Jean Jacques Rousseau Legitimate Government

930 Words 4 Pages
Many well known philosophers have their own belief about legitimate governments. Jean Jacques Rousseau, a well know philosopher strongly believes that a legitimate government consists of general will. According to Rousseau every “man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” By chains, Rousseau is referring to the social restrain caused by illegitimate and inadequate governments. These words are evident in “On the Social Contract” where Rousseau expresses concern towards the government and whether it is legitimate or the man of society in reality is held captive by his government. Rousseau considers a legitimate government to be one that “defends and protects with all common forces the person and goods of each associate, and, by means …show more content…
The general will benefits everyone in society and takes the publics view into consideration. Voting in the government and assembly of people is a criterion of the general will. It requires you to perform a duty in public affairs and a true government can only exist if all of its members contribute. Rousseau believes that the government should have minimal power, while the members of society influence what occurs. The general will “is always constant, unalterable, and pure: but it is subordinate to other wills that prevail over it.” Since a monarchy is based on the private interest of the ruler, it may be difficult to identify the general will in that society. In a society, Rousseau believes that every man is obligated to vote and voice his opinion, which falls under the general will category. There are two types of wills, the general and the private will. Under the general will, people vote in a deliberative democracy and members of the society vote for what they believe is beneficial for the general will and public. This procedure permits everyone being treated fairly in society but the method is fallible because of the natural greed of human beings. Under the private will, members vote in a private democracy and vote for what they believe is best for them. This procedure is infallible and is the only way to satisfy everyone …show more content…
All the members of the community are expected to gather in the assembly of the people and vote on behalf of the general will. When a law is proposed in the assembly, the public is asked whether they agree with the proposition and whether it conforms the general will, then they vote and voice their opinion. The difference of a single vote breaks a tie vote in the assembly and a single opponent destroys a unanimous vote. The vote of the majority prevails and obligates all

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