Stand up to Corruption?
In my reading of Hobbe’s The Leviathan, I find myself stuck on the same question. A sovereign leader is supposed to show no injustice, but what would happen if they were to act unjust- who would act against them? The first thing I think of when I think of Hobbes’ picture of a sovereign power is the image at the front of The Leviathain– an overpoweringly large king-like man, crown included, his shirt made up of the faces of the men who he rules over, wielding a very large sword. The sovereign is the one with the weapons, the one that is to protect the masses. The commonwealth says that men will give up the right to governing themselves in return for protection. That is all and well in my opinion, but returning to my initial question, if the sovereign acts unjustly, who is to stand up against the large sword-wielding power illustrated on the front of The Leviathan?
While my understanding of Hobbes is improving every lecture and discussion in which he’s a topic, I think my question is a fair one. On page 177 of The Leviathan, Hobbes says that the sovereign can do no injury or injustice to his subjects. Once again, who is to stand up if any injustice is carried out? I think of the first post on this blog that I wrote about the corruption of politics. Many unjust acts go unnoticed, or they slip under the table. There is a post on this blog about the secret life of MLK, a view of this American hero that scathes the adoring picture we all have in our minds of MLK. I feel as though a lot of the time no one does stand up to injustice or corruption, a lot of times it slips under the radar and no one notices. Even if we do notice, do people always take action? Conversation or debate may be generated, but conversation or debate versus action are two very different things.