The significance of glory in the political theory of Thomas Hobbes

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THΠS I C3hsl I F= I C ArvJCE OF=^ C3l_OFRV'

I NI "THE F=OL_ I T I CAL_ TMEORV'

OE “THOMAS H O B B E S

T h e s i s s u b m i t t e d f o r t h e d e g r e e o f

D o c t o r o f P h i l o s o p h y

b y

6 A B R IE L L A SLOMP

LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS U n i v e r s i t y o f L o n d o n

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A B S T F R A C n r

The d is s e r t a t io n Is d iv id e d In th re e p a rts :

P a rt I: I t Is su g g e s te d t h a t Thucydides* H is to r y p ro v id e s u s e fu l In s ig h ts In to Hobbes's p o l i t i c a l th e o ry In so f a r as th e lin k between g lo ry , fe a r, and c o n f li c t p o s tu la te d by T hucydides a ff o r d s a deeper u n d e rs ta n d in g o f th e r o le o f g lo r y and fe a r In Hobbes's p o l i t i c a l c o n s tru c t. In p a r tic u la r , i t Is s u g g e ste d th a t th e d is t in c t i o n between u ltim a te and p ro x im a te causes o f th e Peloponnesian War u n d e rly in g T h ucyd id e s' argum ent Is used by Hobbes In a l l t h r e e ^ i s p o l i t i c a l / w orks In o rd e r t o e x p la in c o n f li c t In th e s ta te o f n a tu re .

P a rt I I : The meaning o f ‘G lo ry ’ In E lem ents o f Law, De Cive, and L e v ia th a n Is examined In d e t a il and I t is a rg ue d th a t, in s p ite o f some changes In Hobbes's p h ilo s o p h y o f man, th e r o le assigned by Hobbes to g lo r y In b o th p r e - p o ll t l e a l and p o l i t i c a l a s s o c ia tio n s Is Id e n tic a l In a l l th re e w orks. The s ig n ific a n c e o f G lo ry Is emphasised and I t s r o le In Hobbes's th e o ry Is d e fin e d and e x p la in e d In r e la t io n to o th e r key ele m en ts o f h is p o l i t i c a l d is c o u rs e , such as s e l f - p re s e rv a tio n , r a t i o n a l i t y , f e l i c i t y , p r o f i t , power, e tc . I t Is a ls o s tre s s e d t h a t Hobbes's d e f in it io n o f g lo r y makes I t c o m p a tib le w ith a concern f o r s e lf - p r e s e r v a t io n and th u s d i f f e r s fro m th e c u rre n t meaning o f g lo r y ( th a t a llo w s one to speak o f ‘g lo r io u s d e a th ’ ).

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c o h s i T E M i r s

PREFACE 6

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS , 10

INTRODUCTION 11

A NOTE ON TEXTS 15

PART I 16

C h a p te r I; THUCYDIDES' HISTORY AS AN INTRODUCTION TO HOBBES'S POLITICAL WORKS

1.1 INTRODUCTION 17

1.2 THE THREE GREATEST THINGS 18

1.3 ON FEAR; 22

1.3.1 Fear and U n c e rta in ty 22 1.3.2 Fear and A n tic ip a tio n 24 1.3.3 Fear and D e lib e ra tio n 25 1.3.4 Fear and S o c ia l O rder 28

1.4 ON HONOUR: 32

1.4.1 Human n a tu re and a m b itio n to r u le 33 1.4.2 A m b itio n t o r u le and p o l i t i c a l a s s o c ia tio n s 38

1.5 ON PROFIT 44

1.6 CONCLUSION 46

C hapter II: MOTION, IDENTITY, AND EQUALITY

11.1 INTRODUCTION 50

11.2 TOWARDS A POLITICAL DEFINITION OF MAN 52 11.2.1 C om parative a n a ly s is 52 11.2.2 T lm e -s e rle s a n a ly s is 54 11.2.3 The I d e n t it y o f Man 56 11.2.4 On v o lu n ta ry m o tio n and p o l i t i c s 58 11.2.5 On th e d is t in c t i v e v o lu n ta r y m o tio n o f man 59

11.3 EQUALITY OF MOTIONS 60

11.3.1 On power 61

11.3.2 E q u a lity o f wisdom, w it, and o th e r form s o f e q u a lit y 63 11. 3. 3 E q u a lit y t o k i l l In De C iv e , E le m e n ts o f Law,

and L e v ia th a n 65

11.3.4 E q u a lity to k i l l as a fu n d am en ta l e q u a lity 67 11.3.5 E q u a lity to k i l l as th e b a s is o f th e s o c ia l c o n tra c t 68

PART II 71

C hapter I I I : GLORY IN ELEMENTS OF LAW

111.1 INTRODUCTION 74

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111.2.5 G lo ry and F e l i c it y 81 111.2.6 G lo ry, Honour, Use, and W orth 83 111.2.7 G lo ry and SeIf- P r e s e r v a t ion 85

111.3 VARIATIONS ON GLORY 88

111.3.1 G lo ry, Madness, and M elancholy 89 1 1 1 .3 .2 G lo ry , R ic h e s , P la c e s o f Power, Know ledge

and S e n s u a Ii t i es 90

111.3.3 G lo ry, M agnanim ity, C h a rity , and L a u g h te r 92 111.3.4 Are There Non-G io ry -S e e k e rs ? 94

111.4 GLORY AMD POLITICS 96

111.4.1 G lo ry , Men, and Bees 97 111.4.2 G lo ry and th e S ta te o f N ature 99 111.4.3 G lo ry, Honour, and th e P o l it ic a l S ta te 101 111.4.4 G lo ry, A m b itio n , and C iv i l War 104

111.5 CONCLUSION 105

C hapter IV : GLORY IN DE CIVE

IV. 1 INTRODUCTION 107

IV.2 THE MEANING OF GLORY 108

IV.2.1 G lo ry , Reason, and S e lf- P r e s e rv a tio n 109 IV.2.2 G lo ry, Honour, Power, and O pinion 112

IV.3 GLORY AMD HUMAN NATURE 114

IV.4 GLORY AND POLITICS 116

IV.4.1 G lo ry, Men, and Bees 116 IV.4.2 G lo ry and th e S ta te o f N a ture 119 IV.4.3 G lo ry, Honour, and th e P o l it ic a l S ta te 121 IV.4.4 A m b itio n and C iv i l War 125 C hapter V ;THE MEANING OF GLORY IN LEVIATHAN

V.1 INTRODUCTION 133

V.2 EXPRESSION AND COMPRESSION IN LEVIATHAN 136 V.2.1 D e f in it io n o f Honour 136 V . 2 .2 D e f i n i t i o n o f G lo r y , V a in G lo ry , D e s ire o f Fame,

and D e s ir e o f P r a is e 140 V.2.3 D e f in it io n o f Power 143 V.2.4 S e lf- p r e s e r v a tio n and R a tio n a lity 146

V.3 A CHANGE OF PERSPECTIVE ? 147

V.3.1 Human P assions, U ltim a te M o tiv a tio n , and B eh a vio ur 148 V.3.2 The Role o f G lo ry ; fro m Genus to Species 150 V.3.3 The Role o f Power : A U n ify in g P r in c ip le o f A c tio n ? 151 V.3.4 F e lic it y , and th e E x te rn a l O bserver 153

V.4 A REMARK 155

V.5 GLORY AND POLITICS 156

V.5.1 Men, Bees, and A n ts 156

V.5.2 A Thucydidean in t e r p r é t â t ion o f th e s ta te o f n a tu re 159 V.5.3 G lo ry and th e P o l i t i c a l S ta te 163 V.5.4 A m b itio n and C iv i l War 166

PART I I I 170

C h a p te r V I: GLORY-SEEKING BEHAVIOUR, STATE OF NATURE,

AND POLITICAL STATE 173

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V I.2 HOBBES'S “ CONCLUSION OF REASON" 175

V I.3 UNI-CONDITIONAL OBEDIENCE 179

V I.4 HOBBES'S REDUCED MODEL 183

V I.5 HOBBES'S CHALLENGE 184

APPENDIX 188

A. 1 In tro d u c t ion 188

A.2 A Non-Hobbes Ian W orld 188

A.3 The Hobbes Ian W orld 191

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T here Is a s t o r y a b o u t a B r it is h econom ist who had been g iv e n a te x t o f m a th e m a tica l economics f o r a re vie w . She opened and clo se d the book In a m a tte r o f seconds, s a y in g th a t she was n o t p re pared to re v ie w y e t a n o th e r tome o f c o n s e rv a tiv e view s. The re v ie w s e d ito r wondered how she c o u ld have reached her (c o rre c t, as I t happens) v e r d ic t on a h ig h ly te c h n ic a l work In such a s h o rt tim e . The re v ie w e r m o d e s tly p o in te d to th e p re fa c e , where th e w r i t e r thanked h is w ife f o r her “ In v a lu a b le s u p p o rt o v e r th e y e a rs " and f o r h e r “ h e lp o f a deeper s o r t" .

