Hobbes:  Realist or Pessimist?

Life: Poor, Nasty, Brutish and (Probably) Short http://nyti.ms/1EfHWZr


It sounds like a commentary that may suggest that even man’s nature eventually plays out in societal structure and that society can only ever allow for a temporary reprieve for the pursuit of happiness. It suggests to the people that screaming ‘egalite!’ is merely a futile effort; simply another excuse to play out nature under the illusion of society. Society, therefore, being an illusion of the possibility of equality and happiness. Really, society being merely a great act of conquer by the brutish and strongest of them all.

Society as another deception in the power struggle carried out in a state of nature?

We come back to the Natural Born Leader (NBL) argument.

The NBL creates the illusion and gains power without violence and brute force. This resolve endured beyond brute force because it has the stamina to endure brute force until brute force loses steam, exhausts it’s energies.

Mind (master) over matter (slave).

NBL is master still.


Now, who has the power in the next discussion?

First example in a meeting: “I hear what you are saying, but we’re not going to do that.”

Second example is a father to his child trying to pursuade him to choose an alternative: “What if we put ice cream on top of the cheeseburger?”

The first ends on a negative and can have the effect of shutting down the discussion for further ideas, arguably giving the speaker power over the discussion, but not the problem being solved. The second ends on a positive without dismissing the child’s idea entirely, leaving the child with the understanding that discussion is important as it inspires ideas and, clearly, creative and collaborative problem solving, thus empowering the child to continue to seek knowledge, the truest form of power. Give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime.

Check out the original post by Nicholas Thompson (The New Yorker) and the comment string:

Original Post: https://www.linkedin.com/hp/update/6100806761839677440

Contributor:  (c) Mary Strayhorne ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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