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Rebecca Solnit > Quotes > Quotable Quote

Rebecca Solnit

“A precursor to the Social Darwinists, Hobbes argued from th premise that the primordial human condition was a war fought by each against each, so brutal and incesssant that it was impossible to develop industry or even agriculture or the arts while that condition persisted. It's this description that culmintes in his famous epithet "And the life of man, solitary, poor, brutish, and short." It was a fiction to which he brought to bear another fiction, that of the social contract by which men agree to submit to rules and a presiding authority, surrendering their right to ravage each other for the sake of their own safety. The contract was not a bond of affection or identification, bot a culture or religion binding togetehr a civilization, only a convenience. Men, in his view, as in that of many other European writers of the period, are stark, mechanical creatures, windup soldiers social only by strategy and not by nature...”


Rebecca Solnit
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