Thomas hobbesLeviathan, published in 1651, famously postulated that a strong central government was necessary to suppress human inborn cruelty, thereby making life among humans liveable, instead of “nasty, brutish, and short” as it would otherwise be. Every man or woman was up in arms against every other man and woman. Every other was an already unmasked enemy or an enemy yet to be unmasked. Antennae had to be stretched and tuned at all directions. Permanently. Safety was a bluff. A moment of tranquillity was the enemy’s ploy meant to put vigilance to a nap. Were the Hobbesian pre-state creatures in possession of powder, they would’ve surely keep it dry.

Yet today many believe that human endemic aggressiveness and propensity to violence has been anything but mitigated by strong central governments, let alone extinguished; they are alive and always ready to...

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