Politics and Jean Rousseau

Politics and Jean Rousseau

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Politics and Jean Rousseau


I think that the social theorist, Jean Rousseau, would have been the strongest supporter of equal rights. In the "The Social Contract," wrote that man was naturally good but becomes corrupted by the pernicious influence of human society and institutions. He preached a mankind improved by returning to nature and living a natural life at peace with his neighbors and himself. He claims to be in favor of democracy, but what he really favors is social equality.
In a civil society there is an agreement among such men in the state of nature which sets the conditions for doing so, an agreement which every man must enter into before becoming a member of society thereafter. Rousseau's agreement is not like the social contracts of previous social contract thinkers, who thought that it was one between the individual and an abstract "society." There would be a general understanding among the participants upon entering into this contract, the General Will, an entity to which all individuals were to surrender their natural liberty to in order for all wills to "fuse" into one will. The future rulings of this General Will would be final, for it was to be the sovereign power of the society, an entity which would be "absolute," "sacred," and inviolable.
Rousseau never points out as to how such a task was to be carried out, because he considered any form of government as secondary to its importance
So on the issue of women's rights, I do believe that Jean Rousseau would have supported equality for women. Giving them the same rights that a man has, in every place in society. That a women should have equal rights in getting a job, to equal rights when taking part in national agendas, such as voting.
As for civil rights, Jean Rousseau stressed, Since no man has a natural authority over his fellow, and force creates no right, we must conclude that conventions form the basis of all legitimate authority among men. In saying this, he believed that every man has equal natural rights from every other man. He states that men are born equal, but some are born into a well off rich life. While others are born into a middle class/ lower class way life. But that does not make anyone of them lesser then the other.

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Resulting in every man has one equal say then the next standing next to him, regardless of class, race or religion.
As of the issue of gay rights, I do think that the Rousseau would have supported gay rights. The way he would have seen the fight for gay rights, is the same as he would have seen the Fight for black rights, they both want what is theirs by law, their natural given rights. The rights that any civil society grants their civilians.
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