Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy, Page 557

(Discussing Thomas Hobbes, 1588 – 1679, and his theory of government)

“Another point in which Hobbes’ doctrine is unduly limited is in regard to their relations between different states. There is not a word in leviathan to suggest any relation between them except war and conquest, with occasional interludes.

“This follows, on his principles, from the absence of an international government, for the relations of states are still in a state of nature, which is that of a war of all against all.

“So long as there is international anarchy, it is by no means clear that increase of efficiency in the separate states is in the interest of mankind since it increases the ferocity and destructiveness of war.

“Every argument that he adduces in favor of government, in so far as it is valid at all, is valid in favor of international government.

“So long as national states exist and fight each other, only inefficiency can preserve the human race. To improve the fighting quality of separate states without having any means of preventing war is the road to universal destruction.”



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1 Comment »

  1. That’s the best argument in favor of a bicameral legislature that I’ve seen.


    Comment by Martin Helmke — 6.30.2011 @ 9:54 am

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