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The End Game of Human Conflict Predicted by Hobbes. Genocide in Europe. Holocaust: 6 Millions Jews Killed by Nazi Germany: 1939-1945 7,000+ Bosnian Muslims killed by Serbian forces at Screbenica in 1995 . Genecide in Africa and Asia.

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genocide in europe
Genocide in Europe
  • Holocaust: 6 Millions Jews Killed by Nazi Germany: 1939-1945
  • 7,000+ Bosnian Muslims killed by Serbian forces at Screbenica in 1995
genecide in africa and asia
Genecide in Africa and Asia
  • 800,000-1million Tutsis/Hutus killed in 3 months in 1993 by Hutu tribal enemies
  • Cambodian killing fields in which ~1.7 million Cambodians killed by Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot
hobbes picture of human conflict the presence of violence in all human relations
Hobbes’ Picture of Human Conflict: The Presence of Violence in all Human Relations
  • (1) Under conditions of interdependence and scarce resources, human preferences for favorable outcomes of these exchanges are in perpetual conflict: power, wealth, status, sexual primacy, property, etc
  • (2) Failure of appeals to religion, nature, self-interest, custom, or prevailing law to resolve these conflicts non-coercively reduces a conflict to an exchange of violence or coercive threats
  • (3) Violence as the means to get what one wants has no other object, as such, than eliminating an opponent or imposing one’s will through coercion
  • (4) If human exchanges are reduced to violence, an infinite regress emerges: a pure relation of exchanges of violence and coercive threats in which the object(s) sought are reduced to the violent struggle or duel.
the imperative of order violence
The Imperative of Order & Violence
  • Hobbes: when human aims are reduced to violence, humans are reduced to a state of nature that is “solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short”
  • The endgame of violent exchanges is a “pure” state of perpetual and unremitting conflict:
    • “. . . During the time that men live without a common Power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called Warre; and such a warre, as is of every man against every man”
hobbes solution to human conflict
Hobbes Solution to Human Conflict
  • Hobbes argues that only a “Leviathan” -- that is what we mean by a state can resolve human disputes that lead to violence
  • The modern state (Japan/ the United States, etc.) is Hobbes’ Leviathan: It possess, as sovereign over a defined territory and people, a monopoly of legitimate violence to resolve disputes.
the social implications of pure violent conflict
The Social Implications of Pure Violent Conflict
  • “Whatsoever. . . is consequent to a time of Warre, where everyman is Enemy to every man. . . wherein men live without security, than what their own strength, and their own invention shall furnish them withall. In such condition, there is no place for Industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of time; no Arts; no Letters, no Society, and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death.”
why the imperative of order can only be resolved provisionally never completely
Why the imperative of order can only be resolved provisionally, nevercompletely
  • The tendency toward pure conflict is inherent in interdependent societal exchanges
  • Any solution to impede or preclude this tendency by force or deterrent threats is also vulnerable to violence and coercive threats
  • All solutions to societal order, i.e., the concentration of a monopoly of violence in a state to arbitrate disputes, prevent civil war, and protect a nation is provisional and cannot be be resolved other than by countervailing violence or its threat.
  • The state or its ruling government are also subject to being overturned by force and violence
example of hobbes prediction that a given state and government may be overthrown
Example of Hobbes’ Prediction that a Given State and Government May Be Overthrown
  • Example from Japanese history?
Integrated and Centralized Government of Japan TodayThe Greek Peloponnesian War to Illustrate the Hobbesian Endgame
background history
Background History
  • The Greek City States under the leadership of Athens defeated the Persian Empire
  • Athens is acknowledged as the leading Greek state
  • However, as Thucydides relates in his history, Athenians increasingly fear Sparta as a competitor and believe they must increase Athen’s power and subjugate Sparta
states in a hobbesian world
States in a Hobbesian World
  • The Peloponnesian War: Athens changes from a consensual to a coercive hegemon
  • Relations with adversaries and allies are reduced to power: “. . . The strong do what they have the power to do and the weak accept what they have to accept.”
  • Limits on power, hitherto accepted and acknowledged by Athens and those Greek states deferring to its power, are abandoned by Athens under perceived conditions of a struggle for survival and leadership of the Peloponnesian states
the result of athens view of a power struggle with sparta
The Result of Athens’ View of a Power Struggle with Sparta
  • The Melian Dialogue illustrate the acceptance by the Athens that they are in a death struggle for their survival
  • Thus, even peaceful relations with other states must be put under Athenian control to prevent them from being an ally of Sparta
  • The Melian Dialogue illustrates this tendency to control and dominate and create an Athenian empire
the athenians reject the objections of the melians to remain neutral
The Athenians Reject the Objections of the Melians to Remain Neutral
  • Neutrality is excluded as realistic and a danger to Athens’ empire
  • Resistance, however costly to Athens, is futile & a measure of Athens power -- a lesson to deter defection of its coerced allies
  • Sparta will assist Melos against its interests
  • Gods favor Melos and Athens equally and lay down a law of nature as the strong rule
  • Justice is defined by the strong
the importance of carl von clausewitz on war
The Importance of Carl von Clausewitz’On War
  • On War, like Thucydides’Peloponnesian War, moves the Hobbesian endgame of continued violence to the level of state relations and conflict
  • Clausewitz’ two key concepts: Pure vs. Real War.