For the past 288 days, Spain has ran without a government offering a glimpse of what life without government could look like. They’ve had two elections within the past six months where no party has won enough seats to form a government with an impending election this coming December.
Leaders of parties have stepped down, warning that if nothing is done then Spain could become utter chaos; an argument that Hobbes couldn’t help but make a few centuries ago.
Hobbes makes an argument that it is mutually beneficial for us to agree to give up some liberty for the structure of society; that we have a ‘social contract’. He defines social contract as a mutual transfer of our right to do whatever we want.
Now that Spain has caught a glimpse of a life with limited (but essentially, for the time being without) government, they don’t want to give it up. The country is still able to function properly because the budget hasn’t expired (and it will just renew in the coming year). There are no unpaid officials, public transportation hasn’t shut down, there is no uncollected garbage.
Though there seems to be pros to the situation at hand, there are many cons that play under the surface. There is no legislation being proposed, no international affairs debates, funding for government projects is frozen, and nationalist movements continue to escalate in the Basque and Catalonia regions.
Could Hobbes be wrong with his thinking? Spain seems to be surviving from the past 9 months without an established government, but like many things in life, only time will be able to tell the fate of their country.
What should be interesting though is the theory of social contract that Hobbes proposes because will too much power be handed over to the people (and perhaps fall to the wrong people) or will there be able to be an “anarchist” way of life where liberty doesn’t have to be given up?
I think Hobbes (and the rest of the world) will be very interested to see how the Spanish situation plays because are the Spaniards essentially playing ‘the fool’?