Hobbes, Peace, and Liberty
April 5, 2013 4 Comments
Happy birthday, Thomas Hobbes!
To be fair to a man on his birthday, as I am wont to do, all Hobbes ever wanted was peace. He put this goal before the question of how best to realize justice, liberty, and such matters within the state. This was a matter of practicality and a hope, I believe, that much of this, like religious truth, would be relegated as much as possible to private life. This approach has a lot going for it, and libertarians who most likely prefer their Locke or Smith when it comes to the issue of the consequences of self-interest and other matters should consider it.
Lets not forget that Hobbes did take individual freedom seriously. Just look at his justification of armed resistance to government officials who seek to arrest you, especially where you face the death penalty.
The amazing blogger Mencius Moldbug lays out a map for freedom, with peace as the foundation of a political pyramid of needs. After this comes security, then law, and finally the Misesian goal of freedom and spontaneous order.
I’m not saying he’s definitely right, but he is reasonable.