke or a pauper, it is red. So what facilitated the rise of a few families but the power and control they could exert many centuries ago. Their power has been maintained not through individual might, but rather the might of a system they run using the might of others, as lesser beings.
Hobbes argues in the social contract theory that all humans, by nature, have equal faculties of the body and the mind. There are no “natural” inequalities that are so great that an individual human would be able to claim an exclusive benefit. Because of this equality, everyone is willing to fight one another. Without a state in power, humanity would be in a constant state of war. Hobbes in this instant sounds vaguely familiar as he seems to suggest, wrongly, in my opinion, that we all have equal faculties. This is patently false. Whilst we all may be determined equal by virtue of our human dignity, we exhibit different virtues, vices and capabilities. Despite what the post modernists will tell you, Artist Tracey Emin and the unkempt “my bed” exhibit, is not as beautiful or valued as say, Michael Angelo’s “David” or John Constable’s Wivenhoe Park.
What exactly is the social contract? Social contracts emerged as reactions of individuals who decided to come together because they were exhausted from living in a perpetual state of anxiety. These groups would cede some of their individual rights as long as others did the same. For example, Group A would give up their ability to kill Group B if Group B was willing to give up the same right to kill group A. Additionally, individuals were willing to vitiate a right, say liberty, in exchange for others to offer them protection.
By making these agreements, the groups would be establishing a state. However, ‘protection’ is provided by a ruler or authoritarian group who would be required to oversee the initial agreement so that there was no reneging on the terms of the contract. Laws would be created to govern the social interactions that people would have so that the initial social contract could be maintained, but degrees of liberty and freedom forfeited to achieve that end.
In doing so, Hobbes proposes that in this contract humans would be able to focus on other aspects of life instead of living in perpetual warfare. Hobbes however, misses a dimension that many social theorists tend to omit; the role of the individual and his penchant for self-interest. Despite the pretence of years of selfless public service, a profession made on the retirement of a prominent politician, anyone with a modicum of sense realises that the same labelled selfless politician has been nothing but self-interested. How do we know this? Well, the Irish independent for example published a list of members of the dail and their finances. Micheal Martin, a qualified school teacher from a lower middle to working class area of Cork city, apparently has a fortune of over 3 million euro. Enda Kenny, the former Taoiseach, who is also a teacher by profession, has, according to the same source, a personal wealth of just under 5 million euros. One can hardly conclude that these men gave their all to the nation, one can equally posit that they gave their all to themselves, if we can allow ourselves the possible claim that their personal wealth is a decent measurement of self-interest.
Building on Hobbes, John Locke applied the methodological device of Hobbes’ state of nature, but in a very different way. According to Locke, a state of nature is a condition, where humans are free to do anything that pleases them, with complete liberty, but also in accordance with morality. Freedom doesn’t mean being inhumane or cruel towards others. Freedom rather is to be free within oneself, and to do anything regarding to self. Others, according to locke should not be a part of your freedom, meaning, their life, property, or liberty is not a part of your freedom. This is what the law of nature states, according to Locke at least. Locke, was a devout protestant and assumed that morality was given to us by God. As a Catholic I agree. Where I disagree with Locke is that human beings have free will and different capacities to be deceived. The deception often materialises in the form of persuasion that emits from powerful agents of socialisation, e.g, parents, peers, the media, academia etc. Locke mistakenly conflates the existence of an objective morality that exists in nature with its practice. Acephalous tribes in the amazon may consider it good to cannibalise an opponent based on a distortion of morality, while a westerner would find it unambiguously amoral. The objective nature of morality subsists even in the former, but its practice has been distorted by the formers culture. The same argument applies today to westerners who promote degeneracy. Absent a moral arbiter that is unchanging, men in a state of nature create what they believe to be moral, as opposed to what is objectively moral. Even historian and agnostic Tom Holland came to this realisation when he wrote about the role of Christianity in the west, and its immense importance to the flourishing of greatness.
The State of nature Locke says is that in which humans are free but bound by the rules of morality. This creates a peaceful atmosphere he declares, as opposed to what Hobbes enunciates in his theory; that a state of war emerges in state of nature. The difference between Hobbes and Locke is the application of the law of nature to society.
Locke states that if there is a threat to life by another person, then breaking the law of nature, one may legitimately exercise self-defense which becomes a complete right to save one’s life by killing the other. A state of war will only emerge when a person decides to revolt and involve himself in criminal activities. But since there is no rule other than that of morality, which has already been breached, the war will continue to go on, and bitter occurrences will arise giving birth to even worse ones. This is where Locke acknowledges the necessity for a political community to emerge to enforce stability.
A government made by the people, with rules and regulations formed with the consent of the people and to be acted upon those who violate the law of nature, then emerges in such situations. According to Locke this benefits the people in the state of nature in many ways, providing them security against those that can be potential threats and the protection of their rights. Since the government is now a mutual head of the society, people contribute funds for their own conveniences like roads, institutes, industries and other social amenities, to be used by all those living in that governed area.
