Rousseau and The Republican Party

Powerful Essays
Rousseau and The Republican Party

The Republican Party, since its first convention in Michigan in 1854, has had a philosophy that has remained relatively unchanged. Its oath entices Americans to believe that "good government is based on the individual and that each person's ability, dignity, freedom and responsibility must be honored and recognized"

In this essay, I will examine the Republican's main philosophies and will describe how Rousseau would agree or disagree with their position. I will be using the Republican Platform of 1996 to aid in my discussion. Ideas that will be of focus will be the role of the government, property rights, and freedom of the individual.

The Role of the Government

"We are the party of small, responsible and efficient government... We therefore assert the power of the American people over government, rather than the other way around".

The view of the Republicans across the Nation is that the role of government should be kept to a minimum. In this section, I will discuss certain views of the Party and how they would be accepted or rejected by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The Republican notion has been that less government is better. Rousseau's notion was that of extrication. He states that the fundamental political problem is "to find a form of association that defends and protects the person and the goods of each associate with all the common force, and by means of which each one uniting with all, nevertheless obeys only himself and remains as free as before" (Cahn, 367). The Republicans would agree with Rousseau's idea. They (Republican Party) state that the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution should be the basis for the role of government...

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...s of government. They were based on certain principles that would make each one run effectively. The criteria of size and population mattered just as importantly as anything else that has been discussed. He would probably think that the United States was not best ran in a democratic structure due to its size and the diversity of its population. The Republican Party, contrary to Rousseau's claim, believes that the form of government is not the problem, but how that government has been ran ineffectively. They continue by stating that their philosophy has been to let government, by which its people are free, run without intervention of it's representatives. Those people, who represent, should follow the laws that are made for the protection of citizens.

Works Cited

Cahn, Steven M. Classics of Modern Political Theory. Oxford University Press. New York. 1997
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