W ith th e B r it is h econom ist I agree a t le a s t In one re s p e c t; p re fa ce s t e l l us much a b o u t w r i t e r s and can d is c o u ra g e p o te n tia l re a de rs. Over th e p a s t ye a rs I have read many p re fa c e s to books on Hobbes and none seemed a p p e a lin g . T h is Is one reason why I f e l t th a t I s h o u ld w r ite a p re fa c e m y s e lf, and add a th e s is to I t .

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o f Cambridge L ib ra r y .

What does I r r i t a t e me In many p re fa c e s o f books on Hobbes, though, Is t h e ir lack o f p assion . I d is lik e th e p a tr o n is in g a t t it u d e o f many In te r p r e te r s , th e m a je s tic way In w hich th e y concede t h a t Hobbes has s t i l l som ething to t e l l us, th e detachm ent and p ro fe s s io n a lis m In ju s t i f y i n g th e f a c t t h a t th e y have w r it t e n a book a b o u t him. I f one were to judge fro m th e p re fa c e s to t h e ir books, one w ould have to conclude th a t I f Hobbes's In te r p r e te r s had n o t had p la to o n s o f s p u r r in g fr ie n d s , u rg in g p u b lis h e rs , and magnanimous sponsors, a l l a n xio u s to read, comment, d is c u s s , and le a rn fro m them, th e y w ould have never dream t o f d e v o tin g t h e i r p re c io u s tim e t o u n d e rsta n d in g Hobbes.

My case Is d if f e r e n t . The o r ig in o f th e p re s e n t d is s e r t a t io n lie s e n t ir e ly w ith my passion s. Nobody sponsored me. Nobody In s is te d th a t I s h o u ld s tu d y Hobbes. Nobody u rg e d me to w r it e a th e s is about him. Nobody re lie v e d me o f my o th e r com mitments so t h a t I c o u ld th in k and w r it e a t ease. My w hole re s e a rc h proceeded fro m my uneasiness and apprehension to w a rd s people In power, c u lm in a tin g In my d e e p -ro o te d fe a r o f th e S ta te .

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P o lic e , M a g is tra te s , and P ris o n O ffic e r s ; In th e S o v ie t Union, d e s p ite p e re s tro ik a , hom osexuals and Jews f e e l v u ln e ra b le ; and th e l i s t co u ld c o n tin u e . I f th e above gro up s a re s in c e re In s a y in g t h a t, In s p ite o f t h e ir p osing no t h r e a t to th e S ta te , th e y do n o t e n jo y th e r ig h t s o f everybody e ls e and In p a r t ic u la r s u f f e r more In tr u s io n In t h e ir p r iv a te l i f e tha n Is u s u a lly e xpe rie n ced and accepted, on what ground can anybody assume t h a t th e same tre a tm e n t w i l l n o t be meted o u t to h e r In th e f u t u r e ?

To some t h i s q u e s tio n m ig h t sound p re p o s te ro u s ; however I f we b e lie v e th a t th e c o m p la in ts v o ic e d by some m in o r it ie s a re grounded, then what Is p re p o s te ro u s Is any debate, n o t uncommon among lib e r a ls , on th e d e te rm in a tio n o f th e e x te n t o f th e p r iv a t e sphere o f In d iv id u a ls , o r, more p re c is e ly , on th e p o in t where th e b a r r ie r between p u b lic a u t h o r it y and p r iv a t e lib e r t y s h o u ld be e re c te d . Could I t n o t be th e case, In f a c t, t h a t th e v e ry Idea o f an In v io la b le p r iv a te sphere o f th e In d iv id u a l a g a in s t th e S ta te be m e re ly a fig m e n t o f lib e r a l Im a g in a tio n ?

T h is problem o r ig in a te d my In te r e s t In Hobbes, who, o f course, th in k s t h a t th e re can be no such th in g as a p ro te c te d domain. He fe e ls s tr o n g ly th a t In p o l i t i c a l a s s o c ia tio n s , whereas we have r ig h t s In r e la t io n to o th e r c itiz e n s , we have no r ig h t s a g a in s t th e S ta te . Even s e lf - p r e s e r v a t Ion, he argues. Is n o t s t r i c t l y speaking a r ig h t , In so |

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th in k s t h a t th e S ta te Is u n lik e ly to be s y s te m a tic a lly In iq u ito u s , because he fe e ls t h a t In so d oin g th e s o v e re ig n power would go a g a in s t th e n a tu r a l laws g iv e n by God and a g a in s t h is own In te re s ts th a t depend on th e w e ll- b e in g o f h is c itiz e n s . T h is argum ent, however, g iv e s me h a rd ly any re a ssu ra n ce , f i r s t l y because people In power are lik e ly to d is re g a rd d iv in e In ju n c tio n s , and se co n d ly because to I l l - t r e a t m in o r itie s Is n o t n e c e s s a rily damaging to th e r u lin g cla ss, b u t on th e c o n tra ry can be a means to c a p tu re th e fa v o u r o f th e m a jo rity . Thus I f e l t t h a t I f Hobbes were c o rr e c t In s a y in g th a t In p r in c ip le we cannot have any p ro te c te d sphere a g a in s t th e S ta te , then In p r in c ip le w it h in any S ta te a m in o r ity Is In e v ita b ly v e ry v u ln e ra b le . I f t h i s w ere so, c o n s id e rin g th a t each o f us (being s h o r t­ s ig h te d , o r t a l l , o r f a t ) Is th e p o te n tia l member o f a m in o rity , my fe a r o f th e S ta te w o u ld be w e ll grounded.

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Hobbes Ian concept o f “ g lo r y ” and why I decided t o w r ite a d is s e r t a t io n a b o u t I t . The f i n a l r e s u lt o f my In q u iry Is th a t u n t i l lib e r a ls add re ss th e problem posed by Hobbes In h is own term s and a rg u e t h a t e it h e r th e s t a t e - o f - n a t u r e approach Is In c o rre c t o r Hobbes's a ssum ptio n on g lo r y Is u n te n a b le (o r b o th ) and th a t h is f i n a l c o n c lu s io n Is th e r e fo r e In c o rre c t, then th e re a re good reasons f o r each o f us (as p o t e n t ia l members o f a m in o r ity ) t o be f e a r f u l o f th e S ta te .

ACKNOWLEDGEMEhlTS

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I rvJ-T R O D L JC T I orvi

P ro fe s s o r M ich a el O akeshott once s a id th a t he r e a liz e d t h a t he was n o t a p h ilo s o p h e r whenever re a d in g P la to ; In my case, I re a liz e th a t I am n o t a p h ilo s o p h e r whenever re a d in g my own w r itin g s . As I see I t , p h ilo s o p h e rs produce Ideas and th e o rie s th a t have many depths and fa c e ts , th a t have an Independent l i f e o f t h e ir own, t h a t can be read and a p p re c ia te d e it h e r c o n s id e rin g o r a b s tra c tin g fro m th e h is t o r ic a l circu m sta n ce s In w hich th e y w ere w r itt e n , t h a t e xpress what p h ilo s o p h e rs them selves had th o u g h t, and more beside. In my view t h is e x p la in s why th e work o f p h ilo s o p h e rs Is an In e x h a u s tib le source o f new In te r p r e ta tio n s , each o f w hich can c la im to be grounded In th e te x t.

A lth o u g h th e above c r i t e r i o n taken on I t s own is i n s u f f ic i e n t to c h a ra c te riz e a p h ilo s o p h ic a l work, and some may even f in d I t q u e s tio n a b le , I have s ta te d my c o n v ic tio n th a t p h ilo s o p h ic a l w r itin g s a re amenable to d if f e r e n t In te r p r e ta tio n s because I t may be u s e fu l to a p p ra is e th e c la im s made In th e p re s e n t d is s e r ta tio n .

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a ssum ptio n s, a l l b u t one o f w hich Hobbes sh ares w ith those lib e r a l th in k e rs (e.g. Locke) who a re p re p a re d to d ep lo y a s t a t e - o f - n a t u r e approach to th e j u s t i f i c a t i o n o f r ig h t s . The s p e c if ic a lly Hobbes Ian a ssum ptio n Is th e Idea t h a t some people may seek “ g lo r y ” , I.e., th e p le a s u re o f d o m in io n o th e rs . I argue th a t Hobbes's b e l ie f th a t a l l men a tta c h an o v e r - r id in g p r i o r i t y to t h e ir s e lf- p r e s e r v a tio n . Is re d undant to h is argum ent f o r u n l- c o n d ltlo n a l obedience. T h is model Is exam ined In P a rt I I I o f th e d is s e r ta tio n , w hich c lo s e s w ith some s u g g e s tio n s f o r th e re s e a rc h agenda o f some lib e r a l th e o r is t s .

