Poly Sci 10/01/2013
The Social Contract
Written in 1762
Rousseau’s State of Nature
People are naturally good (to Rousseau)
People are equal
People are not naturally moral or ethical
For morality to make sense, it must be in respect to other people and people must come together in
community to have ethics
Famous for speaking in paradoxes
“Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains.”
“Man becomes a soldier only after he becomes a citizen.”
Land more precious/valuable and something to be possessed.
When people begin to own private property and collect money, government protected the rich and made
everyone else unequal and subservient.
The type of social contract signed at that point then enhances vices, not virtue.
Two ways to behave:
Amour de soi – self respect; often translate as conscience
Amour propre – vanity; hateful & angry passions
Demands that people like you more than self, which hurts and humiliates neighbor.
Everything Locke wanted to happen did happen, but it didn’t result in the better community/society
Big critic of Laissez Faire – leads to amour propre
Wants a society where people are not each other’s victims Law must be applied equally to everyone
Laws that reason teaches us are just conscience leads us to obey