Hobbesian Politics

Hobbes’ state of nature was an unsafe place because everyone had about equal power – no-one was so secure as to be invulnerable to attack, and anyone might kill anyone else at any moment – whether for resources, for glory, for revenge, or simply as a precautionairy measure. The neolithic was a bit like that, because everyone had access to sticks and stones, and everyone knew how to use them. Petty tribal war was a fact of life, hard to avoid except by hiding as far away from other tribes as possible.

The Bronze Age changed things. Those who mastered the art of making bronze tools soon found they had overwhelming superiority in weapons and armour over those who didn’t.

Imperialism began in the Bronze Age. The first empire is usually said to be the Akkadian, though other candidates for the title exist. Sargon of Akkad (and other warrior kings…

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