On Hobbes and the necessity of strong government

Brian Crowe over on the Young Unionist blog has been mulling over the politics surrounding the New Orleans tragedy, and reckons that contrary to the classical libertarian view a free civil society relies on strong activist government, particularly in times of crisis.

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  • peteb

    Mick

    Ciarán adds a Pedant’s Defence of Hobbes

  • aquifer

    The hostility of the ‘left’ to governance of any sort is a relic of previous efforts to supplant national governments with communist gangs. The means of revolution did not matter so long as the historically ‘inevitable’ result was obtained. Revolutionaries could invoke whichever value was to hand, including human rights, economic injustice, residual christian charity, environmentalism, to justify a takeover without a prospect that such values would be honoured after their rule was entrenched. Criminals, ethnic gangs, and assassins could also be invited to join the emancipatory struggle and serve the higher goal of ‘socialism’. Any government not avowedly socialist was to be reviled and subverted.

    No respect was owed to any government part or functionary, as they were only the means that separated the proletariat (everyone) from their economic entitlement.

    As state socialism has shown itself to be oppressive and unable to compete economically with the market, or to continue to offer a model for national or human development, the left needs to review its ambitions and its attitudes to social authority and violence.

    Especially while islamofascism co-opts the tools of media marketing, cult recruitment, assassination, subversion, and airtime terrorism.