The state of human nature

Modified: 27th Feb 2017
Wordcount: 1909 words

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The State of Human Nature

The conflict on the ideas between Thomas Hobbes and Rousseau in terms of the definition of human nature is seen like a state without social structure. In his book “The Leviathan”, Hobbes wrote that all condition of the people is one in misery wherein we are compelled to act violently and compete with each others to be able to attain their desired goals in life (Green 1993). As such, men are naturally violent and greedy wherein if they want something, they will do their best to obtain such thing. Thus, the result is that men becomes more inclined towards giving importance to themselves rather than to the general good which they sometimes try to portray. Moreover, as for Jean Jacques Rousseau, men are naturally peaceful and only wishes to live like that as this is what is important in his life.

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The claim of this paper is that men are naturally violent and we tend to be defensive on things that usually affect our interest. The human nature presented in The Leviathan is based on a society where there is no government to administer the people. As such, people tend to become more aggressive protecting their interest and will not be in accord to anybody that will intend to destroy such interest. The paper presents two types of government which are democratic and authoritarian rule. The way human nature will be influenced will be discussed on each regime to show that we humans cannot live peacefully without the intervention of the government.

The Human Nature Philosophy

As Human nature ideas grew, philosophers would try to integrate Human nature teaching with government and society. The result threatened the very core of different ideas. Today, we see increased pressure to water down orthodoxy and integrate it with current philosophy and teaching (Schopoenhauer 2012). Much of what passes for teachings today is nothing but different diverse perspectives that states we possess the divine and all we must do is realize that secret. But human nature is not about humans becoming something which they originally are not. Two types of government will be presented which somehow affects human nature.

Democratic government in affecting human nature

A large number of nations have already adopted a democratic government. A democratic government aims to improve the freedom of the people. The structures of the government and the frameworks serve as guide to the acts of the people. The government, the constitution and the system are the composition for executing the principle within a country. The government as the structure, the constitution as the framework and the system as the means if implementation. The government has proven itself on serving its people at its best. The roles are fulfilled well and it has developed further to the changing times (Dickson 2014). However, the criticism on its process as not following the majority rule questions the democratic principle that the majority should be followed. Due to the idea that the people are influenced by the society, the idea of majority rule is associated with basic principles that could touch human rights to also protect the minority. With this belief, the diversity of the people, which follows pluralism, is observed. The constitution that serves as the fundamental law of the land was amended in accordance of the developing times. Basically, the constitution is the declaration of rights of the individuals and the principles of the state. Rooted from the ideas of English Magna Carta and the principle of the balance of power, the constitution continues to be the guidelines for the state to assure that human rights are being considered.

The democratic notion is seen on how it gives freedom to the people. For instance, the press shows how freedom is given importance in a nation. To determine the different rights of the people the government usually use the media. As an effective medium, television, newspaper, radio and the internet are the popular ways to express public opinion. It is use to educate as it gives information to the people. It gives the people a sense of political involvement and socialization which is good because it shows that the people participate in political issues. It serves as the watchdog on government activities ensuring that the rights are observed. However, as the basic principle on freedom of expression is applied, certain laws are imposed to observe responsible use of media. It is also important that human rights violations are being watched so that proper authorities will know it. Schmitter (2010) states that the consequences of democracy brings about significant changes in power relations, properly rights and social status within a society.

Human nature can be influenced by what the people hear and do within the society. Moreover, despite of the success of this type of government, some criticizes it. Most experts on divided societies and constitutional engineering broadly agree that deep societal divisions pose a grave problem for democracy, and that it is therefore generally more difficult to establish and maintain democratic government (Lijphart 2004). Different factions in the government results to different views within the society. The separation in the nation somehow shows the divisiveness in the system that can affect the decisions made by the country, but somehow it is useful for an atmosphere of competition and improvement between the parties. Democracy is a richly textured and complicated concept and scholars have often argued the manner of its measurement. There are only a few sets of information on political regimes that can be deployed as the foundation for the exploration of issues on democratization. Most significant are the data on civil liberties and political rights developed by Freedom House, a US nongovernmental organization covering the period of 1972 to 2011 and the project known as Polity IV which presents data on political regime transitions and characteristics, with information on every country that can be trace way back in 1946. Both sources of data have numerical scores that specify where a country belongs either in a dictatorship or in a liberal democracy.

