Living in Fear
I must admit that after reading Hobbes chapters in “Leviathan,” I had an initial disgust of the “fear” he so blatantly assumed every man had in living an extra day in their lives. It was so strong an opinion, and so sad a thought that man cannot enjoy a day in their lives without fear, a concept most modern day man would never think to be true or admit.
Yet, is not because of this fear, that each American citizen has been able to have the choice of living safe, secure, and hope-filled lives? Is Americas not one of the strongest worldly powers because of the fear it has been able to instill upon other countries and it’s citizens?
I make this point, because I myself had a revelation after reading Hobbes. Never, until reading this piece, would I have even begun to think that I live my life unconsciously in fear. I use myself as an example, to prove this point because as I’ve noticed, fear does engulf my day starting from waking up in the morning. I fear not waking up in the morning, being successful in college and in my future, paying my bills, supporting myself and my future family, and most importantly being a law-abiding citizen.
I now understand the meaning of Hobbes’ message that “the passion to be reckoned upon, is fear.” Where there is fear, there is safety and a sense of ease, and this becomes the basis of a successful civil society. A state or countries government will be powerful and intimidating, and produce a fear upon its people in order to have a long-lasting, successful society. And if a party decides to reckon with this fear, there is always a power steadily ready to enlist a greater fear upon them for the greater good of a civil society, or as Hobbes has stated, war will occur. To provide supportive examples of this, I ask you to analyze a successful, long-lasting powerful country or state. Look at the fear America has been able to enlist not only on its citizens, but also on other countries. Its success should be owed to the fear it has inflicted upon others. Another example in which a type of “war” has occurred is that of the Arizona immigration law recently enforced in America. This fear, the government attempted to put on immigrants trying to enter into North America, has created an enormous uproar from many. This law has created a fight from many to rid this law because they feel as though the fear is unjust. In this example, state of nature has taken a type of authority over the need for a civil society, and until there is either a covenant made or a stronger fear enlisted by one of the parties, the war will continue.
In conclusion, I can see the absolute need for fear in my life. Without it, I would have no success or reason to strive to succeed in my life. I enjoy knowing that, although it is fear that is driving me to lead a safe and good-willed life, I will enjoy a peaceful life in a civil society all thanks to fear.