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Shia Labeouf the Prodigy of Hobbes

February 7, 2011

        With the current theme of relating our ancient texts to modern day stars, I too have decided to coincide with the pattern.  Shia Labeouf was in a brawl fight in the early hours of Saturday morning.  This 24 year rebel seems to be a favorite with most people in today’s world.  Girls find him and attractive, and boys are jealous of his relationship with the super sexy Megan Fox.  The point still needs to be related to Hobbes and his writings.  Hobbes brings up an interesting point when he discusses the three principle causes of quarrel.  It seems to be quite true as most disputes involve competition, diffidence, and glory.  He discusses that these features are a part of the nature of men.  These characteristics seem to be motivation for their interests in disputes.

            That late night brawl in the bar may have come across as a possibility to state their manliness.  While being taunted in the bar, Labeouf became annoyed with a man and sucker-punched him in the jaw.  The dispute was taken outside where the first principal was exposed, competition.  The two continued to fight and wanted to prove themselves with their power.  The brawl ended quickly, when the fight was broken up by the LAPD.  The man who instigated the fight fled, and Labeouf was handcuffed.  The third principal is introduced in the way that each man was fighting for their own “glory.”  They wanted to show that they did not lack self-confidence (diffidence).  The nature of men appears to be apparent everywhere in today’s society. 

        The owner of the bar was quoted saying “It was just boys being boys.  Things got really out of hand and it didn’t have to go down the way it did.”  It’s true; (I being a lover not a fighter) wonder why many things need to be settled with fighting.  The exposure of alcohol couldn’t have helped the situation, but we don’t need to be settling things like the old days.  Will these rebels learn to settle things like adults?  Or continue to have to try and prove their superiority with dominance?

  1. BrianFisher permalink
    February 7, 2011 4:44 PM

    There’s a time and a place for everything. While some individuals may condemn bar fights, other tend to believe that it is the only fair way to solve an issue. I am puzzled by your last two sentences/questions. In essence, it appears that you are implying that all problems are resolved with either an instigated fight(trying to prove his superiority with dominance) or essentially no fight(settle things like adults). While to fight or not to fight may appear to be the question here, there are a vast multitude of other options that can subside after an argument. I don’t think the problem should be if the men are deciding to fight or not fight but rather, if the situation allows it.

  2. Stephan Sakhai permalink
    February 7, 2011 4:46 PM

    To answer the questions you pose quite simply- No and yes. First, Im not sure if I would label Shia and others like him “rebels,” but rebel or not, I don’t think men will ever learn to settle things “like adults”. Also, they will continue to try and prove their superiority with not only dominance, but physical dominance. When emotions are running high, and two men are confronted with one problem but are standing on different sides of it (not to mention alcohol was involved), almost always, I believe, a scuffle will ensue. In the heat of the moment, what else does a man have? When its difficult to put coherent words into an argument to show intellectual dominance, the quickest and easiest dominance for a man to rely on is his physical dominance.

    Looking at the example you give, Shia is in no means a big guy, and I doubt he is considered a physically dominant man. However, as seen, when emotions are high men have no where to turn but their fists. Although this is an unfortunate ending to any confrontation, it has, is, and will continue to be the solution for two men and differing opinions.

  3. Boris Pevzner permalink
    February 7, 2011 5:50 PM

    Fighting is such a raw human action that I think it will never go away. It’s the most basic human reaction, especially in males, to any dispute. Even before civilizations, fighting was the most simple and common way to resolve a problem.

    And now tens of thousands of years later, that reaction to disputes still lives inside of us. While we have come a long way as mankind to stop murder as a way to solve crimes, fist fights will never go away.

    Hobbes’ principle causes of quarrels can probably relate to any fight. When trying to resolve a certain dispute, especially one that so quickly escalates like in the example you presented, more often than not human emotions take over and a fist fight, at the least, will be inevitable.

  4. Jeff DeClaire permalink
    February 7, 2011 7:36 PM

    If your questions are referring to Shia Labeouf and the other man involved in the fight as the “rebels,” then no, in Shia’s case, I do no think that he will continue to try to dominate other people with fights. Shia does not seem like the type of guy who is looking to fight anybody in his way. I think this was a fluke situation where Shia let his emotions get the best of him. As for everyone else, I think it all depends on the nature and attitude of each individual person. For instance, many men are looking to avoid all trouble, and will by no means engage into physical contact to resolve an issue. Some men, however, will go out of their way to assert their dominance and superiority over anyone that comes in their way. Especially under the influence of alcohol, it is easy for people to get caught up in the moment, and let their emotions take over. I think this trend will continue in any society no matter what, because it all depends on the character of the person. If you are looking to avoid a fight when an argument arises, the best solution is to remove yourself from the situation.

  5. Melissa Boelstler permalink
    February 7, 2011 8:50 PM

    Often we like to think society has matured as the years progress, and defeinately has matured since Hobbes time, but the nature of man is always still there. Even though we may think our society is much different than the society in 1650s when Hobbes wrote Leviathan, it has become obvious that the nature of man has not changed at all. As you said, Hobbes stated that all disputes involve competition, diffidence, and glory. This was true then, is true now, and will stay true. Therefore, to answer the last questions I would have to say no, and yes.

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