This is a famous book. Truly ground breaking in it's scope and Logic. At another time, he would have been burnt at the stake for blasphemy. So a very brave man. But then he lived during the English civil war.
The English civil war was a funny old thing son. We don't remember it now as we have a constitutional monarchy. And the sheer amount of parliamentary and democratic debate that war engendered is forgotten by most people.
In my view three civil wars are crucial in world history. The English civil war. The Russian civil war. And then the American civil war. They have given rise to the political situation which we live in at the moment.
Brothers fighting against brothers is the most bitter of all fights son. That's what civil wars do. Think of the Mahabharata war. Which gave rise to one of the greatest poems of all times. And perhaps the most powerful book on philosophy and religion and ethics of all time - the Gita.
Anyway, leviathan is a great attempt to solve the question. What and how does a man want to be governed. The book has concepts that are difficult to comprehend now but still needs to be incorporated. As the current Scottish referendum shows, and the myriad loads of fights across the world demonstrate, we are still struggling to answer this question.
Leviathan (book) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil—commonly referred to as Leviathan—is a book written by Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) and published in 1651. Its name derives from the biblical Leviathan. The work concerns the structure of society and legitimate government, and is regarded as one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory. Leviathan ranks as a classic western work on statecraft comparable to Machiavelli's The Prince. Written during the English Civil War (1642–1651), Leviathan argues for a social contract and rule by an absolute sovereign. Hobbes wrote that civil war and the brute situation of a state of nature ("the war of all against all") could only be avoided by strong undivided government.