In principle, Governments are formed that should benefit the people. They are given the authority to judge right from wrong, and impose restrictions and punishments for offenses that are made contrary to the state of nature. If, however, people feel that the government is being unjust, or partial, or imposing its own rules, Locke believes it is right to bring down the current government and elect a new one.
Locke’s political theory of social contract is instituted in almost all the countries of the globe, but as we have seen of late, this system has major flaws. Before, I comment on those flaws, let me first introduce to you Frenchman Jean Jacques Rousseau whose writings fermented the radicals of pre-revolutionary France to usher in a diabolical revolution that has done, despite what the elite classes will tell you, untold damage to the integrity of western civilisation.
The phrase, “man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains,” was coined by Rousseau who asserted that modern states repress the physical freedom that should be our birth-right, and do nothing to secure the civil freedom which for forsake when we enter into civil society. This is ironic given that Rousseau’s theories brought about one of the greatest tyrannies ever to grace the world, the reign of Jacobin terror. Legitimate political authority, Rousseau suggests, comes only from a social contract agreed upon by all citizens for their mutual preservation.
Rousseau calls the collective grouping of all citizens the “sovereign,” and claims that this group should be considered in many ways to be like an individual person. While individuals have a particular will that aims for his own best interest, the sovereign expresses the general will that aims for the common good. The sovereign only has authority over matters that are of public concern, but in this domain its authority is absolute: Rousseau recommends the death penalty for those who violate the social contract.
The general will finds its clearest expression in the general and abstract laws of the state, which are created early in that state’s life by an impartial, non-citizen lawgiver. All laws must ensure liberty and equality: beyond that, they may vary depending on local circumstances.
While the sovereign exercises legislative power by means of the laws, states also need a government to exercise executive power, carrying out day-to-day business. There are many different forms of government, but they can roughly be divided into democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy, depending on their size. Monarchy, according to Rousseau, is the strongest form of government, and is best suited to large populations and hot climates. While different states are suited to different forms of government, Rousseau maintains that aristocracies tend to be the most stable.The irony here is, of course, astounding given what emerged later in France.
The government, Rousseau posits, is distinct from the sovereign, and the two are almost always in friction. This friction will ultimately destroy the state, but healthy states can last many centuries before they dissolve.
The people exercise their sovereignty by meeting in regular, periodic assemblies, what we might call parliaments today. According to Rousseau it is often difficult to persuade all citizens to attend these assemblies, but attendance is essential to the well-being of the state. When citizens elect representatives or try to buy their way out of public service, the general will shall not be heard and the state will become endangered. When voting in assemblies, people should not vote for what they want personally, but for what they believe is the general will. In a healthy state, the results of these votes should approach unanimity.
At this juncture it might be beneficial to note the difference between two models of representation; the trustee model and the delegate model. The trustee models, a position favoured by Edmund Burke and John Stuart Mill, the later describing a delegate as a mere steam engine absent any character.
A delegate is a representative who listens to his constituents, records their views and then presents their opinions in whatever legislative body he is a member of, undistilled and undisturbed. In contrast, a trustee listens to his constituents’ ideas, takes them into consideration and then formulates an opinion of his own and acts upon that opinion.
However, the trustee representative who comes to your door looking for votes, does so as a delegate. He doesn’t tell the prospective voter what they, the politician, wants to promote, instead, the politician asks the canvassed what they want enacted, to persuade the voter. Later, the trustee representative miraculously ignores his promises and reveals himself to be a trustee, assuming to himself that he knows better, and acts in the best interests of those he lied to, all the while serving his own interests.
The social contract, whether it be Hobbes, Locke’s or Rousseau’s vision, depends on the people to voluntarily cede their rights in exchange for the protection of government. If the motive to protect the people becomes instead its opposite, a tyranny, then the social contract is broken. It ought to be borne in mind too that concepts we hear daily such as “ in the public interest”, and “ the common good” that warrant to protect the people, is in fact a subterfuge, to deceive the people to embrace their own enslavement.
The great reset we are told, is a renegotiation of the social contract, a renegotiation that involves coercion, duplicity, and nefarious motives. This new elitist agenda seeks further concessions from the people to hand over more control to a few tyrants who make no concessions in the opposite direction, worse, they make acquisitions, time and time again. When we hear about “ you will own nothing”, the “you” implies “not them”, because “them” will own what you once owned. We constantly read about charlatans like the Duke of woke and his actress wife, pontificating about global inequality while they make millions on foot of their monetised idiocracy, or demand climate change as they fly around in private jets, or denigrate so called “white” privilege of poor working class europeans when they are the personifications of privilege and elitism. George Clooney is the same when he demands open borders but then escaped to America when his lake Como mansion in Italy was surrounded by migrants.
