THE HOBBESIAN STATE OF NATURE AND THE NIGERIAN SITUATION: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

THE HOBBESIAN STATE OF NATURE AND THE NIGERIAN SITUATION: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

ABSTRACT

Looking at the Nigerian state one would see that it harbours a variety of elements present the Hobbesian state of nature where there is perpetual fear and strife, no laws, no authority, no sense of justice or injustice and no sense of right or wrong. In the Hobbesian state of nature force and fraud flourished with a general disposition to war of every man against every man. In this state of nature self-interest was the rule of action and people held on to whatever they could grab until a stronger man came and snatched it from them. Life here was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”. Similar to the Hobbesian state of nature, the Nigeria state is one where self interest and the spirit of corruption is the dominant rule – an evident fact in the everyday living of Nigerians among political and public office holders and even the commoner on the street. Lawlessness, fraud, armed robbery, hired assassinations, political, religious and ethnic violence, kidnaps, general insecurity of lives and properties causing perpetual fear and strife and other stated issues in the Hobbesian state of nature are replicated in the Nigerian state. They hold both individual and society to ransom owing to their devastating effects and make progress and development a mirage. We are still in a state of nature. Our task in this essay is a comparative analysis of the Hobbesian state of nature vis-à-vis the Nigerian society. Our philosophical lens will capture how these problems are replicated in the Nigerian society. We shall attempt a critique and a panacea of issues here stated followed by the conclusion.