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Q: Political philosophy: civil order and "false government" ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Political philosophy: civil order and "false government"
Category: Relationships and Society > Government
Asked by: artym-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 09 Jun 2006 02:29 PDT
Expires: 09 Jul 2006 02:29 PDT
Question ID: 736635
I have been trying for ages to source the quote:  "Man is not the
natural enemy of man but by the instrument of a false government." 
Just struck me as a great quote and one I'd very much like to cite in
some current research (about the political perils of over-hasty
regulation) but I can't justify using it unless I have a proper

Heard it originally in a TV drama-documentary about Machiavelli; I do
recall that it was on the BBC2 "Arena" drama strand, about 17 years
ago, and I think it starred Tim Curry, but can't recall the
programme's title.  However, it seems that the quote was not
apparently said or written anywhere by Machiavelli himself as far as I
can find.  Some later political philosopher?  (Burke? Voltaire?
Bentham? Payne? - no luck with search engines or books on these so
far.  Maybe the original BBC scriptwriter or producer out there could

Happy to give fair (plus a bit) reward for first verifiably correct answer.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 09 Jun 2006 14:07 PDT

I found this quote in only one place, and it is attributed to Hobbes,
but did not cite a specific work.

I searched Hobbes' works, and did not find the quote.

I'm guessing that an unattriuted reference to Hobbes wouldn't quite
fit your need for a proper citation, so I'll keep looking, and let you
know what turns up.

Let me know what you think.

Subject: Re: Political philosophy: civil order and "false government"
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 09 Jun 2006 14:18 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Well what do you know!  

I found it...slightly modified, but definitely the quote you're
looking for, and by none other than Mr. Thomas Paine:
Thomas Paine, 1737-1809
The Rights of Man
Part The First
Being An Answer To Mr. Burke's Attack On The French Revolution

"Man is not the enemy of man, but through the medium of a false system
of Government..."

The site I mentioned earlier that attributes the quote to Hobbes is here:

but as I said, the quote it not specifically referenced, and I saw no
such quote in a search of Hobbes' works

I trust this information fully answers your question, but if there's
anything else I can do for you, just let me know by posting a Request
for Clarification, and I'm at your service.



Search strategy -- Searched both Google and for:  [ "false government" ]

Request for Answer Clarification by artym-ga on 26 Jun 2006 08:39 PDT
No clarification needed, this is great thanks.  As this is the first
time I have posted on this service, what do I do now to look after
your account?

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 26 Jun 2006 08:49 PDT

Thanks so much for checking in.  There's nothing you need do at this
point.  Once I posted an answer, your account was automatically
charged the fee you offered.

You have an option for rating the answer on a scale of 1-5 stars. 
Feel free to do so, if the spirit moves you.  If not, we're finished
for now, but I certainly hope to see you back at Google Answers one of
these days.


artym-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Spot on, plus a useful onward reference.  Thank you.

There are no comments at this time.

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