George W. Bush a Savage Man?
I’d like to start by saying that George W. Bush obviously did not have the exact traits of a savage man described in Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality among Men. However, I think it is apparent that if savage man were in our society today, they would have many of the characteristics of George W. Bush. In Rousseau’s piece, savage men are said to live among beasts and raise themselves to the level of animal instinct. Hobbes says that savage man is naturally intrepid and not afraid of anything. Intrepid is defined as invulnerable to fear or intimidation. Savage man begins with simple mental operations: he can will or not will to do something; he can desire or fear something. Reason develops and perfects itself through the passions. We seek to know only because we desire or fear something. These passions result from our needs. Savage man, however, has no needs.
I believe that during the presidency of George W. Bush there were many times in which correlations could be made to him as being a savage man. The war in Ira is where I see the savage man most present. George W. Bush had no fear in sending troops to Iraq and definitely chose not to have the will to pull them out. Even though it was not him in Iraq he was in charge and could have pulled them out had we not gotten in to far. He was not intimidated nor had any fear. It is almost as though he wasn’t thinking at all. In Rousseau’s piece it is said that savages are not wicked because they do not know what it is to be good. Bush continued to carry on this evil in Iraq and the reason for this could be that he wasn’t sure if it was doing good or bad. Or maybe it could be that he had all that he wanted, just like a savage man, and was just continuing this savage work because his needs were close at hand.
In Discourse, by Rousseau, it is said that there is no reason for savage man to cease being savage. His needs are close at hand, and he has no idea of the wonder of nature, or any conception of future. This failing to have any conception of the future is another characteristic of Bush. What was going to come out of keeping our troops in Iraq for such an extended time? How would doing this possibly brighten the United States future? It makes me wonder what was truly going on in his head. Now I know not all of this is Bush’s fault, but because of his title everyone blames him and he did have the most authority. To finish I would like to bring up my last correlation in which it was said that savage men were not prone to quarrels, as they were solitary, and they had no idea of property or vengeance. It doesn’t seem as though Bush was prone to quarrels either and was this a rash act of vengeance. I think that the idea of George Bush being a modern day savage man can leave many people making even more connections between the two. In the end I would consider him a modern day savage man.