Rousseau's General Will Analytical Essay by seven

Rousseau's General Will
Discusses Jean-Jacques Rousseau's theory on general will in relation to sovereignty.
# 51972 | 870 words | 1 source | MLA | 2004 | CA

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Rousseau's concept of general will supposes to be for the individual. By entering into a social contract, man wouldn?t simply submit himself under the power of a sovereign; rather he would submit himself to become part of the sovereign. Each citizen would have a voice in this "organic society", which could be viewed as a living person whose interest was the protection of itself. The paper examines, however, whether the general good really is determined by the general will. It also examines how we can remain free if we subject ourselves to the will of others with whom we disagree.

From the Paper:

"Rousseau contends that modern states restrain the natural freedom, and do not secure the civil freedom for the sake of which we enter into civil society. Rousseau's insistence that "man is naturally good, and only by institutions is he made bad", does not mean that man must abandon social institutions all together. He must remold them in such way to realize a just, free and ordered society. The people in expression of the autonomy should make all laws. Rousseau envisions a society that would embody all of the freedoms man had in the state of nature yet one which would allow him to grow intellectually. "Find a form of association that defends and protects the person and goods of each associate with all the common force, and by means of which each one, uniting with all, nevertheless obeys only himself and remains as free as before" (164). This unit of all citizens is the "sovereign," and should be considered in many ways to be like an individual person. While each individual has a particular will that aims for his own best interest, the sovereign expresses the general will that aims for the common good."

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