Whereas P a rt I I I p u ts fo rw a rd an In te r p r e ta tio n o f Hobbes's p o l i t i c a l th e o ry w ith th e aim o f p ro v id in g a h e u r is t ic t o o l to u n d e rsta n d some conte m p orary p ro ble m s o f ju s t ic e . P a rt II Is meant to be a d e ta ile d e x a m in a tio n o f th e meaning o f “ g lo r y ” In E lem ents o f Law, De Cive, and L e v ia th a n , In r e la t io n to o th e r key Hobbes Ian concepts, such as honour, power, f e l i c i t y , s e lf- p r e s e r v a tio n , r a t io n a lit y , scarce re s o u rc e s , e tc . In t h i s p a r t o f th e d is s e r t a t io n I have t r i e d to keep q u ite d i s t i n c t what Hobbes says from my own e x p la n a tio n s o r I n t e r p r é t â t Ions. When, In th e co urse o f my a n a ly s is , I have b ro u g h t to th e lig h t some problem s In h is argum ent, I have sometim es r e fra in e d fro m a tte m p tin g t o p ro v id e my own s o lu tio n o r e x p la n a tio n . A case In p o in t Is my tre a tm e n t o f th e problem o f th e m in o r ity o f n o n -g lo r y - seekers In E le m e n ts o f Law and De Cive. An Insta n ce In P a rt II where

In s te a d I h ig h lig h t an a p p a re n t c o n tra d ic tio n In Hobbes's w orks and t r y to p u t fo rw a rd my own e x p la n a tio n f o r I t Is when I deal w ith Hobbes's argum ent on th e d iffe r e n c e s between a pia n and human a s s o c ia tio n s and compare I t w ith h is account o f th e s t a t e o f n a tu re .

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may o f f e r th e key to s o lv e th e In c o n g r u ity In Hobbes's te x t . I t w i l l be n o tic e d t h a t my Thucydidean I n t e r p r e ta tio n o f Hobbes, a lth o u g h n o t a s u p p o rtin g p i l l a r o f my th e s is In so f a r as th e l a t t e r s ta n d s even I f th e v a l id i t y o f th e fo rm e r Is denied, p ro v id e s n e v e rth e le s s a u n ify in g Idea o f th e whole d is s e r ta tio n . In fa c t. I t u n d e rlie s both p a r t I I I , In so f a r as I t p ro v id e s th e re a d e r w ith a to o l to u n d e rs ta n d th e dynam ics o f th e s ta te o f war and P a rt I, where I t r y to show th e s t r ik in g s i m i l a r i t y between T h ucyd id e s' and Hobbes's w orks In s in g lin g o u t fe a r and g lo r y as th e main m o tiv a tio n s o f people and In c o n s id e rin g fe a r as th e p i l l a r o f s o c ia l o rd e r and a m b itio n , o r g lo ry , as th e o r ig in o f I t s c o rro s io n . In P a rt I I t Is a ls o cla im e d t h a t Thucydides poses p o l i t i c a l p h ilo s o p h y tw o dilemmas and th a t Hobbes's work can be seen as th e a tte m p t to s o lv e them.

On th e o th e r hand, a lth o u g h In my vie w th e In te r p r e t a t io n p u t fo rw a rd In t h i s d is s e r t a t io n can be f i r m ly tra c e d back to Hobbes's w r itin g s , no c la im Is made t h a t th e p re s e n t work o f f e r s a re a d in g o f Hobbes's th e o ry t h a t Is somehow more c o rr e c t than t h a t p u t fo rw a rd by o th e r Hobbes's re a de rs. I am aware th a t, as seen fro m d if f e r e n t v ie w p o in ts , Hobbes's th e o ry conveys d if f e r e n t messages fro m th e one h ig h lig h te d here. Indeed, as I p o in te d o u t In th e p re fa c e , th e m o tiv a tio n behind t h i s th e s is Is n o t to c h a lle n g e th e s c h o la rs h ip on Hobbes, b u t to t r y to argue t h a t Hobbes’s th e o ry can h e lp u n d e rs ta n d in g a problem o f ju s t ic e e x is tin g In o u r s o c ie ty .

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A NOTE ON T E X T S

In t h i s d is s e r t a t io n th e fo llo w in g n o ta tio n Is used to r e f e r to Hobbes’s te x ts :

Leviathan ; v o l. I l l o f The E nglish Works o f Thomas Hobbes, e d ite d by W illia m M ole sw o rth, London, John Bohn, 1839.

De Cive : v o l. I l l o f th e C larendon E d itio n o f th e P h ilo s o p h ic a l Works o f Thomas Hobbes, De Cive. The English Version e n t it le d in

the f i r s t e d itio n F fiilo so p h icall Rudiments Concerning Government and Society, e d ite d by H. W arrender, O xford, C larendon Press, 1983

Elements o f Law : The Elements o f Law N a tu ra l and P o litic , e d ite d by F. Tbnnles, 2nd ed., London, F. Cass, 1969.

Elements o f Philosophy : v o l. I o f The English Works o f Thomas Hobbes, e d ite d by W illia m M olesw orth, London, John Bohn, 1839.

Behemoth : Behemoth o r the Lang Parliam ent, e d ite d by F. Tttnnies, 2nd ed., London, F. Cass, 1969.

A n ti-W h ite : Thomas White*s De Mundo Examined, tr a n s la te d fro m th e L a tin and e d ite d by H. W hitmore Jones, B ra d fo rd U n iv e r s ity Press, 1976.

H is to ry I

:

The H is to ry o f the Grecian War w ritte n by Thucydides and tra n s la te d by Thomas Hobbes, v o l. V I II o f The English Works o f Thomas Hot>bes, e d ite d by W illia m M olesw orth, London, John Bohn, 1843.

H is to ry I I : The H is to ry o f the Grecian War w ritte n by Thucydides and tra n s la te d by Thomas Hobtjes, v o l. XI o f The English Works o f Thomas Hot>tfes, e d ite d by W illia m M olesw orth, London, John Bohn, 1843.

Human Nature : De Homine, In Man and C itizen , e d ite d by B. G ert, New York, Doubleday, 1972.

A ls o r e fe r r e d to In th e t e x t is th e fo llo w in g work:

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The tw o c h a p te rs fo rm in g t h i s p a r t o f th e d is s e r ta tio n , a lth o u g h d e a lin g w ith d if f e r e n t s u b je c t-m a tte r s , s e rve th e same purpose, nam ely th a t o f in tro d u c in g th e a n a ly s is on g lo r y c a r r ie d o u t in P a rt

II.

In p a r tic u la r . C hapter I aims a t e x p la in in g th e s ig n ific a n c e o f fe a r and a m b itio n in T h ucyd id e s' H is to r y and s u g g e s ts t h a t in h is p o l i t i c a l w r it in g s Hobbes endorses and deve lo p s Thucydides' in s ig h ts on th e fu n c tio n o f g lo r y and fe a r in p o l i t i c a l a s s o c ia tio n s and on th e r e la tio n s h ip between d e s ire o f power and concern f o r s e l f - p re s e rv a tio n in th e dynam ics o f war.

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T HUCY DI DE S '

H I S T O R Y

AN I NTRODUCTI ON

TO HOBBES' S P O L I T I C A L WORKS

1.1 INTRODUCTION; 1.2 THE THREE GREATEST THINGS; 1.3 ON FEAR: 1.3.1. Fear and U n c e rta in ty ; 1.3.2 Fear and A n tic ip a tio n ; 1.3.3 Fear and D e lib e ra tio n ; 1.3.4- F ear and S o c ia l O rder; 1.4 ON HONOUR: 1.4.1 Human n a tu re and a m b itio n t o r u le ; 1.4.2 A m b itio n to r u le and p o l i t ic a l a s s o c ia tio n s ; 1.5 ON PROFIT; 1.6 CONCLUSION.

1.1 im-RODUCTION

In re c e n t y e a rs th e r e seems t o have been a r e v iv a l o f I n te r e s t In th e s im i l a r i t i e s between T h u cyd id e s' and Hobbes's th o u g h t. In 1987, f o r example, Brown <1 ) h ig h lig h te d a s ig n if ic a n t convergence o f Ideas between th e tw o a u th o rs on an e x tre m e ly w ide range o f to p ic s ; In 1988 O rw ln (2 ) p o in te d to some s t r i k i n g p a r a lle ls between Thucydides'

s t a s is and Hobbes's s t a t e o f n a tu re and In 1989 Brown (3) u rged

s c h o la rs to re g a rd Hobbes's t r a n s la t io n o f Thucydides as “ an In te g r a l p a r t o f h is o ff e r in g s to th e p u b lic on th e n a tu re o f man and s o c ie ty " .

In t h i s c h a p te r I s h a ll show t h a t Thucydides' w ork p ro v id e s an

(1 ) C l i f f o r d W. Brown, ‘T hucydides, Hobbes, and th e D e riv a tio n o f A narchy’ , H is t o r y o f P o l i t i c a l Thought, v o l. V I I I (1), S p rin g 1987, pp. 3 3 -6 2 .

