The Anatomy of War: A Study on Human Nature and the Emergence of Laws


Added on  2019-09-22

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CHAPTER XIIIOF THE NATURALL CONDITION OF MANKIND,AS CONCERNING THEIR FELICITY, AND MISERYNature hath made men so equall, in the faculties of body, and mind;as that though there bee found one man sometimes manifestlystronger in body, or of quicker mind then another; yet whenall is reckoned together, the difference between man, and man,is not so considerable, as that one man can thereupon claim tohimselfe any benefit, to which another may not pretend, as well as he.For as to the strength of body, the weakest has strength enough tokill the strongest, either by secret machination, or by confederacywith others, that are in the same danger with himselfe.And as to the faculties of the mind, (setting aside the arts groundedupon words, and especially that skill of proceeding upon generall,and infallible rules, called Science; which very few have,and but in few things; as being not a native faculty, born with us;nor attained, (as Prudence,) while we look after somewhat els,)I find yet a greater equality amongst men, than that of strength.For Prudence, is but Experience; which equall time, equally bestoweson all men, in those things they equally apply themselves unto.That which may perhaps make such equality incredible, is buta vain conceipt of ones owne wisdome, which almost all menthink they have in a greater degree, than the Vulgar; that is,than all men but themselves, and a few others, whom by Fame,or for concurring with themselves, they approve. For such is thenature of men, that howsoever they may acknowledge many othersto be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned; Yet they willhardly believe there be many so wise as themselves: For they seetheir own wit at hand, and other mens at a distance. But this proveth
The Anatomy of War: A Study on Human Nature and the Emergence of Laws_1

rather that men are in that point equall, than unequall. For there isnot ordinarily a greater signe of the equall distribution of any thing,than that every man is contented with his share.From Equality Proceeds Diffidence (insecurity)From this equality of ability, ariseth equality of hope in theattaining of our Ends. And therefore if any two men desirethe same thing, which neverthelesse they cannot both enjoy,they become enemies; and in the way to their End, (which is principallytheir owne conservation, and sometimes their delectation only,)endeavour to destroy, or subdue one an other. And from henceit comes to passe, that where an Invader hath no more to feare,than an other mans single power; if one plant, sow, build,or possesse a convenient Seat, others may probably be expectedto come prepared with forces united, to dispossesse, and deprive him,not only of the fruit of his labour, but also of his life, or liberty.And the Invader again is in the like danger of another.From Diffidence WarreAnd from this diffidence of one another, there is no way for any manto secure himselfe, so reasonable, as Anticipation; that is, by force,or wiles, to master the persons of all men he can, so long,till he see no other power great enough to endanger him: And this isno more than his own conservation requireth, and is generally allowed.Also because there be some, that taking pleasure in contemplatingtheir own power in the acts of conquest, which they pursue fartherthan their security requires; if others, that otherwise would be gladto be at ease within modest bounds, should not by invasionincrease their power, they would not be able, long time, by standingonly on their defence, to subsist. And by consequence, such augmentation
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of dominion over men, being necessary to a mans conservation,it ought to be allowed him.Againe, men have no pleasure, (but on the contrary a great dealeof griefe) in keeping company, where there is no power able toover-awe them all. For every man looketh that his companion shouldvalue him, at the same rate he sets upon himselfe: And upon allsignes of contempt, or undervaluing, naturally endeavours,as far as he dares (which amongst them that have no common power,to keep them in quiet, is far enough to make them destroy each other,)to extort a greater value from his contemners, by dommage;and from others, by the example.So that in the nature of man, we find three principall causesof quarrel. First, Competition; Secondly, Diffidence; Thirdly, Glory.The first, maketh men invade for Gain; the second, for Safety;and the third, for Reputation. The first use Violence, to makethemselves Masters of other mens persons, wives, children, and cattell;the second, to defend them; the third, for trifles, as a word,a smile, a different opinion, and any other signe of undervalue,either direct in their Persons, or by reflexion in their Kindred,their Friends, their Nation, their Profession, or their Name.Out Of Civil States,There Is Alwayes Warre Of Every One Against Every OneHereby it is manifest, that during the time men live withouta common Power to keep them all in awe, they are in that conditionwhich is called Warre; and such a warre, as is of every man,against every man. For WARRE, consisteth not in Battell onely,or the act of fighting; but in a tract of time, wherein the Willto contend by Battell is sufficiently known: and therefore thenotion of Time, is to be considered in the nature of Warre;
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