The proper use and limits of governmental power have different implications for each theorist that we have studied. Some see its power as all-encompassing, while others see it as more narrow, controlled and regulated. For this essay, I chose to examine the philosophies of the theorists with whom I disagree with the least: Rousseau, Locke, and Rawls. One can always recall Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s famous line: “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.” This sentence expressed his opposition to the idea that individual should be forced to give up their natural rights to a king. His idea of political power is that which comes from a social contract, and is entered into by participants who desire protection of life, liberty, and property, while still maintaining a good amount of freedom.
Can the government force a citizen to be free? In The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau declares that it is not only possible for the government to do so, but also necessary under certain conditions. In this fashion, Rousseau expects complete obedience to the laws of the body politic. Though this concept is aimed at promoting the democratic principle of equality, it bestows the will of the community with a troubling degree of precedence over individual wills. For this, I argue that Rousseau’s idea of forcing citizens to be free is a dangerous notion.
Power to the people is needed to help balance the community and revolt against the government when overstepping on the people’s rights. Rousseau believed in having an government or... ... middle of paper ... ...ve to a master and relates it back to the relationship of subjects to a king. Rousseau’s ideal society is freedom, as stated before; he aspired to form a utopia by adopting laws to set boundaries. However, Rousseau did not put into perspective how the laws can be manipulated to go against a certain class of people if they overrule the majority. An example is America’s society today.
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In contrast, Rousseau believes men are born with the potential of goodness but the social systems in place propagate animosity. Despite the fact that Hobbes and Rousseau are both concerned with self-preservation, Hobbes supports the idea of an authoritarian regime ruling men in order to prevent a state of war, and Rousseau specifies that freedom consists in men giving themselves their own laws. Years later, many of the issues of inequality and questions of the nature of men are still relevant in our societies. Hobbes and Rousseau have deeply impacted the world of philosophy with their arguments and theories. Despite their differences, both dominant intellectual figures wrote these texts with the central aim to highlight the necessary conditions for the subsistence of a society and ideal governing body and
While not perfect, the Rousseau state allows for the people under the state to participate in the decision making process. Rousseau’s idea of government is more of a utopian idea and not really executable in the real world. Neither state, however, describes what a government or sovereign should expect from its citizens or members, but both agree on the notion that certain freedoms must be surrendered in order to improve the way of life for all humankind.
14 Nov. 2013. . "Wikia." Call of Duty Wiki. N.p., n.d. Web.
It is easier to describe what is not freedom, in the eyes of Rousseau and Marx, than it would be to say what it is. For Rousseau, his concept of freedom cannot exist so long as a human being holds power over others, for this is counter to nature. People lack freedom because they are constantly under the power of others, whether that be the tyrannical rule of a single king or the seething majority which can stifle liberty just as effectively. To be truly free, says Rousseau, there has to be a synchronization of perfect in... ... middle of paper ... ...ion with the general will. This may sound like a contradiction but, to Rousseau, the only way the body politic can function is by pursuing maximum cohesion of peoples while seeking maximum individuation.
The first principle is necessary in order to hold the rulers of the republic accountable to the people so that they cannot oppress the people because they are dependent on the people. Calhoun also advises that the people should be educated so that they know their rights and the in... ... middle of paper ... ...ention of abuse and oppression will occur. Calhoun on the other hand rejects the system of checks and balances and instead relies on the people of the society and government to compromise with all of the interests in society so that it is fair to both the majority and minority and neither side if oppressed. In conclusion, while Calhoun and Madison hold similar ideas for the solution of oppression and the abuse of powers by government officials or the majority, Calhoun’s constitutional government provides the better system to protect society because it relies more on a system of compromise which better represents the interests of all people in society. Also, the government is directly affected by the people so that the people can determine who rules them, so it is less likely for one ruler to abuse their power since there power depends on the decisions of the people.