Hobbes in the 21st Century

The Bush Doctrine reminds me of the political philosophy class I took a few years ago: Wolfowitz (liberally paraphrased):

Photo: Paul Wolfowitz

The challenge of the 21st century is the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, which make it possible for small groups of people to threaten countries. To prevent this, one nation is needed, whose power is beyond contest. The United States of America must be this Leviathan. #


“Nature has made men so equal in the faculties of body, and mind; as that though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body, or of quicker mind that another; yet when all is reckoned together, the difference between man, and man, is not so considerable, as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit, to which another may not pretend, as well as he. For as to the strength of body, the weakest hath strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination, or by confederacy with others, that are in the same danger with himself.” #

– Leviathan Chapter 13

The US’s former allies do not support the “US as Leviathan” System and accuse it of violating Law 9:

“If nature therefore have made men equal, that equality is to be acknowledged: or if nature have made men unequal, yet because men that think themselves equal will not enter into conditions of peace, but upon equal terms, such equality must be admitted. And therefore for the ninth law of nature, I put this: that every man acknowledge another for his equal by nature. The breach of this precept is pride.” #

-Leviathan Chapter 15