The Clash of Leviathans- The Thirty-years war





In his work, Thomas Hobbes deals directly with one of the most important problems, one of most important paradox and dilemmas in international relations. The dilemma between internal order and international anarchy.

According to the Thomas Hobbes , these two are related between them, the internal order is the reason for international anarchy and international anarchy is a consequence of the states able and the people able to establish this internal order. Thomas Hobbes writes in his work, in all times kings, and persons of sovereign authority, because of their independence, are in continued jealousies, and in the state and posture of gladiators, having their weapons pointing, and their eyes fixed on one another. That their forts, garrisons, and guns upon the frontiers of their kingdoms, and continual spies upon their neighbors, which is a posture of war.

So according to the Thomas Hobbes , one of the main reasons of rivalry and competition between the states is their independence. More the states  independent, more they are capable to compete with the others. The other reason of the conflict is a continual jealousness. The states are jealous towards each other, and they're always in the state of posture of gladiators. 

The Ancient Roman fighters who have entertained rich people fighting with swords and other means in the theaters and on the other arenas. So and for the state's own instruments, which they have in their disposal, are applied in order to compete, and in order to threat, and in order to, potentially, fight the other states. So we see that already in the works of Thomas Hobbes, the main reason and the main purpose of the state policy, according to the realist tradition, is survival, because the states are the gladiators. They need to survive, and they need to use all means in order to survive.

How Leviathan, the biggest work of Thomas Hobbes , explains the international politics? But, first of all, let us ask the question, what is Leviathan ? Leviathan is a Bible beast, a beast from the Bible, the biggest book of the Christian tradition. And Leviathan, his particularity, is that Leviathan is the strongest. There is nobody, no any other beast which can beat Leviathan, which is stronger than Leviathan. And it was important for Thomas Hobbes to choose exactly this definition for the state. Because for him, the Leviathan, the state, is the highest authority, which can be never beaten by the other more strong authority. So, according to the Thomas Hobbes, achievement of personal security and domestic security for the creation of a state leads to international insecurity, which is rooted in the anarchy of the state system. Leviathans are doomed to Leviathan? Leviathan is a Bible beast, a beast from the Bible, the biggest book of the Christian tradition. And Leviathan, his particularity, is that Leviathan is the strongest. There is nobody, no any other beast which can beat Leviathan, which is stronger than Leviathan. And it was important for Thomas Hobbes to choose exactly this definition for the state. Because for him, the Leviathan, the state, is the highest authority, which can be never beaten by the other more strong authority. So, according to the Thomas Hobbes, achievement of personal security and domestic security for the creation of a state leads to international insecurity, which is rooted in the anarchy of the state system. Leviathans are doomed to fight a war with everyone against everyone, as people have been doing before, because they feel of insecurity, and eager for power, wealth, and glory. So their relationships, which are, fortunately, not anymore exist on the internal level within the society, this fight more of everyone against everyone. They automatically transfer to the relationships between the state. And according to the Thomas Hobbes, it is impossible to establish a Leviathan over Leviathans. States will never give up their sovereignty. Therefore, anarchy is a normal and eternal state of the international system. But there is another reason for their eternal anarchy in international systems. Leviathan over Leviathans, or the war of the government, cannot be established, because the ordinary people, like me and you, we give up our rights in order to achieve security and safety to the state. We cannot give our freedoms to the world government. We can give our freedoms only to the national government, which we elect and which we legitimize by our own decision. We want our security, that's why we create the state. And if this state, which we create between us, according to the realist tradition, we'll, together with the other states, established a certain world government, or the world state. it will not be any more elected by us, thus it will not be legitimate in our eyes. Thus the relationships between the people will come back to the very beginnings, to the original nature of war of everyone against everyone. The work of Thomas Hobbes was inspired by the tragic events, which has happened in Europe in the first half of the 17th century, the Thirty-year War, which lasted from 1618 to 1644. The House of Habsburg was one of the most important royal houses of Europe, and is best known for being an origin of all the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian and Spanish domains and several other countries. The Habsburg family represented the idea of universalism, unification of the whole world, at that time, Europe, under one Christian ruler. The alternative was represented by the emerging national states. In Germany, but not only the France, which was a Catholic country, was a national state as well. So the Thirty
years War was notjust a war about the religion. It was a war against the Habsburg hegemony, rather than a religious conflict caused by the religious means. The most illustrative example, participation of Catholic France in the Anti-Habsburg coalition. The Thirty years War was unique by the number of the countries and the states involved. The Habsburgs and their allies were composed by the Holy Roman Empire, so-called Catholic League of the small German states, Spain, Hungary, Kingdom of Croatia, Denmark-Norway for a certain time, but also Poland. Anti-Habsburg Coalition was much wider. The France was one of the main participants, United Provinces, Sweden, Spain, Denmark-Norway, Saxony, England, the Palatinate, and Germany, Prussia, Brunswick-Luneburg, and some other teeny German states were fighting on the sides of their Antl-Hasburg Coalition. The First World War, though it was fought only on the European grounds, this war has taken lots of victims. The population of many European countries decreased significantly, especially in Germany, which suffered most. But as every war, this war ended, and it is ended with the Peace of Westphalia, so far the biggest achievement of international diplomacy and the main foundation of the international law.

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