Poli Sci 201

Essay by svencartCollege, UndergraduateB, May 2014

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Carter Svendsen

May 13th 2014

Political Science 201

Paper 1

The concept of political legitimacy has been the focus of many great political theorist. They have debated who has the right for authority to rule and the obligation of citizens to obey. In this paper, I will be discussing a few such great theorists, Hobbes and the anarchists. I have chosen these political theorists because they are polar opposites on their views on political legitimacy. Hobbes political theory, in my opinion, has more of a claim to political legitimacy because above all else in a Hobbesian government you will have national security. This is superior to the anarchist's federation where all they have to protect them is their social harmony and social norms.

Starting with Hobbes and his view on political legitimacy, it is based on the fear of the state of war. State of war, it is used by Hobbes as a creative thought experiment, to pull government out of the picture and imagine what human life would be without it.

All human beings have a mix of abilities and disabilities, and are roughly equal to each other in the state of war. Humans have the rough equal ability to kill each other. Equal capability to obtain what we desire, not insured, except by the desiring individuals themselves. While in the state of war there is equality, but life is always at risk, insecurity, and poor because our possessions are always at risk.

The way to get out of the state of war is the development of convents, but according to Hobbes "Covenants without the sword are but words," (Pg.109 MPT) the sovereign is that sword. Hobbes' government takes us on a path of logical progression, from the state of war to a legitimate political authority. What's most inspiring...