Thomas Hobbes was a House Slave, Not a Great Philosopher

The name of a 16th century “philosopher” known as Thomas Hobbes frequently pops up in discussions on a range of topics ranging from the best type of governance to whether a state is necessary for reasonably stable societies to exist. He is best known for writing a book known as Leviathan in which he argues for of a system in which a very small group of “special” people have a monopoly on violence. In his opinion only such a system could guarantee social stability and economic prosperity.One of his most famous quotes is about the state of human society without a top-down repressive regime.

In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently, not culture of the earth, no navigation, nor the use of commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth, no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

So why am I choosing him as the target of this post? Well.. there are two reasons. Firstly, he is a good example of the prototypical academic who will suck cock and write pretty lies for his paymasters. Secondly, his reputation needs to be demolished to the point where nobody wants to remember him, quote him or even try to recycle any of his ideas.

Many of you might wonder how something like this can be done. Wouldn’t irreversibly tarnishing the image of a long dead, semi-famous, white intellectual be hard. My answer is- not really. Think of all the famous white people who stood behind the idea of eugenics in the early 20th century. How many can you name or, more importantly even want to remember? Similarly the memories of even more famous people like Hitler, who was once widely admired in pre-WW2 UK and USA, are now irreversibly associated with evil. To put it another way, engineering large changes in the public images of famous (or semi-famous) people is actually quite easy.

Moving back to the topic at hand, let us start by looking at his early life and see if it provides any obvious clues as to why Hobbes became a servile cocksucker for the elites of his era.

Born prematurely when his mother heard of the coming invasion of the Spanish Armada, Hobbes later reported that “my mother gave birth to twins: myself and fear.” His childhood is almost a complete blank, and his mother’s name is unknown. His father, also named Thomas, was the vicar of Charlton and Westport. Thomas Hobbes Sr. had an older brother, Francis Hobbes, who was a wealthy merchant with no family of his own. Thomas Hobbes, the younger, had one brother Edmund who was about two years older than he. Thomas Sr. abandoned his wife, two sons and a daughter, leaving them in the care of his brother, Francis, when he was forced to flee to London after being involved in a fight with a clergyman outside his own church. Hobbes was educated at Westport church from the age of four, passed to the Malmesbury school and then to a private school kept by a young man named Robert Latimer, a graduate of the University of Oxford. Hobbes was a good pupil, and around 1603 he went up to Magdalen Hall, which is most closely related to Hertford College, Oxford.

Hobbes was not born into a rich family and his early life was somewhat precarious. However, like many of the middle and upper-middle class of today, he had access to centers of credentialism and sophistry aka universities. It is therefore very likely that Hobbes always saw the attainment of elite-approved credentials and subservience to their power as the only realistic way to maintain a somewhat nice and stable lifestyle.

Everything that Hobbes ever said, wrote or argued about must therefore be seen through the lens of his own timid, conformist and sophistic persona. To put it another way, he was an enthusiastic mercenary for anybody who held out the promise of a bit more money, social status and a nice sinecure.

Now let us move on to a critical analysis of the validity of his writings. But before we do that, let me quickly talk about why destroying his reputation is necessary- even 300 years after his death. The arguments put forth in the writings of Hobbes are one of the foundations of modern CONservativism and many other -isms. They, in both their original as well as recycled forms, have been used to justify a variety of socio-economic systems that have brought nothing but impoverishment, extreme misery, starvation and disease to the vast majority of people while greatly enriching a few lucky sociopaths.

One the central arguments in his writings is the idea that all people are highly immoral and only an absolute monopoly of violent force in the hands of a few chosen ones can keep society stable. In some respects his ideas are remarkably similar to those used to justify Chinese-style Legalism. But are most people highly immoral and does monopolizing violent force in the hands of a chosen few really improve the living standards of most people in that society?

While I am certainly not a believer in the myth of noble savages, there is a large body of evidence that hunter-gatherers living in non-precarious environments were not especially avaricious, inhospitable or murderous. Indeed, the lack of centralized authority in such systems makes peaceful inter-group cooperation, diplomacy and exchanges more necessary than it would otherwise be. So the idea that most people will trick, steal from and murder each other without someone in charge is a sophistic lie, projection of the thinker’s own mindset or likely both.

And this brings us to the second part of that particular argument- namely that giving the monopoly of violence to a few “especially suitable” people will make somehow society more stable and better. But how can we decide who is suitable to wield such power and how do we know they are competent? Is there any evidence that supposedly “legitimate” kings are any more competent that those who became kings through less “legitimate” means? How can we define the competence to “rule” when most societies with kings or their secular equivalents (dictators and leaders of one-party systems) are really bad places to be born, or live, in- at least for the vast majority of people?

I am sure that most of you are aware that the material living standards of “civilized” people have been consistently and significantly lower than their hunter-gatherer counterparts except for the last 100-odd years. Moreover the general rise of living standards over the last hundred years are linked to the rise of technology and simultaneous decline of outright autocracy.

The two central foundations of Hobbes worldview therefore have no basis in reality. They do however tell us a lot about his worldview and those of his paymasters.

