"Hobbes clearly opposed the “democraticals,” as he called the parliamentary forces and their followers. Quentin Skinner’s contention in Hobbes and Republican Liberty is that Hobbes expended a considerable sum of his philosophical energy in this opposition and that his greatest innovations derived from it. His specific target was the republicans’ conception of liberty, their notion that individual freedom entailed men collectively governing themselves. By unfastening the links between personal freedom and the nature of political power, Hobbes was able to argue that men could be free in an absolute monarchy—or at least no less free than they were in a republic or a democracy. It was “an epoch-making moment in the history of Anglophone political thought,” says Skinner, resulting in a novel account of liberty to which we remain indebted—unhappily, in Skinner’s view—to this day."
Labels: authoritarianism, conservatism, democracy, freedom, hierarchy, hobbes, liberty, monarchy