Thomas Hobbes argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign. Influenced by the English Civil War, Hobbes wrote that chaos or civil war-situations identified with a state of nature and the famous motto Bellum omnium contra omnes (`the war of all against all`)-could only be averted by strong central government. He thus denied any right of rebellion toward the social contract, which would be later added by John Locke and conserved by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. (However, Hobbes did discuss the possible dissolution of the State. Since the social contract was made to institute a state that would provide for the `peace and defense` of the people, the contract would become void as soon as the government no longer protected its citizens. By virtue of this fact, man would automatically return to the state of nature until a new contract is made).
"The life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short" Written during the chaos of the English Civil War, Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan asks how, in a world of violence and horror, can we stop ourselves from descending into anarchy? Hobbes' case for a "common-wealth" under a powerful sovereign - or "Leviathan" - to enforce security and the rule of law, shocked his contemporaries, and his book was publicly burnt for sedition the moment it was published. But his penetrating work of political philosophy - now fully revised and with a new introduction for this edition - opened up questions about the nature of statecraft and society that influenced governments across the world. Edited with a new introduction by Christopher Brooke