The reality is, is that those movers and shakers behind the great reset have one thing correct, that the previous social contract failed. This is abundantly clear given the ubiquitous corruption of those empowered to govern over their citizens. The probity of the great reset agenda from that point onwards decays, given the entire project is engineered to maximise control in the interests of themselves, even if they frame their agenda to realise the “common good”. In truth, whenever one hears concepts like the common good, the public interest or the public good, invariably their implementation mean the opposite, the good or interest of the few.
Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, were all misguided in so far as they perpetuated the myth that still subsists to this day, that those we place in power will carry out their duties for the best interests of the many. This is patently false. We so often hear the dullards from the left speak of utopians on earth that always turn into hellish prison camps. The utopia they speak of, becomes actualised for the very few, those who wield power, the same people who tend not to relinquish it once they have it. It explains why every Marxist, communist entity, from the micro communities of Portland Oregon, to the USSR always ended up the same way; the few wielding power had plenty, while the rest had nothing but tyranny. It came as no surprise to read in the Irish independent that the very loud socialists in the Dail, such as Mary Mao McDonald, and Roisin Shortall had wealth calculated in millions. Or that extreme leftist radicals like Paul murphy or Richard Boyd Barret were the product of exclusive private schooling. It is why very wealthy celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Bob Geldof and Emma Watson and others spout socialist nonsense composed behind the walls of exclusive mansions. Only a complete imbecile can be taken in by this charade, and many are, too many in fact, those who vote for Sinn Fein and the other left wing parties thrive in this pond of ignorance.
The social contract has been broken for quite some time now, because democracy is broken. Democracy has been deified to the point that any action can be given the veneer of legitimacy and probity on account of a democratic vote. The greeks, Socrates in particular, we scathing about democracy because they knew what it really meant, the rule of the mob, and largely an ignorant pliable one at that. Merely look around you today and the level of genuine imbecility that abounds where a man with a beard can make a self declaration as a woman, lends support to the contention that the masses are stupid. It was once the province of the few lunatics but the masses have now accepted this blight as their own.
Socrates likened democracy to the activity of sailing a ship, and asked would an owner of a ship give charge of his vessel and the expensive goods it might carry to a baker to navigate the perilous waters? Of course not, yet we do the same to a state.
An example in point. During the abortion referendum, some pro choicers I encountered online proffered that a moment of male masturbation was the equivalent of an abortion because of the seed wasted in a sock. It appeared that many people in Ireland didn’t know how human fertilisation occurs. These halfwits, and their vote, weighed the same as an informed voter. The powers at be knew this and explains why we live in a world of unrelented propaganda that perpetually deceives the stupid into giving the powerful more and more controlled tyranny.
The malaise, however didn’t happen over night, last month, last year, or even a decade ago. Corruption has been endemic in this country, in most countries for years because corruption is the fruit of self-interest. It takes a very honourable man to forego his interests for the betterment of the whole.
While we must acknowledge that human beings are frail and therefore any system that emanates from such imperfect beings will be subject to limitations there are better ways forward. Genuine best interests of the many can be achieved, if the whole, in some way resembles a family, a tribe or clan. It is more realisable in these circumstances because of kin selection, or an evolutionary strategy that favours the reproductive success of an organism’s relatives, even at a cost to the organism’s own survival and reproduction. It is why a childless aunt or uncle may be moved to self-denial to provide for the interests of a niece or nephew who shares his or her genes. Corruption and deceit does exist in families but it is an abhoration, as it tends against the survivorship of common familial genes. Kin selections lends some support as to why clans, tribes and nations with shared genetic markers dare not just survive but thrive. It might also explain why the globalists seek to undermine both the concept of family and nation, in order to ensure control over an atomised society becomes more achievable.
For a social contract to exist in the first place, rights must be ceded voluntarily to the government in exchange for protection. For the social contract to endure, the voluntariness of that cession ought also perdure, sadly neither is the case. In reality, one could argue it is never truly achievable given that those who govern the many will always be motivated by self-interest to the detriment of those who put them into power. Once in power, and their self interest savoured, the governing will attenuate the voluntary aspect of the contract and demand an abrogation of rights of the governed to ensure their status quo of avarice survives. The only opportunity for a true social contract to flourish, where good governance leading to the protection of the many, and willingly ceding it in the process, is to revert to systems of family, tribe and nation, where the biological drive to ensure survival, or kin selection, transcends the corrupting influence of self-interested individuals. This is because the group interest IS the same as individuals self-interest, the group is part of the individual and the individual is part the group.
As American Benjamin Franklin mused “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safe”, a truism indeed. However, it is explainable only when the relinquishing and the entrusted share no bonds that aim towards mutual prosperity. The key is nation, a homogenous tribe of like-minded people. It is why the globalists want the nation to die, because the nation is how we can survive.