Mountains Beyond Mountains

Hobbesian Theory in Mountains Beyond Mountains

Thesis: Outside influences such as the environment, political corruption, and widespread disease may cause us prescribe to Hobbesian theory. However, because the efforts of Paul Farmer and his staff outlined in Kidder’s book Mountains Beyond Mountains, there is proof that we are, in actuality, a post-Hobbesian society.
Thomas Hobbs believed that people are naturally individualistic. Hobbesian theory is often used to describe our current sociological norms. However, in reading Tracey Kidder’s biography of Dr. Paul Farmer in Mountains Beyond Mountains one will find that the world is made up of people who do not simply focus on themselves. Often, people put themselves before others and in turn change entire cultures. This is apparent through the work of Farmer and his coworkers at the Partners in Health organization. Through his dedication to helping those less fortunate, he has found a way to “lend a voice to the voiceless” (74) and give hope to Haiti - something that is completely contradictory to Hobbesian theory. Our current society uses negative images of individualism such as Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme to falsely have us assume that we are Hobbesian peoples. Farmer is an example of a post-Hobbesian individual living in a Hobbesian world.
      It is easy to assume that our current society prescribes to Hobbesian theory. However, in reality it is simply that we highlight the individualistic aspects of society. There are several examples within the book to show the Hobbesian influence on the world: the environment, political corruption, and widespread disease.
      First, the environment is an obvious factor of how people (especially in Haiti) are forced to be individualistic.   With obvious geographic borders such as mountains blocking their opportunity to interact with others, Haitians are limited to interaction with their family and town. A prime example of the challenge that the...