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March 29 Lecture - Rousseau (Sovereign and Government)

Political Science
Course Code
Stefan Dolgert

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POLB71 March 29, 2011
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Example of a Spartan mother 5 sons in battle, sees messenger and asks if they were
- Man tells her that her 5 sons are dead but she gets mad and says that wasnt her
-He says yes they won and she thanks the gods
oThis is an example of a true citizen first question is about preservation of
the common good
Example 2: Pedaretes goes to Spartan council and wants to lead Sparta
-Council says they dont need him, he leaves the chamber and is ecstatic because it
means that there are 300 people in Sparta better than him
oThe republic is so well off that they have more competent people
oEcstatic to know the republic is in such good hands thats a citizen
State/Sovereign: The same thing but viewed from two different angles they both mean
all of the people together
-The Sovereign is when people are acting as legislators, making decisions
-People are the state when they are passive (subjects)
oAll people are both of these all of the citizens have a say but they must obey
the laws that they were involved in creating
oYou are a rule-maker and a rule follower
Prince/Government: Government is how we think of it now Rousseau means the
government is only the executive branch a smaller body of the people who administer the
rules decided by the Sovereign
-They are not legislators, have no independent authority, only of the people who
choose them
oCarry out tasks of the country
-The Prince is the specific individual/s who do the job of the government at any
specific time (can be 1/10/1000 people) the persons who are the actual governors
(change over time)
3 Basic Kinds of Government: Democracy, Aristocracy, Monarchy
-Refer only to the government the number of people who administer laws
Democracy: All of the people are all of the officials everyone is both a legislator and
executive (judge, officer, government job)
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