What Would Hobbes Say? The April Edition

Yes, I'm well aware that WWHS has been rather irregular lately. Even though I don't have a non-academic life (unlike E, who does have one), it's quite difficult to get things done. Things should be better after May when footy season ends (though, of course, there's Germany 2006 to look forward to this year)

So, what would Hobbes say about...

Doctor Who and the Leviathan (or, should that be Doctor Who as the Leviathan?) *

Well, readers of Hobbes know that he wrote the Leviathan to convince the British that it was a rather good idea to have a non-monarchical society after all. To do so, he needed to provide legitimacy to his Man (yes, it was a Man—I have seen the first edition of the Leviathan and its cover has a rather scary bloke with a moustache. Unless the women of those times were differently constructed, the Leviathan is definitely a Man) and he did this by making it the representative of the people.

So, who is the Leviathan? The Leviathan is an artificial Person. Artificial because he doesn't actually exist apart from those who he represents:

"A PERSON is he whose words or actions are considered, either as his own, or as representing the words or actions of another man, or of any other thing to whom they are attributed, whether truly or by fiction." (Leviathan, Chapter XVI)

Sound familiar? Well, consider the New New Doctor (henceforth to be called the Rather fanciable doctor, or RFD for short) in the Christmas Invasion

He is still confused about “what sort of a man I am” but, when a Villain tells him that he (RFD) is “this world's champion,” his reply is “I don't know who I am but you've just about summed me up.”

Even when RFD is not sure who he is (he's just regenerated after all—and doesn't have those ears anymore. It'd have been nice if RFD'd been ginger though—various PTSD fantasies involving red-headed blokes would have been fulfilled in one fell swoop), he knows that the Doctor represents the people of Earth. He defends them. He safeguards them from alien threats. When in times of trouble, the Doctor comes to help us out (no, it's not Mother Mary. Hobbes would agree with that part too—read his views on the Catholic church at the end of the Leviathan)

The thing is though, for Hobbes, the Leviathan is authored by the people so his actions are those of the people themselves (after they exchange their covenants with each other and then with the L).

“Of persons artificial, some have their words and actions owned by those whom they represent. And then the person is the actor, and he that owneth his words and actions is the author, in which case the actor acteth by authority.” (Leviathan, Chapter XVI)

This whole "exchange covenants" stuff is missing from the Doctor but it's pretty clear he considers himself the saviour of the (Earth) people. He fights for them. He tells (other) aliens that "Earth is defended" (XMas invasion again)

In the 3 episodes of the New New Doctor that I (through my supplier) have watched so far, RFD is called upon for help and then those who call him for help turn on him (Harriet Jones calling RFD "another alien threat"; Queen Victoria banishing the Doctor and Rose from "my Empire"). Hobbes, with his view of the State of Nature as a place of constant war and death, would be a good resource for the Doctor to bring up the next time this happens, as a warning to those who don't appreciate his work.

I could go on and on but will leave it at this for now. I've also got a post lined up on God and/in the Doctor (which this was supposed to be but it ran away from me when I started writing it. I hope that Doctor-as-Leviathan will link up the Doctor/God one)

* For purposes of keeping this post within a manageable (and readable in one go) length, "Doctor Who" shall refer mainly to the 3 episodes of the New New Doctor (RFD), with some references to the New Doctor (Big-eared Doctor or BED. Wait, that sounds rather odd. I'll leave it to E to suggest a name for the Ninth Doctor). Otherwise, this shall turn into a series of posts which will probably never be finished (based on the side conversations E and I have been having--maybe we should post those too?)


At 4/25/2006 9:17 AM, Anonymous serena said...

i think you have entirely too much time on your hands LOL

At 4/25/2006 11:52 AM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

How about the Doctor Who Made Me Like this Stupid Show? Or the One in the Leather Jacket? We could shorten it to OitLJ.

I'm hopeless at this. And hopped up on cold medicine. I'll try again when I'm not hacking all over my keyboard.


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