PODCAST-In his book Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes famously imagines human beings in a state of nature where life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” People will, Hobbes argues, quickly flee such a terrible condition, creating for their own protection a mighty Sovereign and enter into a social contract. Dr. Perrodin discusses how Hobbes’ perspective on the absolute need for social constructs manifested in the unfathomable harbor rescue of 500,000 people from Lower Manhattan on 09/01/2001 and again when Cajun Navy Relief rescued countless numbers of people stranded by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey in 2017. Something is stirring in the field of social contract theory.
DIRECT LINK to MP3 of this Episode: https://tinyurl.com/SDP77
WHO WAS THOMAS HOBBES?
Thomas Hobbes lived through the English Civil War. The long and bloody struggle between the parliament and crown motivated and shaped his political ideas. Hobbes studied how people lived together – without killing each other!
LEVIATHAN AND SOCIAL CONTRACTS
Leviathan rigorously argues that civil peace and social unity are best achieved by the establishment of a commonwealth through social contract. Hobbes’s ideal commonwealth is ruled by a sovereign power responsible for protecting the security of the commonwealth and granted absolute authority to ensure the common defense. In his introduction, Hobbes describes this commonwealth as an “artificial person” and as a body politic that mimics the human body.
IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL SAFETY
Schools are investing in expensive, unproven, or proven for a very narrow benefit (bollards) items. Parents are more willing than ever to surrender rights to privacy in exchange for safer schools. But, is this necessary, where does it end, and what happens to the social contract when parents have nothing left to offer to the state? Dr. Perrodin argues that there is virtually no questioning, no deliberations – the safety grants are there and most schools can make changes to buildings to improve safety and it’s exempted from spending caps – but again, is this making schools safer or just moving the targets? He also states that short-term social contracts in which people severed their contract with the state and replaced it with a contract with Cajun Navy Relief, for example, is actually a very positive sign for the future of enabling rescue systems to organically arise during a crisis.
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