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Arbitrary RuleSlavery, Tyranny, and the Power of Life and Death$
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Mary Nyquist

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226015538

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226015675.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Hobbes, Slavery, and Despotical Rule

Hobbes, Slavery, and Despotical Rule

(p.293) CHAPTER NINE Hobbes, Slavery, and Despotical Rule
Arbitrary Rule

Mary Nyquist

University of Chicago Press

This chapter begins by considering the interdependency of the theoretical and rhetorical aims mobilized by Hobbes's opposition to antityrannicism. Both tyranny and its complement, political slavery, feature in Leviathan's diatribe against Greek and Roman authors for their idealization of liberty and tyrannicide. Though he does not pull any rhetorical punches when characterizing antityrannicism's harmful effects, Hobbes is aware that analytic self-consciousness alone will not do much to dampen enthusiastic belief in the value of liberty. Numerous features of his absolutism are painstakingly concocted as an antidote to the madness that results from imbibing popular notions of freedom as political slavery's noble antonym or tyranny's antagonist. Designed to counteract the passions aroused by antityrannicism, Hobbes's absolutism stirs up a set of anxieties that it reassuringly promises to allay.

Keywords:   antityrannicism, Hobbes, tyranny, political slavery, idealization of liberty, tyrannicide, leviathan, Hobbes's absolutism

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