Authoritarian Rule influence on Human Nature

This government is one that imposes authoritarian rules are seen on countries in the Arab nation. Hybrid regimes in the Arab world are considered to be electoral authoritarian, competitive authoritarian and partly-free authoritarian. Iraq, Kuwait and Lebanon are often considered as regimes that are democratizing with their hybrid nature going on the side of complete democracy. However, several obstacles will be faced by these countries for them to evolve into stable and full-fledged democratic systems. For instance, Lebanon was a democracy with free elections from 1972 to 1975. Despite of the presence of democratic institutions within Lebanon, the possibility of significant change is inhibited because these institutions have a framework of sharing their powers. Another typical example of a hybrid regime is Kuwait that applied political liberalization in the year 1992 and was praised as a classic instance of the manner states can remain democratize and be stable gradually (Vannelli 2001). However as of today, the authorities that were elected by the people had too little authority for the political system to be considered as a democracy. Specifically, there are still institutions in Kuwait that do not respect popular rule and hinders the cause of political liberalization. The family of al-Sabah holds the authority to rule while the Congress plays the role of a watchdog and with the limited authority to restrain the cabinet.

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What makes such authoritarian countries become firm and resolute is because this type of regime goes with the culture of the country. The people within the said country are disciplined and properly follow the law. These kinds of people are usually found within pure authoritarian countries in the Arab world include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, Qatar, Oman and Jordan. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE are considered by experts to be “dynastic monarchies” which means that the rules of the family govern instead of a sole individual and power is distributed among the members of the family. Succession to the throne is normally decided by the members of the family and a ruler can be removed from the position if he or she loses the allegiance or faith of the family. In Arab monarchies that are nondynastic like Morocco, Oman and Jordan–the monarch can select his successor and has absolute power over the government. In these countries, the members of the royal family could rule at the pleasure of the reigning monarch.

Different theorists states that due to the strict policies implemented within the country, the people does not resort to violence and they only do this in a collective manner. The major explanations can be grouped into four aspects: those related to the cultural requirements of a democracy, those that pinpoint the location of the Arab world, those that involve foreign policy and those that highlight the significance of government agency. Scholars referring to the lack of cultural requirements to achieve democracy in the Arab world can be traced to the Arab or Muslim cultures that run contrary to the values associated with democracy. In particular, individual rights and participatory government are unknown to the political tradition of the Muslim world because the Islam religion considers God as the sole authority and that society must be guided by the laws of God. As a consequence, there is no legal basis for a representative government, civil codes or the mere sovereignty of a man. Meanwhile, the prevalence of oil in the Arab world significantly pushes authoritarianism since oil revenues goes directly to the government that allows it to distribute sizeable patronage to the population without the need for taxation. This rentier effect allows the public to enjoy quality public services and goods without the need for taxation that hinders their demands for reform within the government.


In terms of the way people respond to their environment, it is but necessary to note that the government where one lives in usually affects the nature of the people. This is because the rules force people to become disciplined or to become free and do whatever they want.

The philosophy had given much to the shaping of human history, and one important part of it is the contribution of well known Human nature thinkers. The main ideas were focused on men and spirit, wherein it is based from different aspects of society such as the ethical norms of humanity (Rogoff 2003). The flourishment of these teachings had an influence to the warring nations on that time, the thinking of the people and the decisions of leaders from different nations. These schools of thoughts contributed to the development of each of them, making each of the schools competent sources of philosophies and teachings.


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