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The 17th Century political philosopher Hobbes claimed that the State and coercive political authority was necessary to save mankind from a miserable life and the 'war of all against all'.
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In Hobbes' Leviathan he discusses the 'state of nature' where the multitude of people exist in misery and end up fighting the war of 'all against all'. He depicts a miserable existence where the life of man is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short" and convincingly argues that the State and coercive political authority are necessary to save man from this savage lifestyle. However, the ethnographies I have read portray a people who live not miserably but contently, despite their lack of a state or coercive authority, which seems to contradict the Hobbesian ideology. Conflict, on the other hand, is...
society and perhaps the 'state of nature' is actually, within the right framework, a better alternative. Today the Y?é??nomam?âÔÇô are riddled with disease and caught up amidst a market system they don't understand relying on Westerners to provide them with the material possessions that they have become accustomed which prior to their introduction, they were happy without. The Nuer cattle system that previously resolved many social problems, has been overridden by the young immigrant workers demonstration of western material goods such as trainers or trousers. Wealth is now in women or money and to a much lesser extent cattle.
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