The Social Contract, And Shares Jean Jacques Rousseau 's View On The Balance Between Freedom And Confinement

1060 Words Sep 21st, 2015 null Page
“Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains” (Rousseau). This apparent paradox was the first sentence in The Social Contract, and shares Jean Jacques Rousseau’s thoughts on the balance between freedom and confinement, which we will see as an ongoing theme throughout the book. In other words, Rousseau theorizes about the best way to establish a political community while addressing the flaws of a government that implements natural authority and force. Rousseau’s political views can be best described as the natural goodness of humanity. From reading a few excerpts from The Social Contract, it is clear that Rousseau is trying to establish how freedom can be attained in a civil society. To do this, he traces back freedom to the state of nature. This leads me to understand that Rousseau differs from Thomas Hobbes and John Locke who believe that there should be a transformation of men from the state of nature to a civil society. Rousseau, on the other hand, supports men in the state of nature, which allows them to only have natural differences and not political, social, or economical ones. Because of his perspective on man’s state of nature, Rousseau sees force as incredibly flawed. Thus, leading to his point that power is not right, unless it transfers obedience into duty, and strength into right. If a society was based on the relative term of strength, people with more power will claim throne and the legitimacy of authority is inaccurate. This perspective relates back to…

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