A Note on Two Texts: Leviathan and Discourse on Inequality

by Yvy Truong

I still want to talk about Leviathan a little bit because from my last blog post, I think I missed the mark on Hobbes! I still don’t understand him but I’m still trying.

So from what I heard, last seminar (the one that I missed), the group talked about …

1) Why Hobbes thought monarchy was the best for of government


2) If today’s society is much like a Hobbesian sovereignty (as it can also be a democracy)


With number one, why Hobbes thought monarchy was the best way to go, I think I want to look at it more in a historical context (if you can say that). I think Hobbes doesn’t like democracy for the same reason Plato didn’t like democracy. From what I know, democracy was dramatically different than how we practice democracy today. We have proportional representation whereas before it was the practice of oratory. Plato (from what I believe and remember), feared that whoever spoke well everyone would agree and follow them. That worries me and I can see how that would worry everyone else. However, I do not know how democracy was practised during Hobbes time, so maybe I missed the mark again.

And if todays society is much like a Hobbesian sovereignty… Hm, I think I would have to understand Hobbes a but more but if from what I do know, I can see how it can be fitting. Speaking specifically of Canada, I think everyone more or less, have common values and we have a certain identity that we like to uphold. Though we aren’t all exactly the same and we are trying to live our own lives and whatnot, we are nevertheless Canadians and try to fit in the stereotype… Does that make sense?

But enough about Hobbes!

I thought Discourse on Inequality was nice to read and I guess that is what is so appealing about Rousseau. The way he writes is miles away from Leviathan (though they were written in different times). To add, during the time of the Enlightenment, reading wasn’t mean for everyone. It was meant for the scholars and the educated and not for the everyday person (then after the Enlightenment came the Early Romantics and Romantics), so the way Rousseau writes really does feel a lot more… Refreshing. But I will admit, I don’t agree with him. I find that he’s too nostalgic for an age he didn’t see. Actually, during lecture I was reminded of the movie Midnight In Paris.


I think I’ll make another blog post explaining more on what I mean later today