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In v a lu a b le s t a r t in g - p o in t t o exam ine Hobbes's th e o ry and to assess th e fund am en ta l r o le o f f e a r and g lo r y w ith in I t . In p a r tic u la r , I s h a ll s u g g e s t t h a t Hobbes's p o l i t i c a l th e o ry d evelops some o f T h ucyd id e s' In s ig h ts on th e fu n c tio n o f fe a r and th e e f f e c t o f a m b itio n on p o l i t i c a l a s s o c ia tio n s and p ro v id e s an escape fro m th e dilem mas ra is e d by T h ucydides on th e c o n d itio n s under w hich fe a r and a m b itio n can e it h e r prom ote o r s u b v e rt c iv ilis a t io n .

1.2 THE THREE GREATEST THINGS

In th e e a r ly s ta g e s o f th e P eloponnesian war, A thens' ambassadors are re p o rte d In T h ucyd id e s' H is t o r y (4) to have j u s t i f i e d t h e ir expans Ion 1st Ic p o lic y In t h e i r o r a tio n to th e C o rin th ia n s In th e fo llo w in g term s:

». we were fo rc e d to advance o u r dom inion to what I t Is, o u t o f the n a tu re o f th e th in g I t s e l f ; as c h ie f l y f o r fe a r, n e x t f o r honour and

la s t ly f o r p r o f i t . (5)

They Imputed t h e ir b e h a v io u r to th e v e ry essence o f human n a tu re , th u s s u g g e s tin g t h a t th e re was no need f o r e xcusing I t .

We read:

(4) A l l re fe re n c e s a re t o Hobbes's own t r a n s la t io n o f th e H is to ry , th e reason why I s h a ll r e f e r n e ith e r to more a c c u ra te re c e n t tr a n s la tio n s n o r to th e o r ig in a l Greek t e x t Is t h a t my main concern Is to examine Hobbes's u n d e rs ta n d in g o f Thucydides, r a th e r th a n an assessm ent o f th e H is to r y In g e n e ra l. Moreover, I t seems to mee t h a t none o f th e passages examined o r quoted In t h is C hapter Is c o n tr o v e r s ia l (w ith perhaps one e x c e p tio n , note d

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So th a t, though overcome by th re e th e g re a te s t th in g s , honour, fe a r and p r o f i t , we have th e r e in done n o th in g to be wondered a t nor b eside s th e manner o f men. Nor have we been th e f i r s t In t h i s kind, b u t I t hath been e v e r a th in g fix e d , f o r th e weaker to be kept under by th e s tro n g e r. (6)

In th e H is to r y th e re fe re n c e to honour, fe a r, and p r o f i t Is n o t In c id e n ta l, n o r a re th e A th e n ia n s th e o n ly ones who c o n s id e r them as th e “ th re e g r e a te s t th in g s ’* t h a t m o tiv a te human b e h a vio u r. Indeed, I t can be arg ue d t h a t T hucyd id e s h im s e lf d ep lo ys th e se th re e fu n d am en ta l concepts t o e x p la in th e mechanics and th e dynam ics o f th e w hole P eloponnesian war.

D ir e c t re fe re n c e s t o fe a r, power, dom inion, and re p u ta tio n occur a t le a s t once In a lm o st e v e ry page o f th e f i r s t tw e n ty th re e paragraphs o f th e F ir s t Book o f th e H is to r y where Thucydides t r i e s to e s ta b lis h th e tr u e causes o f th e war, as opposed to th e p r e te x t t h a t sparked o f f th e c o n f lic t . He concludes t h a t In th e la s t a n a ly s is th e war a rose c h ie f ly because o f th e Lacedœmon Ians' fe a r o f A thens' In c re a s in g power and d e s ire t o r u le and th a t a l l th e o th e r p a rte c lp a n ts form ed a llia n c e s e it h e r f o r fe a r o r f o r hope o f p r o f i t .

The causes why th e y brake th e same [ league], and t h e ir q u a rre ls , I have th e r e fo r e s e t down f i r s t , because no man s h o u ld be to seek fro m w hat ground so g re a t a w ar amongst th e G recians c o u ld a ris e . And th e t r u e s t q u a rr e l, tho u gh le a s t In speech, I conceive to be th e g ro w th o f th e A th e n ia n power; w hich p u ttin g th e Lacedœmon Ians

In to fe a r n e c e s s ita te d th e war. (7)

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No s tu d e n t o f Hobbes can f a i l t o n o tic e th e s t r i k i n g s im i l a r it y between th e th re e m o tiv a tio n s th a t a ccordin g to T hucydides b ro u g h t th e a n c ie n t w o rld to i t s g re a te s t and lo n g e s t war and th e th re e causes o f c o n f lic t d e s c rib e d by Hobbes in Chapter 13 o f L e v ia th a n :

So th a t in th e n a tu re o f man, we f in d th re e p r in c ip a l causes o f q u a rr e l The f i r s t , maketh men invade f o r g ain; th e second, f o r s a fe ty ; and th e t h ir d , f o r re p u ta tio n . (8)

Hobbes's concept o f g a in rem inds us o f T hucydides' p r o f i t ; s a fe ty r e c a lls fe a r; honour, re p u ta tio n . A lth o u g h the se p a r a lle ls have n o t been Ign o re d by Hobbes's com m entators <9), to my knowledge th e re is no d e ta ile d a n a ly s is o f th e s i m i l a r i t ie s and d iffe r e n c e s between T h ucyd id e s' and Hobbes's vie w s on fe a r, g lo ry , and p r o f i t .

The purpose o f t h i s c h a p te r Is t o o f f e r such a com parison and to arg ue t h a t an u n d e rs ta n d in g o f T hucydides' view s on human psychology p ro v id e s u s e fu l in s ig h ts in to Hobbes's p o l it i c a l th o u g h t.

The s i m i la r i t i e s examined in w hat fo llo w s can be grouped in to th re e broad c a te g o rie s :

( I ) in many cases th e a f f i n i t y o f view s is so s t r i k i n g th a t i t exte n ds to t e x t u a l concordance;

< ii) in o th e r in s ta n c e s a minimum o f p h ilo s o p h ic a l a n a ly s is re v e a ls th a t T h ucyd id e s' p o s itio n on human p assion s fin d s an u nm ls ta k e a b le echo In Hobbes's works;

( i l l ) f i n a l l y , th e common concerns o f th e tw o a u th o rs on th e to p ic s o f fe a r, g lo ry , and p r o f i t in e v ita b ly g e n e ra te s i m i l a r i t i e s

(8) Leviathan^ p .1 12.

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th a t a re n o t s p e c ific t o Hobbes and Thucydides, b u t can a ls o be found In many o th e r w r i t e r s on p o l i t i c a l and h is t o r ic a l m a tte rs .

I t s h o u ld be s tre s s e d t h a t th e aim o f th e p re s e n t c h a p te r Is n o t th a t o f e s ta b lis h in g by means o f h is t o r ic a l com p arative a n a ly s is to what e x te n t and dep th Hobbes's w orks can be s a id to re s o n a te o f th e Thucydidean legacy, n o r Is t h a t o f m e re ly adding a n o th e r v o ic e to th e chorus o f Hobbes's re a d e rs t h a t have been puzzled and Im pressed by th e s i m i l a r i t i e s between th e tw o w r it e r s and cannot h e lp fe e lin g th a t Hobbes, who sp e n t much tim e and la bour to produce h is b r i l l i a n t t r a n s la t io n o f T h ucyd id e s' work, m ust have fou n d In th e way o f th in k in g o f th e “ most p o l i t i c h is to r io g r a p h e r t h a t e v e r w r i t " a p o w e rfu l In s p ir a tio n f o r h is own th o u g h t, a t a tim e — th e 1620s — when h is a tt e n tio n was t u r n in g t o p o l i t i c a l p h ilo so p h y, (10)

The deeper purpose o f t h i s c h a p te r Is to a rgue t h a t by exam ining In some d e t a il T h u cyd id e s's v ie w s on “ th e th re e g re a te s t th in g s " one can la y th e groundw ork f o r an I n t e r p r é t â t Ion o f Hobbes's p o l i t i c a l th e o ry th a t on th e one hand d e ve lo p s some o f Thucydides' In s ig h ts on th e fu n c tio n o f fe a r and th e e f f e c t o f a m b itio n on th e p o l i t i c a l s ta te and on th e o th e r hand p ro v id e s a s o lu tio n to th e problem s ra is e d and l e f t open by T hucydides on th e c o n d itio n s under w hich fe a r and a m b itio n can e it h e r prom ote o r h in d e r c iv il is a t io n .

(10) On th e h i s t o r ic a l c ircu m sta n ce s s u rro u n d in g Hobbes's t r a n s la t io n o f T h ucyd id e s' H is to ry , see A rn o ld A. Rogow, Thomas

Hobbes, R a d ical in th e S e rv ic e o f R eaction, New York: W.W.

