Source: The Baffler
European thought on violence and government doesn’t survive transatlantic shipping very well. In the American setting, the story of Hobbes’s state, which seizes for itself the exclusive right to force while providing domestic peace in return, has the reassuring and quaint cadence of a sanitized fairy tale. That’s because in North America, the war of all against all has long been seen less as a problem and more as a solution, one perfectly suited to a settler-colonial population conquering its way westward with non-state militias. Freelance physical force was indispensable in a slave society maintained by violence inflicted lawfully by state and private actors alike. Let loose in the New World, Leviathan goes feral.