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POL 2108 A - Modern Political Thought I - Guy Côté - 23 Mar. 25.docx

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Political Science
Guy- Serge Cote

POL 2108 A - Modern Political Thought I - Guy Côté - 23 Mar. 25 Rousseau • General will - his most contested concept in his theory on the social contract, most misunderstood - not based on a consensus, a compilation/sum of individual interests, etc. - his general will goes above, transcendent of society - it’s something that is inherent in everyone > eliminates the idea of any particular interest - this is nonetheless at the centre of the SC and the role of the government - Even the government is under the general will, and the government has no individual interest. • Promotes the idea of a universal justice, which comes from God and isn’t rational - it is based on reciprocity • Promotes God as a concept of love, but justice - revolutionary idea - Justice is a part of one’s moral code • In his idea of the social contract, It’s impossible to have the common good if people have individual interests, since interests always clash with each other. Therefore, the best way to live in a society is to have citizens lacking individual interest. • He despises the idea of private property. He likes the common. His idea of the SC is basically how the community exists. The entire community owns everything, and the society cannot be divided in any way. If one tried to separate himself apart, that would mean he has private interest, and again, Rousseau wants to remove private interest to remove inequalities, and private interest is represented by private property. - The government regulates equal space for everyone - Criticism includes Rousseau removing individual freedom, though he would probably respond again that people need to give up some of the individual freedom for the society - This comes back to the idea of Hobbes’ Leviathan • The government may fool the citizens into thinking some things are good when they’re not as good as they’re claiming, but not intentionally. The government may indeed think what they’re doing is in the general will, when in actually it’s in their private interest. Nonetheless, the government is part of the SC and trie
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