Essay about Jean Jacques Rousseau 's Ideal Society

1251 Words 6 Pages
When examining the question of whether John Rawls would consider Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s ideal society in the Social Contract fair, it is important to not only understand Rousseau’s ideal society more closely, but also understand what Rawls defines as being fair. First, the society that Rousseau proposes as the ideal one is based off of his concept of the nature of men. Men are born free and it is society that enslaves them, therefore, the goal of his ideal society is one that protects the people while also maintaining them as free as they were in nature. While to many philosophers maintaining security means renouncing some of an individual’s freedom, Rousseau believes that society can have one without the expense of the other. This only happens with the collective grouping of all people entering into a civil society with a unified will, where everyone is equal because they have given themselves entirely to the society. The “general will,” as it is referred to as, is the collective need of all to provide for the common good of all. The “general will’s” function in Rousseau’s ideal society is to inform the creation of the laws of the society. The sovereign, referred to by Rousseau, is formed wholly by the individuals who compose it. Therefore, the sovereign has no interest contrary to the individuals and uses its power to protect the individuals because “it is impossible for the body to wish to hurt all its members” (Rousseau 100). Accordingly, the security is promoted while…

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