Proponents of liberty cannot escape confronting the issue that came to full fruition in the Enlightenment: liberty and tyranny both found freedom as a result. Classical liberals cannot just point to Locke and Jefferson as the offspring. In this post I will examine the Enlightenment’s evil twin – as represented in Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
His ideas…are especially challenging to any libertarian who would wish to see the state minimised or eliminated. That said, there are elements of his thought that any liberal would welcome.
Casey offers that more than half of Leviathan is about religion, and some take this as the most important part of his work. One can glean Hobbes’ view on religion by the following:
Hobbes’s overall thought was fundamentally materialist…. For Hobbes, all that ultimately exists is matter in motion. …even the extremely complex social and political world too was explicable in materialistic terms.
Hobbes treated all of nature – human nature as well as non-human nature – as a vast system of mechanical causes from which purpose was to be excluded.