Why is there any civil peace? Starry-eyed reformers ask why crime happens, but the real question is why anyone obeys the law.
Hobbes knew the problem well, from ‘Warre Of Every One Against Every One’ to peaceful society takes more than simply the existence of a common power to keep them in awe: there is not a policeman sitting in your parlour directing you when to rise and whither to go, or perhaps there is in China or Canada but not in the free world. There must be a constant influence for civic virtue, working against the natural love of immediate advantage and of personal power. Hobbes looked at these:
Love Of Contention From Competition
Competition of Riches, Honour, command, or other power, enclineth to Contention, Enmity, and War: because the way of one Competitor, to the attaining of his desire, is to kill, subdue, supplant, or repell the other. Particularly, competition of praise, enclineth to a reverence of Antiquity. For men contend with the living, not with the dead; to these ascribing more than due, that they may obscure the glory of the other.
Civil Obedience From Love Of Ease
Desire of Ease, and sensuall Delight, disposeth men to obey a common Power: because by such Desires, a man doth abandon the protection might be hoped for from his own Industry, and labour.
From Feare Of Death Or Wounds
Fear of Death, and Wounds, disposeth to the same; and for the same reason. On the contrary, needy men, and hardy, not contented with their present condition; as also, all men that are ambitious of Military command, are enclined to continue the causes of warre; and to stirre up trouble and sedition: for there is no honour Military but by warre; nor any such hope to mend an ill game, as by causing a new shuffle.
And From Love Of Arts
Desire of Knowledge, and Arts of Peace, enclineth men to obey a common Power: For such Desire, containeth a desire of leasure; and consequently protection from some other Power than their own.
Love Of Vertue, From Love Of Praise
Desire of Praise, disposeth to laudable actions, such as please them whose judgement they value; for of these men whom we contemn, we contemn also the Praises. Desire of Fame after death does the same. And though after death, there be no sense of the praise given us on Earth, as being joyes, that are either swallowed up in the unspeakable joyes of Heaven, or extinguished in the extreme torments of Hell: yet is not such Fame vain; because men have a present delight therein, from the foresight of it, and of the benefit that may rebound thereby to their posterity: which though they now see not, yet they imagine; and any thing that is pleasure in the sense, the same also is pleasure in the imagination.
- By Thomas Hobbes:
- By Anthony Burgess:
- By H G Wells:
- By Aldous Huxley:
- By George Orwell:
- By Jordan Peterson: