Pure monopolies are rare (partly because most monopolies are illegal) but there are local or regional businesses that
come close to being monopolies and there are regulated monopolies that provide goods or services but with limitations on
their ability to set price. Give examples of each type, a neat-monopoly and a regulated monopoly and suggest how their
monopoly power; that is, the lack of competition, affects the prices they charge and the service they provide.
Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) who is considered by some to be the greatest English political philosopher defended the need for an absolute sovereign, a ruler who would have unlimited powers of rule and punishment, he based his belief by imagining what life in the state of nature would be like and he supposed that life in this state would be ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short’ .Hobbes based this idea on his theory of human nature, he believed that all human beings seek to satisfy their desires moreover since there is no sum mum bonum or highest good for men but rather a constant succession of appetites, what each human being most wants is not any particular thing but the generalized capacity to satisfy new desires as they emerge: ‘to assure forever, the way of his future desire’ (Leviathan:47). Conflict can arise from any attempt by humans to satisfy their desires for they may go to any lengths to do so and in the state of nature there are no moral limits to men’s action: ‘The notions of Right and Wrong, Justice and Injustice have there no place’ and they may kill another for anything they deem necessary to their life. Dawkins (1989) tends to agree with Hobbes, he also sees human nature as selfish, and he claims that selfishness is contained in every gene even though everyone has distinctive genes. Dawkins goes on to say that competitive behavior is programmed biologically. Nevertheless Dawkins differs from Hobbes because he stresses that it makes more sense if people join forces for mutual benefit. However just because a gene contains a selfishness streak does not mean that the individual will be selfish. Hobbes (Cited in Hampsher-Monk (1992) claims that the only naturally occurring authority that exists is that of a mother over her child and this link only prospers because the child is much weaker than the mother and its survival depends on the mother. This type of connection does not exist between adult human beings, although Hobbes does accept that some human beings possess more strength than others, although every human being has the ablity to kill another. ‘Even the strongest must sleep ; even the weakest might persuade others to help him to kill another’ (Leviathan, xiii.1-2) furthermore because adults are equal in this capacity to threaten each other’s lives, Hobbes claims that there is no natural source of authority to order their lives together. Hobbes main argument for an absolute sovereign was that any type of government is better than the State of Nature, a condition where people are forced into contact with each other in the absence of a superior authority. A condition of ‘war of every man against every man’ (Leviathan, ch. 13). Hobbes gave three explanations why life in a state of nature would mean a state of war, where people would always be in a continual readiness to fight. Firstly there would be no production and this in turn would mean there would be limited resources; people would have to take by force the possessions they require from others. Secondly people would attack first as a way of defending themselves. Lastly people would just attack others just to gain a reputation for being strong so as to put off others. The result of all this would be hostility between people and there would be no trust. Underlying the state of nature is the struggle for survival and fear of death and to counter these conditions people must use the dictates of reason and voluntarily join together forming a collective union supported by a social contract. Hobbes places great weight on contracts and he often speaks of covenants, by which he means a contract where one person performs his part of the agreement later than the other. In a state of nature such arrangements would not work because only the weakest will have good reason to fulfill the second part of a covenant and then only if the stronger person is watching over them. One opposition to this is that are people not able to behave in a fair and honest way? Even where there is no government giving laws. This objection assumes that people possess a basic sense of morality and believes that all this would overcome the greed, attacks and defensive fighting that Hobbes talks about. Hobbes makes two declarations the first is to do with our duties in the state of nature that is the ‘right of nature’, the second involves the risks posed by people’s differing beliefs of what is right and wrong. Hobbes definition of the right of nature is the entitlement to save our own lives by any means possible, he goes on to say that the most terrible thing that can befall us is a brutal death caused by others. Hobbes continues by saying that we have a right to decide what will save our lives. He goes further by saying that in a state of nature we have a right to everything ‘even to one another’s body’ (Leviathan, xiv.4). His argument seems to be a bit extreme at this point, but if a person decides that they require something for example the death of another person or their labor to make sure that they can survive, in a state of nature there exists no influence to judge these actions as right or wrong. However Hobbes believes that human beings are able to adhere to some principles which are not found in religion but can in some ways be paired with religion. In (Leviathan,xiv.4) the first law commands that >