But why would Hobbes spend so much time and effort on creating this myth? There are those who would like to believe that his worldview was simply a product of the environment he grew up in. I am not so sure and here is why. His early life history suggests that Hobbes had no useful skills beyond learning, conforming and pleasing his superiors. It is also obvious that he always wanted a comfortable and stable lifestyle. So how does a reasonably clever and timid man make a stable and comfortable living in the pre-industrial era?

Obtaining royal (or elite patronage) was the only realistic and feasible occupational choice for a person of Hobbes ability, temperament and desires. In other words, he had to choice to suck elite cock and live reasonably well or not do so and live like an average (poor) person.

Now.. I am not criticizing his decision to suck elite cock to make a stable, decent and trouble-free living. Pretty much anybody in his situation would have done the same. My real problem with Hobbes is that his works are still seen as serious and objective philosophical insights rather than as literary blowjobs to his masters. Doing so is the equivalent of using the collected reminiscences of a house slave as a defense and justification for the institution of slavery.

Hobbes was essentially a clever house slave who got better food, clothing and living quarters because of his ability to flatter his master, justify his brutality and constantly tell him how all those other “lazy and evil” slaves would be lost without the “benevolent guidance” of his master.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. Mimi
    April 13, 2014 at 1:45 am

    “there is a large body of evidence that hunter-gatherers living in non-precarious environments were not especially avaricious, inhospitable or murderous.”

    Examples and citations, please.

    “I am sure that most of you are aware that the material living standards of “civilized” people have been consistently and significantly lower than their hunter-gatherer counterparts except for the last 100-odd years.”

    More examples and citations, please.

    “Hobbes had no useful skills beyond learning, conforming and pleasing his superiors. It is also obvious that he always wanted a comfortable and stable lifestyle.”

    Such silly blanket statements. The former point is simply incorrect. The latter point could be applied to the majority of humanity.

  2. Fuck You
    April 13, 2014 at 3:29 am

    Any fucktard that spews out ‘citations please’, needs a smack in the cunting kisser. What is this? wikipedia circa 2006?

    • Mimi
      April 13, 2014 at 7:45 am

      If you’re going to make such retarded sweeping claims about something you’re not well versed in then explain yourself. Is factual information to much to ask? Apparently so.

      I have no time for useful idiots who love the very system that assfucks them- every single moment of each day in their pathetic lives.

      And on the subject of scientific and scholarly “objectivity”- the less said the better. People whose livelihoods are dependent on defending absurdity and lies will always be unable to bring themselves to accept reality.

  3. webe
    April 13, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Anarchy is a myth: in any social constellation certain forces will be brought to bear that lead to a certain dynamic or “state” of affairs. The idea that there will be chaos in the absence of law and order is crazy: it is always a question of whose rules and whose order have the upper hand. That overthrowing the present “order” may lead to a worse “state” is certainly possible, but the idea that some must rule over others to avert chaos is disingenuous (conservatism).

    Exactly, the status quo is often bad enough to make almost any alternative viable.

    Any state power is simply a generalized form of a protection racket: the people who run it also bring “order” to the streets that are theirs, and in fact usually do see to it that common criminals think long and hard about trying anything in their territory. Their services are in exchange for protection money, or taxes as we would call it. In fact in many places (Palestine, Leabonon) such protection rackets (initially started by warriors against foreign incursion) are run by high-minded people with religious and social ideals who run Robin-Hood operations to help the destitute and recycle protection money into schools and medical facilities, earning them support among the population, but little recognition from the official state.

    and that is exactly why the CONservative racket is especially bad. It provides absolutely nothing and demands total subservience.

    Moreover the basis of any legal system is to provide legitimacy ex post facto for arrogating land and property that would never be tolerated without force of arms and protest, like the native Indians. Even though any system or state can be much worse or much better than others, and can evolve through benign influences, high-minded ideals, and practical accomodation, it remains true at bottom that all legal authority and property rights are reified vestiges of conquest and force in de guise of protection rackets which bring very uneven benefits to the population.

    Yes and that is why they have to widely exposed for what they really are.

    • EvilOne
      April 13, 2014 at 7:46 am

      If everything is force… how does modern society run with women not only having so much power AND being weaker… but also all fucking a small percentage of men?

      • Mr. Mitchell
        April 13, 2014 at 2:25 pm

        That’s because the majority of weak beta men bow to the will of said women.

  4. xerx11
    April 18, 2014 at 4:22 am

    I find it laughable that this post is about deploring Hobbe’s views yet Advocatus believes in socialism which is a small group of people who steal from others using the violence of the state to do so.

  5. J.M.
    June 3, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    More folly. Whether you like it or not even though Hunter gatherers life was as violent if not more than those in “civilization” (no rules, winner takes it all, loser are exiled or killed, infanticide was rife for babies considered weaker, etc). Hunter gatherers ate better but that is only because they were not so stupid as to start eating grains that provoked degeneration of the body in many ways. History is awash with examples of what happens when there is no law and order. Even today we can observe what happens when women instincts are on the loose (hypergamy anyone)?

    It’s ironic as another commenter stated that you seem to hate conservatism for being a racket (what it is) however you seem to admire socialism which is an even bloodier racket that has worked nowhere…

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