Rousseau is of the view that general will is the sum of differences of specific individual interests. It is in the best interest of everyone e.g. personal interests are often benefited at the expense of other people’s collective interests. Therefore if this individuality is cancelled out entirely then all citizens within a society can enjoy freedom. By subjugating our desires for the betterment of nation, voluntarily embracing the society’s administration as our own, freedom can be achieved which will make us more rational and moral (Rousseau 26).
Under the social contract, Rousseau is in favour of alienated totality of all rights within the society. By exchanging innate freedom with civil independence we are able to maintain equality between all members of society. When the community rights surpass individual rights a sovereign state comes into being. “Finally, each man, in giving himself to all, gives himself to nobody: and as there is no associate over which he does not acquire the same right as he yields others over himself, he gains an equivalent for everything he loses, and an increase of force for the preservation of what he has” (Rousseau 24).
In his book, the social contract Rousseau envisages sovereign as a collective effort of all citizens. Through continued collaboration they form the state principles and general will for common good. According to him the government and sovereign are in constant friction that may result in a diminishing society but healthy nations never give up and last for ages to come e.g. the Roman realm. Everyone is free to practise their own beliefs in privacy but a public religion established by the state is preferred that favors active citizenship. In his ideology citizens are not forced but motivated to affirm to the community for their own mutual interest.
His main aim is to seek how freedom can develop in a civil society in