Hobbes contends that the human state of nature exists where every man is at war with every other man and in order to free ourselves from this state, we must relinquish all of our rights to one unified authority. The intention of this sovereign body is supposedly to serve the good of the people, but the sovereign himself is not subject to any kind of social law or charges of injustice. Thus, Hobbes advocates an authority that assumes absolute power and exists on a superior plane to the citizens who serve it, yet have no ability to influence it whatsoever; by near definition, Hobbes argues in a favor of a fascist government. In Hobbes's view of the world, the authority is undoubtedly meant to serve over the individual, but issues such as race and gender do not play a role in dividing social power. Hobbes in fact argues for the equality of mankind. Such argument in favor of human equality appears to be one of Hobbes's only truly liberal contentions.
[...] The question of where to categorize Hobbes' political philosophy boils down to examining his presentation of inhumane means (i.e. supreme control over law, lack of checks and balances) as a way of achieving humane ends (i.e. self-preservation, co-existence and peace). The important realization to make when examining this question is that both liberalism and fascism strive to achieve the same goals of peace, order and self- preservation; it is the manner in which they go about achieving these goals that gives them their defining qualities. Hobbes argues consistently throughout Leviathan [...]
[...] His complete neglect of such difficulties reinforces the argument that he is preaching fascism or totalitarianism as the only feasible and effective way to govern. An imperative aspect of fascism is that it mandates severe social regimentations. The Leviathan that Hobbes erects has complete authority to bring about and enforce social reforms, and perhaps the most notable of these is Hobbes's emphasis on the importance of censorship. He contends that the reading of books pertaining to past wars and revolutions leads to the ultimate destruction of monarchies, and it is in no interest of the commonwealth whatsoever to allow such books to circulate amongst the public. [...]
[...] Such an example demonstrates how Hobbes redefines and consequently misconstrues the meaning of liberty and free will, and in his philosophy any sovereign would have the power to control all “liberties” of his citizens. This exemplifies how Hobbes advocates the manipulation of fear and by doing so leaves no room for individual liberty within his form of government. Yet another defining aspect of fascism is the practice of ruling with forcible suppression. On this account, Hobbes boldly states that the “laws of nature (as justice, equity, modesty, mercy, and (in sum) doing to others as we would be done to) of themselves, without the terror of some power to cause them to be observed, are contrary to our natural passions,” and thus he concludes that “covenants without the sword are but words” (xvii, 106). [...]
[...] Hobbes believes that whenever there is a lack of an effective government or legitimate authority in place, we are in the state of nature. In such a state, the life of man is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short” (xiii, and notions of right and wrong, justice and injustice have there no place” (xiii, 78). Thus, the only way to relieve ourselves of such a miserable lifestyle to enter a certain social contract in which we divest ourselves of our rights and liberties and agree to be ruled by a unified authority (be it a single sovereign or an assembly of rulers). [...]
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