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Thomas Hobbes

Hobbes (1588-1679) was an influential British political theorist concerned with the justifications of legitimate government. Writing during the time of the British Civil War, in a treatise call the Leviathan, Hobbes lays the foundation for what man's natural state of order is without the state. Basically, it's "nasty, brutish, and short". Hobbes argued that government was the price to pay to avoid the grim alternative. Upon close reflection, any citizen will realize that peace is worth the cost of ceding certain liberties to a sovereign, all-powerful authority, and in so doing establish a justification for legitimate government. While some would argue that Hobbes' cure is worse than the disease, none would deny his contributions to social contract theory.