THE PRISONERS DILEMMA IN SOCIAL CONTRACT THEORY The social contract theory was advanced by Hobbes basing his theory on the idea that naturally people would feel frightened by the social or natural phenomenon. This did not imply that Hobbes believed that people are highly strung by all forms of nervous wrecks, neither were people feeling terrified of their shadows. Hobbes simply implied that naturally, human beings are naturally and rationally averse to danger. He therefore had atomistic view concern the natural state of man. In is argument, he maintained his theory that in every state of nature, people are basically isolated from one another, with few instances of collision and reactions against one another. The states of nature with no organization structures within the civil society are defined by “"solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short" (Binmore 56). Hobbes reaction of individuals in the society with no social institutions and with natural states is further backed by the “Prisoner’s Dilemma” which also defines the behavior of individuals in the society in its natural state. This theory is founded on the individualism powers in the society. According to the prisoner’s dilemma theory, everyone in the society is after achieving personal interest and thus more individualistic and self-fish. This makes the society less productive that it would have been had all the individual been willing to cooperate for the benefit of the society as a whole. A perfect example is that of ‘free rider’ in the society. Free rider problem is presented in case of public goods which are non-rival and non-excludability. Therefore, once provided, the cost of excluding others from consuming it would even be more expensive. This makes some people (free rider) to take advantage and consume the goods without paying to them, hence making the provision of such goods more costly (Binmore 59).
According to Hobbes, the most preferred and rational states of nature in a civil society are cooperation and aversion of the natural societal state. Every society that breeds individualism ends up losing on its development course because of the self-seeking nature of the people in such society. According to Hobbes, individuals utilize their rational and natural impulse to engage in social contracts as a way of avoiding the fear brought about by the state of nature. This involves giving up on the right to self-governance. Self-right is traded for sovereign at the expense of the society. Sovereignty comes with authority and power that members of the society are expected to obey whether the sovereign power is vested on a ruling body or an individual (Binmore 61). This is because it is such sovereign powers and authority vested in a person that keeps off the degeneration of the society into a state of nature. The sovereign therefore becomes the only authorized personality in the civil society with the power to decide on the best course of action for the entire generation while the rest give their due by obeying the decisions of the sovereign representatives. Although the system may be autocratic, Hobbes argues that, just like other members of the society, sovereign is determined and eager and also cautious to avoid any state of nature, hence would always act in the interest of the majority (Binmore 65).
Work Cited
Binmore, Ken. Game Theory and the Social Contract: 2. Cambridge, Mass: The MIT Press, 2008: 56-65. Print.

You may also like

Publication Bans

A public bank can be issued if it is necessary

Whether Royal Prerogative Powers Are Unnecessary

There is near consensus amongst the members of Parliament and

Observation Riding Public Transportation

And whether or not they are rich or poor people