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1.3 ON FEAR

In t h i s s e c tio n I s h a ll a rgue t h a t Hobbes's and T h ucyd id e s' analyses o f fe a r sh are tw o fu n d am en ta l a spe cts:

( I ) on th e one hand th e y p ro v id e a re m a rka b ly s im ila r c h a ra c te r Iz a t Ion o f fe a r , b o th v ie w in g I t as d e r iv in g from u n c e rta in ty , r e s u lt in g In a n tic ip a tio n , and a f f e c t in g human judgm ent In a e it h e r b e n e fic ia l o r d e trim e n ta l way depending on

I t s tlm e -h o rlz o n ;

( I I ) on th e o th e r hand, th e y b o th a s s ig n t o fe a r th e r o le o f c o rn e rs to n e o f p o l i t i c a l o rd e r.

1.3.1 Fear and U n c e rta in ty

In T h ucyd id e s' H is to r y fe a r Is n o t o n ly one o f th e key concepts th a t e x p la in th e causes and th e dynam ics o f th e Peloponnesian war, b u t a ls o th e p assion t h a t perm eated a l l a n c ie n t Greece b e fo re I t grew “ c i v i l " . The account o f a n c ie n t Greece g iv e n by T hucydides and th e d e s c r ip tio n o f th e n a tu r a l c o n d itio n s o f mankind made by Hobbes In E lem ents o f Law and L e v ia th a n have one fundam ental common fe a tu r e — th e y both d e p ic t a w o rld dom inated by fe a r, a lth o u g h In T hucydides' case what Is d e s c rib e d Is a h i s t o r ic a l p e rio d and In Hobbes's a h y p o th e tic a l s i t u a t i o n . (11)

In h is d e s c r ip tio n o f a n c ie n t Greece Thucydides lin k s fe a r to

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u n c e rta in ty . He s u g g e s ts t h a t In th e o ld days people were In a c o n s ta n t s ta te o f a n x ie ty and apprehension because th e y co u ld have no f ir m e x p e c ta tio n s on th e b e h a v io u r o f o th e rs and th u s co u ld make no lo n g -te rm p la n s a bout th e fu t u r e . He w r ite s :

». w h ils t t r a f f i c was n o t, n o r m u tu a l In te rc o u rs e b u t w ith fe a r. n e ith e r by sea n o r land; and e v e ry man so husbanded th e ground as b u t b a re ly to liv e upon I t , w ith o u t any s to c k o f ric h e s , and p la n te d n o th in g ; (because I t was u n c e rta in when a n o th e r s h o u ld Invade them and c a rry a l l away, e s p e c ia lly n o t h aving th e defence o f w a lls ) ; b u t made account to be m asters, In any place, o f such necessary sustenance as m ig h t s e rv e them fro m day to day. (12)

B oth th e main Idea and th e s p e c ific d e t a ils o f th e above q u o ta tio n rem ind one o f a w e ll-k n o w n passage o f Leviathan^ In which Hobbes d e s c rib e s th e s ta te o f n a tu re :

In such c o n d itio n , th e re Is no p la ce f o r In d u s try ; because th e f r u i t th e r e o f Is u n c e r ta in ; and c o n s e q u e n tly no C u ltu re o f th e E a rth ; no n a v ig a tio n , nor use o f th e com m odities t h a t may be Im ported by sea; no commodious b u ild in g ; no In s tru m e n ts o f moving ,and rem oving,such th in g s as r e q u ir e much fo rc e ;n o knowledge o f th e fa c e o f th e e a rth ; no a ccount o f tim e ; no a r ts ; no le t t e r s ; no s o c ie ty ; and w hich Is w o rs t o f a l l c o n tin u a l f e a r . (13)

L ik e Thucydides, Hobbes to o e s ta b lis h e s a c le a r co n n e c tio n between fe a r and u n c e rta in ty ; th e people o f a n c ie n t Greece and th e Hobbes Ian In d iv id u a ls o f th e s ta te o f n a tu re liv e In fe a r because th e y do n o t

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know w hat to e xp e ct fro m o th e rs . They do n o t know who th e o th e rs a re and what th e y want and I f th e y want th e same th in g s fro m one day to th e n e x t. T h is com plete Ignorance about th e w o rld In which th e y Live p re v e n ts everyone, as r a t io n a l being, fro m s e tt in g and p u rs u in g h is own o b je c tiv e s . Under c o n d itio n s o f com plete u n c e rta in ty , each in d iv id u a l Is d e p riv e d o f h is I n t r in s i c a ll y human a b i l i t y and need to p la n h is own f u t u r e and Is com pelled In s te a d to liv e In, and f o r , th e p re s e n t. The outcome Is t h a t th e l i f e o f people becomes In d is tin g u is h a b le fro m t h a t o f bea sts. Only when u n c e r ta in ty Is lim ite d and c irc u m s c rib e d . I.e. w it h in th e fram ew ork o f s o c ia l c o n v e n tio n s c re a te d In th e c i v i l s ta te , w i l l th e A th e n ia n s ( f i r s t among a l l G reeks) be a b le t o c o n c e n tra te on th o se th in g s th a t d is t in g u is h human b eing s fro m a nim a ls and w i l l th e Hobbes Ian people be a b le to liv e a w o rth w h ile l i f e .

1.3.2 Fear and A n tic ip a tio n

In T h ucyd id e s' n a r r a tio n th e lin k between fe a r and u n c e r ta in ty Is n o t c o n fin e d to th e d e s c r ip tio n o f th e people who liv e d In th e m urderous a n c ie n t w o rld b u t a p p lie s to , and Indeed e x p la in s , th e r e la tio n s h ip s between c i t ie s a f t e r th e y have grown " c i v i l" .

In d e s c rib in g th e causes o f th e w ar Thucydides s tre s s e s th e p o in t t h a t I t had been fe a r g e n e ra te d by u n c e rta in ty a bo u t th e In te n tio n s o f a s tro n g A thens what had d riv e n weaker c i t i e s to u n ite a g a in s t her and a n tic ip a te her a tta c k .

Thus A le lb lades:

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defend them selves a g a in s t him when he s h a ll Invade, b u t to a n tic ip a te him, t h a t he Invade n o t a t a l l (14)

U n c e rta in ty about th e In te n tio n o f o th e rs , and fe a r t h a t th e y may a tta c k a re In T h u cyd id e s' argum ent th e fo u n d a tio n s o f h is concept o f a n t ic ip a t io n and f i r s t s t r ik e . Thus In th e H is to r y w h ile u n c e r ta in ty can be seen as th e main cause o f fe a r, a n t ic ip a t io n Is

I t s most Im p o rta n t outcome.

On t h i s p o in t, too , Hobbes can be seen to fo llo w T h ucyd id e s' ste p s . In c h a p te r 13 o f L e v ia th a n he develops an argum ent In w hich a n tic ip a tio n Is c o n s tru e d as th e r e s u lt o f d iffid e n c e , w hich In tu r n Is d e riv e d fro m fe a r and u n c e rta in ty .

We read:

And fro m t h i s d if fid e n c e o f one a n o th e r, th e re Is no way f o r any man to se cure h im s e lf, so rea son a ble as a n tic ip a tio n . (15)

M. fe a r o f o p p re s s io n d ls p o s e th a man to a n tic ip a te . (16)

A lth o u g h th e In te rm e d ia te s te p — I.e., d iffid e n c e — Is m is s in g In Th ucyd id e s' re a so n in g , th e lo g ic o f the argum ent t h a t s t a r t s fro m fe a r and u n c e r ta in ty and ends w ith a n tic ip a tio n and p re e m p tiv e s t r ik e

Is e s s e n t ia lly th e same as Hobbes's.

1.3.3 Fear and D e lib e ra tio n

In a d d itio n to t h e ir sh a re d view s on th e co n n e ctio n between fe a r, u n c e rta in ty , and a n tic ip a tio n , Thucydides' and Hobbes's argum ents

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c o n ta in a n o th e r co nspicuous a f f i n i t y : th e y b oth a s c rib e to fe a r e ith e r a p o s itiv e o r a n e g a tiv e e f f e c t on human d e lib e r a tio n , depending on

I t s tlm e -d lm e n s lo n .

In T h ucyd id e s' H is to ry , th e fe a r f e l t by th e In d iv id u a l to w a rd s f u t u r e e n te rp ris e s Is a p o s itiv e passion, In th e sense t h a t I t engenders b e n e fic ia l e f f e c t s — I t a le r t s th e mind to th e problem s ahead and d riv e s people to d e lib e r a te p ru d e n tly and w is e ly . Thus we f in d th e g e n e ra ls o f d if f e r e n t c it i e s u rg in g t h e ir tro u p s n o t to u nd e rva lu e e it h e r th e enemy o r th e circu m s ta n c e s , b u t t o p re p a re them selves to fa c e g re a t dangers, s in c e t h i s is th e o n ly way t o p re p a re r a t io n a lly f o r v ic to r y .

