The Hobbesian State of Nature in ‘Lord of the Flies’

lordflies

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpOMs7qcW8U

This ‘Lord of The Flies’ scene accurately depicts the Hobbesian state of nature described in the ‘Leviathan’. Without any assurances of protection, mankind would descend into a war of all against all, reserving survival for only the fittest, and “the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short (pg. 84).” The only way to suppress the ill effects of such self-interest and enable people to relax their distrust of one another is through the introduction of a social contract that requires the submission of personal authority and rights to the state. Importantly, it must contain a fear of punishment from the state, sufficient to exceed the possible rewards of self-interested behaviour. Hobbes thought that without “common power, there is no law, where no law, no justice” (pg. 85), and ‘Piggy’ echo’s these sentiments in his plea for a civilised environment in the clip. According to Hobbes, only in this refined state, with laws that specifically deter survivalist drives, can human prosperity and security be possible. The removal of such regulations would see the world become awash with violence and chaos, producing victims like ‘Piggy’.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: