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What does the world around us tell us about human nature?

By Alexsondra Feb 18, 2004 1081 Words
The world we live in today stands by the thought, that if we did not have certain rules in our system, everyone would always be at war and destructions, catastrophes and vandalism would be constantly occurring. Thomas Hobbes was an important philosopher, who lived from 1588-1679, and proposed many important and thoughtful propositions, to make sure and pint out our mistakes. As we look around today, we see the corrupt world we live in, and the characteristics of people, that take us forward in life. People's selfishness has come to the point today, where we could do anything to better our position and the position of our country, in the case of the governments. Our main drive is to succeed in our l8ives, even if it means to crush others around us, in other words our first and foremost motivation is and drive is power. We humans are motivated by power and want as much as possible of it, as we can get. When this occurs, usually, the people being suppressed are in fear, distress, panic and dismay. Therefore the people below this power obey based on their fears and terrors. The concept of Thomas Hobbes therefore was indeed correct, when he described man as "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

According to Hobbes, humans are selfish creatures, who will do anything to better their positions in the world. This does not only apply to individuals but to whole nations as well. Each country, each community, as well as each individual is in a constant battle for power and wealth. For example, Germany, under the ruling of Hitler, was in the constant battle for extreme power and wealth. He constantly wanted to prove his country's superiority and power in the world and firmly believed that it would have to be rid of undesirables that he thought were causing the downfall of Germany. It was here that he would do everything, to better his country's and his people's position, in his opinion, by killing millions of Jews, Gypsies and others that did not fit his profile of the perfect race across Europe. We can say Stalin, Lenin, Hussein, Fidel Castro, Osama bin Laden and unfortunately the list does not stop here, would be no different but follow in similar footsteps of power not only as individuals but also as their country's leaders.

As mentioned earlier, our first and foremost drive in life is power. Any type of power even just amongst one another, as long as it is power over someone or something that is weaker than us. The governments were created to protect, but as well to gain power over us. According to Hobbes, humans need an authority figure to provide direction and leadership to the people, or otherwise, chaos, destruction and catastrophes will happen. The people need a group of people in power which they have elected to promote their own interest. Even though our government has taken full power over us, we each individually want power and are restless and perpetual until we acquire it. This trait of human's can today be seen in Saudi Arabia. The previous man in power, Saddam Hussein, was a man that had all the power a nation can have. People ere constantly being suppressed by him, and fear, distress and panic was constant feeling amongst his people. His corrupt government was overthrown recently, but the outcomes of it have no been too pleasant. Many people are rioting and fighting the American soldiers, based there, to maintain peace among the people. Even though the corrupt power has been overthrown, the power present there, is still today undecided. There is chaos, destructions, constant bombings and shooting and killings of innocent lives. As Hobbes had said, humans need an authority figure, to provide the people with direction and leadership, which Saudi Arabia is currently lacking. As well as to enforce a set of rules that everyone could bear by and follow these authority figures, are representative to voice the people's opinions and to make decisions upon that.. Today, our governments lack to do so, even in our own country too, sometimes. As Hobbes had said "All mankind is in a perpetual and restless desire for power... that stops only in death."

Even though, humans are selfish and seek only power, there is always an authority figure that we fear of. When born, we enter a social contract, where people give up their natural state of life and enter an organized society, which in turn is controlled by a usually powerful government. This powerful government is the authority figure, that we abide by and follow its rules and fear. A few years back, there were constant fights in Belfast, Ireland among Catholic and Protestant youths. When it all began, when police intervened, it usually solved the situation. Over the years, it had occurred so many times, the police, even as an authority figure, could not keep it in control, and had to involve the government, a higher authority figure. These people had given up their social contract, of living in an organized and well - mannered society, to fight one another. When the government was involved they took control of it and solved the issues they had. The people proved Hobbes' theory that we, as humans only obey based on fear and distress. If we feel no fear to one, then we choose to not follow their rules, because we feel stronger. We choose to ignore it and pretend it does not exist.

Therefore, the Nature of Humans, our human characteristics build on one another. Humans are selfish creatures, who will do just about anything to better their own position in life, even if it means, crushing others. Unfortunately, no only individuals are selfish but most nations as well. The goal of humans is power. Power over anything and anybody as long as we fell superior to something. Others obey our power or even we obey the power based on fear. If we would not feel endangered of that certain power, and if we would not feel intimidated, we would choose to ignore it and not abide by it. All humans among one another have wars, in communities, people's work, and school and even in our own house's, there is a constant search for power, and the only way to ever get is by sometimes being selfish. When it is reached you expect to learn respect. Therefore in conclusion, Hobbes had said it correctly, "...war of every man against every man..."

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