C o n verse ly, fe a r as a p assio n t h a t dom inates th e In d iv id u a l In th e p re s e n t p la y s a n e g a tiv e and d e s tr u c tiv e r o le In T hucydides' n a r ra tio n . Indeed, as soon as th e h o s t i l i t i e s have commenced, s o ld ie r s a re u rg e d to a tta c k w ith o u t fe a r, s in c e th e key to v ic t o r y lie s In t h e ir courage. Fear In th e p re s e n t b rin g s people to d e fe a t, I t makes them o v e re s tim a te th e d i f f i c u l t i e s and o v e rv a lu e th e enemy, I t

leads to rushed and I r r a t io n a l dec Is lon-mak Ing. H erm ocrates speaks th u s t o th e S yracuslans:

and e v e ry man to remember, t h a t though to show contem pt o f th e enemy be b e s t In th e heat o f f i g h t , y e t those p re p a ra tio n s are th e s u re s t, t h a t a re made w ith fe a r and o p in io n o f danger (17)

And Arch Idamus says to th e Lacedœmon Ians:

». though th e s o ld ie r s oug h t a lw a ys to have b o ld h e a rts , y e t f o r a c tio n th e y o u g h t to make t h e ir p re p a ra tio n s as I f th e y were

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a fr a id . (18)

In a passage o f h is "O f th e L if e and H is to ry o f T h ucyd id e s" th a t precedes h is t r a n s la t io n o f th e H is to ry , Hobbes echoes th e view th a t fe a r has e it h e r a p o s itiv e o r n e g a tiv e e f f e c t depending on I t s te m p o ra l dim ension;

w. fe a r (which f o r th e m ost p a r t a d v ls e th w e ll, though I t execute n o t so). (19)

In h is la t e r p o l i t i c a l w orks Hobbes e la b o ra te s a f u l l y developed co n c e p tio n o f fe a r th a t encompasses th e Thucydldean vie w on th e ambiguous e f f e c t s o f t h a t p assion on human b e h a vio u r, depending on w h e th e r I t In s p ire s d e lib e r a tio n s re g a rd in g th e f u t u r e o r th e p re s e n t.

L eaving a d e ta ile d a n a ly s is o f t h i s to p ic to la t e r c h a p te rs , here I t s u ff ic e s to a n tic ip a te t h a t under th e e ff e c t s o f Immediate fe a r HobbesIan people In th e s t a t e o f n a tu re r e s o r t t o k i l l i n g , w ith o u t r e a lis in g th a t In th e long ru n In a b a t t le between e qu a ls, nobody Is g oing to be s a fe .

In o th e r words, dec Is lon-m ak Ing u nder c o n d itio n s o f Immediate fe a r leads to an outcome — t o t r y to k i l l a l l o th e rs — t h a t Is a g a in s t reason ( f o r "e q u a l powers opposed d e s tro y one a n o th e r" (20)).

C onversely, fe a r o f f u t u r e dangers Is th e f i r s t p assion m entioned by Hobbes as re s p o n s ib le f o r making people u n d e rstan d th e n e c e s s ity to escape fro m th e s t a t e o f n a tu re and th u s decide to c re a te a p o l i t i c a l s ta te . In h is words:

(18) H is to ry , I, p. 165. (19) Ib id ., p. XVI.

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The p a ssion s t h a t In c lin e men to peace a re fe a r o f death; d e s ire o f such th in g s as a re n e ce ssa ry to commodious liv in g ; and a hope by t h e ir In d u s try to o b ta in them. (21)

1.3.4- Fear and s o c ia l o rd e r

F in a lly th e re Is a deeper a f f i n i t y between Hobbes's and Thucydides' vie w s on fe a r w hich does n o t r e s t on mere t e x t u a l s im i l a r i t y b u t re s id e s In th e v e ry r o le p la y e d by fe a r in th e tw o a u th o rs ' works. The r o le p la yed by fe a r In T h ucyd id e s' H is to r y can be a p p re c ia te d In a l l I t s Im p lic a tio n s by e xam ining In some d e t a il h is a ccount o f th e pla gu e t h a t had g rip p e d A thens s in c e th e second y e a r o f th e war.

In a n a r r a tio n t h a t has become d e s e rv e d ly a c la s s ic , Thucydides h ig h lig h t s th e t e r r i f y i n g e f f e c t s b ro u g h t about by a com plete lack o f fe a r.

People who know t h a t a re g oing to d ie do n o t show fe a r, b u t re a c t in s te a d w ith u t t e r d e je c tio n and d e s p e ra tio n . People who liv e w ith th e o n ly c e r t a in t y th a t, be th e y honest o r n o t, p io u s o r n o t, imminent death a w a its them cannot be r e s tra in e d by e it h e r human o r d iv in e punishm ent fro m behaving In w h ich eve r way th e y w ish.

T hucydides s tre s s e s re p e a te d ly th a t th e c e r t a in t y o f Impending death fre e s t o t a l l y In d iv id u a ls fro m any fe a r o f e it h e r gods o r men and p r e c ip ita te s a s o c ia l o rg a n iz a tio n In to a s ta te o f com plete s o c ia l chaos. When th e n a tu r a l r e s t r a in t p ro v id e d by fe a r Is removed, th e fun d am en ta l b in d in g ele m en t o f s o c ia l o rd e r Is lo s t and w ith I t a l l

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laws, co n v e n tio n s , custom s, and r u le s s im p ly crum ble away. (22) In T h ucyd id e s' words, as b r i l l i a n t l y rendered by Hobbes:

And th e g re a t lic e n tio u s n e s s , w hich a ls o In o th e r k in d s was used In th e c it y , began a t f i r s t fro m t h i s disease. For t h a t w hich a man b e fo re w ould disse m ble, and n o t acknowledge to be done f o r v o lu p tu o u s n e s s , he d u r s t now do f r e e ly ; seeing b e fo re h is eyes such q u ic k r e v o lu tio n , o f th e r ic h d yin g , and men w o rth n o th in g In h e r itin g t h e i r e s ta te s . Insomuch as th e y j u s t i f i e d a speedy f r u i t i o n o f t h e i r goods, even f o r t h e ir p le a s u re ; as men th a t th o u g h t th e y h e ld t h e i r liv e s b u t by th e day. As f o r pains, no man was fo rw a rd In any a c tio n o f honour to ta ke any; because th e y th o u g h t I t u n c e rta in w h e th e r th e y s h o u ld d ie o r n o t b e fo re th e y a chieve d I t . B ut w hat any man knew to be d e lig h t f u l, and to be p r o f it a b le to p le a s u re , t h a t was made both p r o f it a b le and honourable. N e ith e r th e fe a r o f th e gods, n o r laws o f men, awed anv man; n o t th e fo rm e r, because th e y concluded i t was a lik e to w o rsh ip o r n o t w o rsh ip , fro m se eing t h a t a lik e th e y a l l p e ris h e d : n o r th e la t t e r , because no man expected t h a t liv e s w ould la s t t i l l he re c e iv e d punishm ent o f h is crim e s by judgm ent. B ut th e y th o u g h t, th e re was now o v e r t h e ir heads some f a r g re a te r judgm ent decreed a g a in s t them; b e fo re w hich f e l l , th e y th o u g h t to e n jo y some l i t t l e p a r t o f t h e i r liv e s . <23)

(22) For an a n a ly s is o f th e p la gu e and s ta s is , see C l i f f o r d Orwln, ‘S ta s is and Plague: T hucydides on th e D is s o lu tio n o f S o c ie ty ', c it .

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From T h ucyd id e s' a ccount o f th e p la gu e In Athens I t emerges c le a r ly t h a t th e fu n c tio n o f fe a r w it h in a p o l i t ic a l o rg a n iz a tio n Is to p ro v id e a p o w e rfu l r e s t r a in t t o th e b e h a vio u r o f th e In d iv id u a l.

By keeping In mind th e Thucydldean e q u a tio n between lack o f fe a r and s o c ia l chaos, we can u n d e rs ta n d more f u l l y why In h is p o l it i c a l w r it in g s Hobbes s tre s s e s th e param ount Im portance o f fe a r. From h is t r a n s la t io n o f T h ucyd id e s' d e s c r ip tio n o f th e plague, u n d e rtake n a t a tim e — th e 1620s — when he was b eg in n in g to tu r n h is a tte n tio n to p o l i t i c a l m a tte rs , Hobbes m ust have learned t h a t In a w o rld w ith o u t f e a r th e re can be no L e v ia th a n , no law and o rd e r, no peace. And th u s In De Cive he p o in ts to fe a r n o t o n ly as th e o r ig in o f s o c ie tie s b u t a ls o as th e b a s is o f “ la s tin g S o c ie tie s ” (24), th e unrenounceable c o n d itio n o f s o c ia l s t a b i l i t y .

