In the Social Contract, Rousseau discusses the idea of forced freedom. “Whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be constrained to do so by the entire body; which means nothing other than that he shall be forced to be free” (Rousseau, SC, Bk 1. Ch. 7). This forced freedom is necessary for a government that is run by the people and not a small group of few to one sovereign(s). For forced freedom allows a difference of opinions but the outcome is the idea with the greatest acceptance. Because political rule requires the consent of the ruled, the citizens of the state are required to take action within their community. The action within the community will allow the state to see the general will of the people. The general will creates laws within the state, that reflect the people’s thoughts and beliefs that move towards a common good for all citizens.
I will now argue that forced freedom allows generally accepted ideas to become laws. Generally accepted ideas are called the general will. The general will allows citizens to vote not with themselves in mind, but the well-being of the entire state and its peo...
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...eligion knows no constraint, there are many types of religions within one state. Rousseau’s idea are only viable if the state has one religion.
In conclusion, a man can be forced to be free if his views are contrary to the general will. First, I outlined my arguments about why being forced to be free is necessary. My arguments supporting Rousseau’s ideas included; generally accepted ideas, government responsibility, and responsibility to the government. Second, I entertained the strongest possible counterargument against forced freedom, which is the idea that the general will contradicts itself by forcing freedom upon those who gain no freedom from the general will. Lastly, I rebutted the counterargument by providing evidence that the general will is always in favor of the common good. In this paper I argued in agreement Rousseau that we can force people to be free.
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