Article: When the state of nature prevails: a recent case study

This could be useful for discussing the purposes of government (in general) and the Hobbesian / Lockean argument for why government may be necessary for protecting the right to life (in particular), but also how the government itself can be a source of threats to rights. (The people wanted security guards to protect them from the “violent / aggressive family,” but then the guards appear to have themselves become abusive.) I think this is also an excellent illustration of how one doesn’t have to assume that all or even most people are naturally violent in order to conclude that a well-ordered government can significantly reduce violence. In this case, one family was violent, but this led everyone else to hide, acquiesce, or fight for themselves in order to be secure from the instigators. Given enough time, and without security guards, the otherwise non-violent cruise members may have concluded that “the best defense is a good offense,” and thus begun to act even more violently towards the instigators. This kind of security logic is a significant part of the analyses of violence (and its decline) by Stephen Pinker in Better Angels of Our Nature and, to a lesser extent, by Daniel Deudney in Bounding Power.

A Carnival cruise in the South Pacific descended into violent anarchy

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