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Department
Political Science
Course
Political Science 1020E
Professor
Charles Jones
Semester
Fall

Description
Articles Globe and Mail NY Times The Guardian (free) ALJAZEERA The Economist democracynow.org BBC News WHY DO WE NEED A STATE? Thought experiment: Imagine life without the state and political power Aristotle: Man is, by nature, political. Hobbes: Man is, by convention, political. Hobbesian Themes  fear  war  peace He claimed that the worse scenario imaginable is no state protection, and that we need a powerful state to avoid disastrous interpersonal conflict. His Argument Conclusion:  Life without the state would be unbearable. Premises:  Introspection: there is a respect in which we are all alike.  Materialism: we are fundamentally material, physical beings.  Felicity (happiness): continuous success in getting what you want  Power: the ability to obtain what you want, now and in the future. On Human Nature People are predominantly self-regarding. (they will do what will protect themselves and their desires) People seek to enhance their reputation. We are averse to our own death. We are equally vulnerable, equally able. (none of us is strong enough to dominate everyone else) The Road to War Life without the state would be a war of all against all. … due to equality— no one can be completely safe … due to scarcity— no one would have an incentive to produce without a state … due to uncertainty— everyone is a potential threat, has a reason to strike preemptively  three reasons to attack others  competition: gain  lack of trust: safety  glory: reputation Oppositions:  Too Pessimistic His answer: read thyself. Think about th
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