In a l l h is p o l i t i c a l w orks Hobbes s tre s s e s re p e a te d ly th e Idea th a t “ th e re Is In e v e ry man a c e r ta in high degree o f f e a r ” (25): h is In s is te n c e t h a t fe a r Is a c o n s titu e n t p a r t o f o u r p sycho lo g y Is n o t to be taken as a m e re ly In c id e n ta l re fe re n c e , b u t r a th e r as u n d e rly in g th e f a c t t h a t th e assum ptio n o f fe a r Is a fundam ental p ro v is o o f h is whole p o l i t i c a l c o n s tru c t.

Indeed I t c o u ld be a rgued t h a t n o t o n ly Hobbes, b u t most p o l i t i c a l p h ilo s o p h e rs In th e W estern t r a d i t i o n would have no a d v ic e to o f f e r t h a t w ould be re le v a n t to a w o rld w ith o u t fe a r, such as th e l l m l t - case o f th e plague o f Athens. However, I t may be su rm ise d th a t th e reason why Hobbes Is so e x t r a o r d in a r ily aware b o th o f th e c r u c ia l fu n c tio n o f fe a r In p o l i t i c a l a s s o c ia tio n s and o f th e v a l i d i t y o f h is

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w hole p o l i t i c a l th e o ry being dependent on th e assum ption o f f e a r -In s p lre d b eh a v io u r, may be due to h is c a r e fu l t r a n s la t io n o f th e H is to ry , t h a t a le r te d him to th e s tro n g co nn e ction between lack o f fe a r and s o c ia l chaos.

However, th e fu n c tio n o f fe a r In p o l i t i c a l a s s o c ia tio n s Is n o t the o n ly In s ig h t t h a t Hobbes le a rne d fro m Thucydides. T hucydides' tw in d e s c r ip tio n s o f a n c ie n t Greece and o f th e plague In Athens I m p lic it ly s e t p o l i t i c a l p h ilo s o p h y th e ta s k o f s o lv in g th e fo llo w in g dilemma: g iv e n t h a t a w o rld where fe a r Is th e overw helm ing passion (as In a n c ie n t Greece) Is as unb e arab le and as ung o verna b le as a w o rld w ith o u t fe a r a lto g e th e r (such as Athens d u rin g th e p lague), how Is fe a r to be c h a n n e lle d so as to r e s u lt In a s ta b le s o c ia l o rd e r ?

In h is p o l i t i c a l w orks Hobbes p ro v id e s an answer to th e above q u e s tio n . He s in g le s o u t In a s tro n g p o l i t i c a l s ta te th e In s tru m e n t whereby u n c e r ta in ty can be c o n tro lle d , th u s rem oving a m ajor source o f fe a r. In fa c t , w it h in a s tro n g p o l i t i c a l s ta te , people can form f ir m e x p e c ta tio n s on th e b e h a v io u r o f o th e rs , f o r fe a r o f punishm ent channels p eo p le 's a c tio n s In to d e f in it e and s ta b le p a tte rn s , th u s re n d e rin g In d iv id u a ls ' b e h a v io u r p re d ic ta b le . As a r e s u lt , both a n t ic ip a t io n and rushed d e lib e r a tio n a re no lo n ge r In e v ita b le .

T hrough th e a r t i f i c e o f th e p o l i t i c a l s ta te people a re a b le to c irc u m s c rib e fe a r by means o f fe a r I t s e l f (In th e fo rm o f fe a r o f punishm ent).

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w ith th e s o c ia l chaos d e r iv in g fro m m ajor n a tu r a l o r a r t i f i c i a l d is a s te r s ( lik e th e p la gu e o f A the n s) when th e fe a r o f punishm ent v a n ish e s In everyone.

To summarize: In t h i s s e c tio n I t has been a rgued t h a t Hobbes's and T h ucyd id e s' argum ents on f e a r share fo u r fund am en ta l p o in ts : both ( I) connect fe a r to u n c e r ta ln tv . ( I I ) p o in t to a n t ic ip a t io n and f i r s t s t r i k e as th e n a tu r a l outcom e o f fe a r, ( I I I ) e s ta b lis h a r e la tio n s h ip between fe a r and d e lib e r a tio n , and most Im p o rta n tly , ( Iv ) s in g le o u t fe a r as th e nece ssa ry c o n d itio n f o r a s ta b le s o c ia l o rd e r.

1.4 ON HONOUR

In t h i s s e c tio n I s h a ll a rg u e t h a t Thucydides and Hobbes, a p a rt fro m s h a rin g th e vie w t h a t In n a tu r a l c o n d itio n s (such as e x is t between In d iv id u a ls b e fo re th e e s ta b lis h m e n t o f th e p o l i t i c a l s ta te o r between s ta te s a t a l l tim e s ) most In d iv id u a ls have a r e s tle s s d e s ire o f power and t h a t m oderate people a re com pelled to jo in th e power s tr u g g le f o r th e sake o f t h e ir s u r v iv a l, agree in a n o th e r c r u c ia l re s p e c t, namely In p o in tin g t o a m b itio n as th e co re o f any s e d itio n , th e dorm ant cancer o f p o l i t i c a l s o c ie tie s .

A f t e r some p r e lim in a r y te r m in o lo g ic a l rem arks, I s h a ll c o n s id e r t h e ir p a r a lle l argum ents on a m b itio n and human n a tu re and the n move on to th e s u b s ta n tiv e Issue o f th e e f f e c t o f a m b itio n on p o l i t i c a l a s s o c ia tio n s .

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Is b u t th e p u b lic re c o g n itio n o f one's s u p e r io r ity ; “ g lo r y ” Is both th e d e s ire and th e p le a s u re o f a c h ie v in g one's s u p e r io r ity ; “ power” Is th e b a s ic In g re d ie n t o f s u p e r io r i t y and g lo ry .

U n lik e Hobbes, Thucydides o f co u rs e does n o t p ro v id e th e re a d e r w ith a d e f in it io n o f th e w ords t h a t he uses. However, g Iven t h e ir key ro le and fre q u e n c y In th e H is to ry ^ I t Is easy to work o u t th a t, as In Hobbes, g lo r y and honour a re re s p e c tiv e ly th e response o f th e In d iv id u a l to w a rd s h is own achievem ents and th e r e a c tio n by o th e rs to th e achievem ents o f th e In d iv id u a l. Again as In Hobbes, Thucydides sees g lo r y and honour as d e r iv in g m a in ly fro m th e a b i l i t y o f th e In d iv id u a l (o r c i t y ) to e x e rc is e h is own power and Impose h is r u le on o th e rs and a re c o n s id e re d th e main d riv e behind th e a c tio n s

( p o lic ie s ) o f m ost In d iv id u a ls ( c it ie s ) .

1.4.1 Human n a tu re and a m b itio n to r u le

In th e c o n te x t o f t h e ir c h a ra c te r Iz a t Ion o f human n a tu re , th e correspondence between Hobbes's and Thucydides' vie w s on power, g lo ry and honour ranges fro m sh a re d fun d am en ta l b e lie f s to m a tte rs o f d e t a il. E s p e c ia lly re le v a n t to o u r argum ent a re t h e i r rem arks on th e re s tle s s n e s s and Inn e r I n s a t i a b i l i t y o f In d iv id u a ls .

Through th e words o f C o rin th 's ambassadors, T hucydides o f f e r s to th e re a d e r th e fo llo w in g p o r t r a i t o f h is own fe llo w c it iz e n s ;

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say th e y a re men born n e ith e r to r e s t them selves, n o r s u ff e r o th e rs , Is to say th e t r u t h . (26)

The com pulsion to a c t and re s tle s s n e s s o f th e A th e n ia n people are sh ared by th e Hobbes Ian In d iv id u a l f o r whom " t o have no d e s ire Is to be dead" (27) and f o r whom f e l i c i t y never lie s In r e s tin g b u t In c o n tin u a lly proceeding. (28)

I t s h o u ld be n o te d here t h a t th e tr u e o b je c t o f th e A th e n ia n s ' d e s ire Is n o t th e a c q u is itio n o f ric h e s f o r t h e ir own sake b u t the a tta in m e n t o f power: th e y th in k them selves w o rth y to have the command o f o th e r s ” (29) and f e e l "how h onourable a th in g I t w ould be f o r them «. to be I n f e r io r to none". (30) They a re re a dy t o acknowledge t h e i r own d e s ire to r u le and a s c rib e I t to a n a tu r a l In c lin a tio n o f mankind. R e fe rrin g to the m se lve s th e y say:

Those men a re w o rth y o f commendation, who fo llo w in g th e n a tu ra l I n c lin a tio n o f man In d e s ir in g r u le o ver o th e rs , a re J u s te r than f o r t h e i r own power th e y need. (31)

The c o m p e titiv e s p i r i t o f th e A the n ian s Is n o t c o n fin e d to t h e ir r e la tio n s h ip w ith th e o u ts id e w o rld , b u t exte n ds t o t h e ir own s o c ia l In te rc o u rs e where "th e y cla im e d e v e ry one, n o t to be equal, b u t to be by f a r th e c h ie f" . (32)

In h is p o l i t i c a l w orks Hobbes, too , acknowledges th e human d e s ire o f a c q u irin g power o v e r o th e rs and c a lls I t " g lo ry " :

(26) H is to ry , I, pp. 7 5 -6 . (27) L e viath an , p. 62.

