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A covenant not to defend myself from force by force is always void. For ... no man can transfer or lay down his Right to save himself. For the right men have by Nature to protect themselves, when none else can protect them, can by no Covenant be relinquished. ... [The right] to defend ourselves [is the] summe of the Right of Nature.
Thomas Hobbes (more quotes by Thomas Hobbes or books by/about Thomas Hobbes)
(1588-1679) English philosopher, political theorist
Leviathan 88, 95 (reprint 1964) (1651)