Social Contract Visualized

As my Graphic Guide to Conservatism nears completion, I came across the book cover below: Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes (1651).

The concept of Leviathan is that, in a state of nature, people were in a constant state of war. People then made a “social contract” — handing power to leaders in exchange for order and security.

Hobbes (or his publisher) was clearly a fan of visual communications. Note the little figures in the clothing of the king (see the high rez version). Also, notice how the artist divides the page in two to create a contrast — left representing state authority (war, crown, castle), and right representing spiritual authority (church, thunderclouds etc.)

Interesting how I use the same principles in my book (icons, contrast, visual allegories) more than 350 years later.

 

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