They achieve this simply by agreeing to unite into one political society; that’s all the compact that is needed between the individuals that create or join a commonwealth.
c under one government, puts himself under an obligation to everyone in that society to submit to the deci- sions of the majority, and to be bound by it
The only way anyone can strip off his natural liberty and clothe himself in the bonds of civil society is for him to agree with other men to unite into a community, so as to live together comfortably, safely, and peaceably, in a secure enjoyment of their properties and a greater security against outsiders.
turns them into a single body politic in which the majority have a right to act on behalf of the rest and to bind them by its decisions.
Such a constitution as this would give the ·supposedly· mighty Leviathan a shorter life than the feeblest creatures; it wouldn’t live beyond the day it was born. [For ‘Leviathan’, see Job 41. Hobbes had adapted the word as a name for the politically organised state.] We can’t think that this is what rational creatures would want in setting up political societies. . . .
This makes him willing to leave a state in which he is very free, but which is full of fears and continual dangers; and not unreasonably he looks for others with whom he can enter into a society for the mutual preservation of their •lives, •liberties and •estates, which I call by the general name •‘property’. (The others may be ones who are already united in such a society, or ones who would like to be so united.)
So the great and chief purpose of men’s uniting into commonwealths and putting themselves under government is the preservation of their property.
First, The state of nature lacks •an established, settled, known law, received and accepted by common con- sent as the standard of right and wrong and as the common measure to decide all controversies
Secondly, the state of nature lacks •a known and impartial judge, with authority to settle all differences ac- cording to the established law.
Thirdly, the state of nature often lacks •a power to back up and support a correct sentence, and to enforce it properly.
So when the legislators try to take away and destroy the property of the people or to reduce them to slavery, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereby absolved from any further obedience and are left to the common escape that God has provided for all men against force and violence
And then the people have a right to resume their original ·natural· liberty, and to set up a new legislature. . . .to provide for their own safety and security. .
eneral holds true also for the supreme executive, ·the king·. He has a double trust put in him, both •to have a part in the legislature and •to be in charge of the enforcement of the law; and he acts against both when he tries to set up his own arbitrary will as the law of the society.
t is easy to see what power in the society ought to be allowed to those who have used their power contrary to the trust with which they were given it; anyone can see that someone who has once attempted such a thing as this can no longer be trusted ·with anything·.
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