Essay on Rousseau 's Views On The Social Contract

930 Words Nov 18th, 2014 4 Pages
Many well known philosophers have their own belief about legitimate governments. Jean Jacques Rousseau, a well know philosopher strongly believes that a legitimate government consists of general will. According to Rousseau every “man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” By chains, Rousseau is referring to the social restrain caused by illegitimate and inadequate governments. These words are evident in “On the Social Contract” where Rousseau expresses concern towards the government and whether it is legitimate or the man of society in reality is held captive by his government. Rousseau considers a legitimate government to be one that “defends and protects with all common forces the person and goods of each associate, and, by means of which, each one, while uniting with all, nevertheless obeys only himself and remains as free as before.” Rousseau argues that a legitimate government shouldn’t compel by force, but ought to be supported by a duty to obey. Everything in society starts with the assembly and leads to a genuine government. According to Rousseau, the right to vote in an assembly leads to the legitimate government. Rousseau searches for the legitimate rule and believes that governments who express the segments of the General Will are genuine and legitimate.
The central idea presented in “On the Social Contract” is the search for the legitimate rule. Rousseau is “taking men as they are and laws as they might be.” He will always try that inquiry in order to…

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