Sociology BA LLB for Sociology Notes

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Detail theory of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  • “Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.“
  • His most famous works are Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men (AKA The Second Discourse) & The Social Contract.
  • Believed that humans are born inherently good. He coined the term “Nobel Savage”.
  • However, once the idea of private property was introduced mankind experienced a “fall from grace”.
  • Individuals with many possessions saw that it would be in their best interest to create a government to protect their possessions.
  • How can we be free and live together? Or, put another way, how can we live together without succumbing to the force and coercion of others?
  • We can do so, Rousseau maintains, by submitting our individual wills to the collective or general will, created through agreement with other free and equal persons.
  • All men are made by nature to be equals, therefore no one has a natural right to govern others, and therefore the only justified authority is the authority that is generated out of agreements or covenants.
  • Rousseau advocates the strictest form of Direct Democracy.

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