Turning The Liberal Ratchet

Source: The American Conservative
by Declan Leary

“Christopher Lasch and others have noted that Hobbes’[s] so-called state of nature was actually modeled on the ‘primitive capitalism’ of England in the philosopher’s own day. Like most attempts to philosophize abstract truths about the human condition, it was deeply influenced by circumstance and experience. Unlike many theories based on empirical foundations, however, Hobbes’[s] state of nature does not happen to be true. … On the most basic level, the argument that every man is naturally opposed to every other, on becoming endemic, fulfills itself as a social prophecy. Hobbesian anthropology and the Hobbesian worldview inevitably breed the very hostility they purport to address. Every bit as troubling and consequential, though, is the institutionalization of the problem — what we might call the ratchet of liberalism.” (10/06/21)