When the Robots Rise

IN LEVIATHAN, Thomas Hobbes observes:

“Nature hath made men so equal, in the faculties of the body, and mind; as that though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in body, or of quicker mind than another; yet when all is reckoned together, the difference between man, and man, is not so considerable, as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit, to which another may not pretend as well as he.”

This peculiar thought—that, in the most important respects, and despite their manifest differences, all men are equal—has laid the intellectual foundation for democracy’s unlikely triumph.