Hobbes and Jefferson

I have been thinking about a couple of things considering the post-Mueller Democrat debacle and their insistence to take a “Thelma and Louise” position on impeachment. The first is a quote from Thomas Jefferson’s letter to Samuel Kercheval that I keep taped to the top of my computer monitor and Thomas Hobbes’ “Leviathan” (published in 1651). The second thing is the quote that almost everyone who has heard of Hobbes or “Leviathan” knows is about the life of man being “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

The Jefferson quote is this: ““A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, and to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering. Then begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia, which some philosophers observing to be so general in this world, have mistaken it for the natural, instead of the abusive state of man. And the fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”

Jefferson was specifically addressing the reductions in liberty brought about through government profligacy but given where we are today essentially in a state of political war against each other, Jefferson’s invocation of the Latin “bellum omnium in omnia” – the war of all against all – certainly seems to describe how the politicization of every single aspect of life is realized today.

In a more expansive consideration, I spent a little time in Chapter XIII of Hobbes’ tome looking at his writing that surrounds the quote (in which Hobbes also references the war of all against all), to wit:

“Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common Power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called War; and such a war as is of every man against every man. […] 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 moving and 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, continual Fear, and danger of violent death; And the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

I think many, like myself thought of Hobbes’ description of life was a punishment but upon reconsideration, our lives are the punishment for not protecting and strictly adhering to our Constitution, the least restrictive “common Power” given to us by our Founding Fathers but upon reflection, the greatest punishment is that our lives become solitary (isolated from each other through the Internet), poor (in spirit, if not in wealth), nasty (social media – you have heard of Twitter, right?), brutish (remember Jefferson’s reference to “sinning and suffering”?), and LONG (the life expectancy in Hobbes’ time was around 35, we are over twice that today).

The second part of Hobbes’ quote is certainly true, we certainly seem to have entered a period where there is “no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continual Fear, and danger of violent death.”

In another section of Chapter XIII, there is this – which I take as a warning (and a description of the progressive Democrats):

“Nature hath made men so equal in the faculties of body and mind as that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit to which another may not pretend as well as he. For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself.”

In my opinion, this was a warning about people like Schumer, Pelosi, Nadler, Schiff, and pretty much the entire Democrat cadre of presidential candidates. The “weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the same danger with himself” certainly mirrors the Democrat push to impeach a duly elected president, whom they despise.

This is the kind of stuff the Constitution was designed to prevent – but only when applied by people whose sensibilities not exclusively limited only “sinning and suffering” as long as they can be in charge…and Democrats prove, every day, that they are willing to destroy the Constitution and the Republic as long as they can rule over the ashes.

Talk Amongst Yourselves:

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