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Pillars Of Society-St. A, Machiavelli, Hobbes

            Many people believe that wealth makes a country great. A country with wealth will have power because it will be able to defend itself and be able to influence other countries with fear of force or with economic sanctions or both. However, a country could be very wealthy and not have power if the people and/or its governments are corrupt. What makes a country truly great then, is its people. It is a government's duty to adopt principles (codes of law and religious beliefs) so as to maximize the faculties of its people in order to increase their abilities because the more able, hardworking people a country has the more productive the country will be. Machiavelli, Hobbes, and St. Augustine each agree that a powerful state will have people in it who are of good virtue. Each author's definition of a virtuous people varies slightly; however the theme that remains constant in the three works is that where the good of the state comes before self interest and corruption, internal and external peace will flourish. Each author though has a different view on which type/s of governments are best suited to maximize each individual's faculties so as to reduce corruption. .
             It is human nature to desire to better one's station in life. All three authors agree that this human nature can lead to disastrous ends if it is not checked by reason. Hobbes believes that the desire for power is what causes unrest and corruption in a state. According to Hobbes's state of nature, all people are equal in power. This equality puts each individual at risk of losing what he has if it is desired by another. Hobbes writes, "I put for a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire for power after power, that ceaseth only in Death" (1-11-2). This desire for power is what causes warring factions and he later goes on to say that the only way to ensure that the property of men of character is protected from a person who is striving to steal it for dishonest reasons is to have a way to decide which party is in the right so as to keep the peace and avoid war.

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