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To start, one must analyze the model of undivided sovereignty. Hobbes’s argument for the state is that at some point, constituents of society made a contract amongst themselves to surrender most of their natural right up to a single man, the monarch, establishing a sovereign power in their newly formed commonwealth (Hobbes 110). By permutation, children must obey the sovereign because they are subject to their parents by the natural law, meaning subjection to the sovereign power passes on from one generation to the next (Hobbes 127-35). What constitutes a commonwealth is a group of individuals and their progeny, who are all subject to the sovereign power. This, however, begs the question of exactly what constitutes the sovereign power, since natural right can be forfeited in both different ways and in varying degrees.Hobbes provides two answers to this question, the latter directly expanding upon the former. The first is that Hobbes defines, albeit vaguely, that sovereignty is an entity bearing the “person” (Hobbes 105-110) of those subject thereto. Second, he argues in a more concrete manner, that sovereignty is the extensive set of powers to make laws, reward and punish subjects arbitrarily, choose counselors and ministers, establish and enforce class distinctions, judge controversies, wage war and make peace, and so on (Hobbes 113-15). Hobbes claims that by giving up their “person” to the sovereign, subjects forfeit the right to make moral judgments because every act of the sovereign is ostensibly performed by the subjects. The monarch becomes the sole, absolute judge of “whatsoever he shall think necessary to be done, both beforehand…and, when peace and security are lost, for the recovery of the same” and “what opinions and doctrines are averse, and what conducing, to peace” (Hobbes 113). In other words, citizens may never criticize the sovereign, since subjects surrender their very ability to judge whether the sovereign power is acting towards the goals for which they established it.


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