This April 5 marks the 435th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Hobbes, one of the founders of political philosophy. On this anniversary, we reflect on the nature and concept of the state. The most famous work of this British thinker is Leviathan, the name of a biblical monster that symbolizes the state. The writer was born in Wiltshire, in whose county are the prehistoric ruins of Stonehenge and Avebury. You must have known these circles made of huge stone prisms. Have you imagined groups of Iron Age people founding a state in this magnificent setting three thousand years before Christ? This dream of dreams arose due to the fact that Hobbes was one of the initiators of the so-called contract theory of the origin of the state, which claims that the supreme political entity is established by an agreement between future citizens.
If any downfall affected this intellectual, it was that of scholastic thought, which attributed the existence of the state to the right given by God to kings. This belief collapsed with the rise of empirical science and philosophical rationalism, which suppressed the belief in the direct intervention of the deity in the course of the universe, in nature and in the life of people. So, for the legitimization of the kings and their noble followers, a new explanation had to be sought, and they found it in the so-called social pact. Later, the Englishman John Locke and the Swiss Jean-Jacques Rousseau will develop and qualify this idea, which is as mythical as that of an earthly paradise. In a few cases, and in a limited way, the state arose out of something like that fantasy. The truth is different.
Friedrich Engels speculates that the state emerges within primitive tribal societies, through the economic empowerment of the group. Which also does not match the recorded historical reality. Some primitive communities developed due to the emergence of agriculture, sedentary animal husbandry and trade, otherwise their internal organization was communal, but other cities did not reach that level of progress. These backward hordes, almost always nomadic and devoted to livestock, plundered the first cities created thanks to the surplus of agricultural and commercial activities. Settlers make a pact with a city of robbers, they will regularly pay tribute to them, in return they will not attack them and will even defend them from looting by other groups. This is something very similar to the groups of vaccinators running through Ecuador today. Later, certain vaccine hordes chose to settle in the comfort and splendor of the cities, exacting tribute there and being served by the conquered people. The state, the great vaccinator, was created and its basic tool will be the monopoly of force on the territory it dominates… do we now understand why states are terrified of arming citizens? This process, with variations that do not change its essence, has taken place all over the world. This is especially clear in Ecuador. (OR)
Mario Twitchell is an accomplished author and journalist, known for his insightful and thought-provoking writing on a wide range of topics including general and opinion. He currently works as a writer at 247 news agency, where he has established himself as a respected voice in the industry.