Hobbes’ Theory on Sovereignty





Hobbes’ Theory on Sovereignty

            The ideas by Hobbes about social contracts do not justify the Coriolanus’ beliefs and behaviors. As much as in both situations, the welfare of the whole community is entrusted to one person, the manner in which the person is given that position differs. The Commonwealth situation all the people are led by one person, the sovereign, whom much power and strength is bestowed on. It is the sovereign’s duty to defend the people from invasions by outsiders of the commonwealth. His or her position is gained by natural forces or through selection by the people. This is different from the Coriolanus situation because he had imposed himself on the Volscians to become their leader after his been rejected by the Romans because of his behavior.

Hobbe’s description of the social contract sounds like a good thing that can work well in bringing people in a certain society under the same rule, thus maintaining order. I would not mind living in such a contract because power is controlled by a certain individual elected by the people. Furthermore, the person in charge only lasts in power for a given duration of time until the time runs out. Comparing to Grigsby’s definitions, the powers given to the sovereign by Hobbes can be labeled as persuasive, manipulative and forceful. This is because the sovereign can make war or peace, appoint other leaders and has the right to judiciary among others. He denies the public some of the rights such as voting to elect councilors, he holds the final word to the judicature instead of the people entrusted to it such as the magistrates and he holds it that whatever he does is right as much as it may have negative effects on the subjects. The subjects do not have a say in this setting of government. All the above-mentioned sovereign powers are the least defensible and can be done away with or amended so that the public is involved in some of the decisions.



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