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Rousseau's Political Philosophy - Book Report/Review Example

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Rousseau's Political Philosophy

Accordingly Rousseau wants freedom and social equality in society although refutes these are innate. Somewhat he craves civil liberty and equality be accorded by the state. The rights people have are the ones they have in the society, to which people give all their natural liberty and equality when they joined it.
Rousseau's society relies upon public enthusiasm, in contrast with Locke and Smith for whom the most significant part of Life was personal. Generally Rousseau is in disagreement with personal liberalism and materialism.
The concept of a General Will was the theory behind the strength of the Social Contract. In this concept political society is seen as involving the complete subjugation of every individual to the General Will of the whole. The difficulty is finding out what the General Will is: for Rousseau it is not the same as the desires of mainstream majority, somewhat it is what is in their best interests. As a consequence, Rousseau said some Legislator should identify the command of heaven to get his law approved. People should be at liberty as the aim was to build a better human being.
Modern Anglo-American law, similar to European civil law, is based on a will theory of contract, in relation to which all terms of a contract are binding on the parties since they chose those terms for themselves.
However the idea of the General Will, which is not the same as majority vote, has supported those who have faith in Vanguards of Revolution, and provides an outline for dictatorship in its modern sense. It has true dictatorial implications, particularly the concept that the people may not know their own will.
Rousseau's Legacy
Rousseau's concepts were powerful at the time of the French Revolution nevertheless, since collective sovereignty was implemented through legislative body rather than directly, it cannot be said that the Revolution was in any sense a realization ...Show more


Rousseau (1712-78) born in Geneva of a poorer background. His mother died in consequence of his delivery and he had a lot of psychosis. He appears to have been cynical, and afterward in life he dealt with his children very roughly.
In 1741, Rousseau settled in Paris and became interested with the philosophies…
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Rousseaus Political Philosophy essay example
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