(28) See, f o r example, E lem ents o f Law, p. 48. (29) H is to ry , I, p. 166.

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G lo ry , o r In te r n a l g lo r ia t lo n o r triu m p h o f th e mind, Is th a t p assion w hich p roceedeth fro m th e Im a g in a tio n o r c o n ce p tio n o f o ur own power, above th e power o f him th a t co nte nd e th w ith us. (33) As w i l l be e x p la in e d a t le n g th In la te r c h a p te rs , th e o b je c tiv e o f m ost Hobbes Ian people is to s u rp a ss o th e rs In power: t h e ir l i f e can be compared to a “ ra c e ” th a t “ has no o th e r goal, b u t be fo re m o s t” (34). As Hobbes p u ts I t In Leviatham

-. I p u t f o r a genera 11 In c lin a tio n o f a l l mankind, a p e rp e tu a l and r e s tle s s d e s ire o f power a f t e r power, t h a t cease th o n e ly In death. (35)

A p a rt fro m a g re e in g w ith Thucydides on th e o b s e rv a tio n t h a t people have a r e s tle s s a m b itio n to r u le th e l i f e o f o th e rs , and a v is c e r a l a bh orrence a t being r u le d by them, Hobbes fo llo w s T h u cyd id e s' s te p s In a n o th e r re s p e c t, nam ely in n o tic in g th a t even th o se th a t do n o t have by n a tu re th e d r iv e to dom inate o th e rs , m ust jo in In th e race a f t e r power f o r th e sake o f t h e ir own s u r v iv a l.

In th e H is to ry , th e people who a re n o t p re pared to go to war f o r th e mere d e s ire o f Imposing t h e ir r u le a re th e Lacedemonians. T hucydides d e s c rib e s them as q u ie t by n a tu re , m inding t h e ir own b usine ss, w ith no w ish to I n t e r f e r e In o th e r people's. And y e t th e y cannot be o b liv io u s to th e power s tr u g g le between th e o th e r c it i e s and are u n a b le to c a rry on w ith t h e ir liv e s as n o th in g happened. On th e c o n tra ry , as th e C o rin th ia n s make them re a liz e , as long as th e y a re su rro u n d e d by g lo ry -s e e k in g n eigh b ou rs — e s p e c ia lly as v o ra c io u s as th e A th e n ia n s — th e y cannot concern them selves m e re ly w ith t h e ir

(33) E lem ents o f Law, pp. 3 6 -7 . (34) Ibid ., p. 47.

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In te r n a l a f f a i r s b u t m ust In s te a d ta k e s id e s In th e war, f o r th e sake o f t h e i r own s e lf- p r e s e r v a tio n :

... n e ith e r do any harm t o o th e rs , n o r re c e iv e I t Is a th in g you h a rd ly c o u ld a tt a in , th o u g h th e s ta te s about you were o f th e same c o n d itio n s . But , as we have b e fo re d e cla re d , y o u r custom s a re In re s p e c t o f t h e ir s [th e A th e n ia n s '] a n tiq u a te d ; and o f n e c e s s ity « th e new ones w i l l p r e v a il. (36)

In a l l h is th re e main p o l i t i c a l w orks Hobbes, too , obse rve s t h a t th e re e x is t s a m in o r ity o f people who, a lth o u g h “ te m p e ra te ” and “ m oderate” by n a tu re , a re una b le t o f o llo w t h e ir In c lin a tio n and m ust Inste a d jo in th e race o f th e a m b itio u s I f th e y want to rem ain a liv e .

And th e cause o f t h i s [d e s ir e o f power a f t e r pow er] Is n o t alw ays t h a t a man hopes f o r a more In te n s iv e d e lig h t, th a n he has a lre a d y a tta in e d to ; o r t h a t he cannot be c o n te n t w ith m oderate power : b u t because he cannot a s s u re th e power and means to liv e w e ll, which he h a th p re s e n t, w ith o u t th e a c q u is itio n o f more. (37)

W hile Thucydides and Hobbes agree In c o n s id e rin g th e d e s ire o f power as c o n ta g io u s . In th e sense th a t e v e n tu a lly I t a f f e c t s a l l, m oderates and a m b itio u s a lik e , th e y r e f e r to tw o d if f e r e n t c o n te x ts In which th e power s tr u g g le ta k e s place: Thucydides d e s c rib e s th e r e la tio n s between c i t i e s whereas Hobbes exam ines p r im a r ily th e r e la tio n s h ip s between In d iv id u a ls In th e s ta te o f n a tu re .

F in a lly , as to u n d e rlin e th e a f f i n i t y o f th o u g h t between Hobbes and T hucydides on th e s u b je c t o f honour. I t may be In te r e s tin g to note t h a t th e y make a number o f s u r p r is in g ly s im ila r and s p e c ific

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o b s e rv a tio n s on honour and human n a tu re .

One d e t a il t h a t can be fo u n d In th e works o f b oth a u th o rs Is th e n o ta tio n th a t people te n d t o honour and p ra is e th e dead f o r these, h aving passed away, a re n o t deemed to be a t h r e a t to th e g lo ry o f th e liv in g ; as P e ric le s p u ts I t In th e s fu n e ra l o ra tio n :

F or e v e ry man u s e th t o p ra is e th e dead For men envy t h e ir c o m p e tito rs In g lo r y , w h ile th e y liv e ; b u t to s ta n d o u t o f t h e ir way. Is a th in g honoured w ith an a ff e c t io n fr e e fro m o p p o s itio n . (38)

And Hobbes echoes In L e v ia th a n

For men contend w ith th e liv in g , n o t w ith th e dead; to the se a s c rib in g more th a n due, t h a t th e y may obscure th e g lo r y o f th e o th e r. (39)

A r e la te d p o in t on w hich b o th Hobbes and T hucydides agree Is th e o b s e rv a tio n th a t people a re as u n w illin g to adm ire th e achievem ents o f o th e rs as th e y a re ready to d is c o u n t them as fa ls e . Thus P e ric le s :

For to hear a n o th e r man p ra is e d fin d s p a tie n c e so long o n ly as each man s h a ll th in k he co u ld h im s e lf have done somewhat o f th a t he hears. And I f one exceed In t h e ir p ra is e s , th e h e a re r p re s e n tly th ro u g h envy th in k s I t fa ls e . (40)

And Hobbes n o tic e s In E le m e nts o f Law:

everyman th in k in g w e ll o f h im s e lf and h a tin g to see th e same In o th e rs . (41 )

(40)

As a f i n a l example o f th e e x te n t to w hich T h ucyd id e s' view s on honour permeate Hobbes's own th o u g h ts on th e to p ic , one can p o in t to t h e i r I n t e r p r é t â t Ion o f fr ie n d s h ip and e n m ity m e re ly as s ig n s o f power.

In th e H is to r y th e A th e n ia n s q u ite o p e n ly a d m it to th e Me Hans th a t th e y a re n o t g oing to t r e a t them m e r c if u lly s in c e to a c t f r ie n d ly to w a rd s them w ould be c o n s tru e d by t h e ir o th e r s u b je c ts as a s ig n o f weakness:

y o u r fr ie n d s h ip w i l l be an argum ent o f o u r weakness, and your h a tre d o f o u r power, amongst th o se we have r u le over. (4-2)

In a v e ry s im ila r v e in , Hobbes In c h a p te r 10 o f L e v ia th a n l i s t s f r ie n d s h ip and e n m ity among th e “ s ig n s o f pow er", whereby an In d iv id u a l makes o th e rs aware o f h is power.

1.4.2 A m b itio n to r u le and p o l i t i c a l a s s o c ia tio n s

In th e e p is tle In w hich he d e d ic a te s h is t r a n s la t io n o f Thucydides' H is to r y to S ir W illia m Cavendish, Hobbes n o tic e s t h a t "In h is to r y , a c tio n s o f honour and d is h o n o u r do appear p la in ly and d is t in c t l y , w hich a re w hich". (43)

Indeed, T hucydides' a ccount o f th e Peloponnesian war e s ta b lis h e s u nam biguously w hich a c tio n s a re g lo r y - y le ld ln g — v ic t o r y Is h onourable and d e fe a t sh am efu l. However, th e meaning o f honour becomes ambiguous In a s p e c if ic case, namely d u rin g a c i v i l war.

D u rin g th e s e d itio n o f C o rcyra, a l l words (honour In c lu d e d ) lose t h e ir

Figure

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References

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