Rousseau Comparison.doc

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Political Science
POL 1201
Elizabeth Beaumont

Discourse on Inequality and Social Contract Comparison Comparing Rousseau's "Discourse on Inequality" with his "Social Contract" • In "Discourse", Rousseau describes invention of current political society as a misleading and undesirable contract between people and rulers: ◦ The only reason people agreed to give up freedom and form a society under political rule was that they were told their rights, happiness, and property would be better protected. But Rousseau suggests this contract was a sham -- the wealthiest and most powerful members of society tricked the masses, and used the social contract to entrench and justify inequality as a permanent feature of society • In "Social Contract", Rousseau argues that legitimate political orders must be based on a special kind of social contract that emerges from and protects the rights and political equality of every citizen ◦ Emphas
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