Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) might best be described as a preliberal, or perhaps a protoliberal, thinker. The main features of liberalism are to be found in his Leviathan (1651), particularly in the imaginary “state of nature,” but his conclusions are seldom considered liberal. In the following excerpts from Leviathan, Hobbes invites his readers to imagine a world without laws, police, courts, and prisons—a world of “perfect” liberty and equality—and then goes on to show “scientifically” that such a world would be nothing less than a “war of every man against every man.” Thus, he concluded, rational, self-interested people would have every reason to enter into a “social contract” in which they put themselves under the almost-unlimited authority of a sovereign ruler.