The Purity And Freedom Of Humans Essay

The Purity And Freedom Of Humans Essay

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While Rousseau praises the purity and freedom of humans in the state of nature, he favors civilization’s stage of development into the “hut society” stage and views contemporary society as a corruption of human virtue. Hut society significant inequality as people remained independent without the division of labor. Rousseau describes hut society as “A golden mean between the indolence of the primitive state and the petulant activity of our vanity” (150-151). He sees hut society as having the best of both worlds; limited in its vanity, but also enough so that people enjoy the company of others and are at least somewhat productive.
“This was the epoch of the first revolution, which produced the establishment and differentiation of families, and which introduced a sort of property” (146). These huts were the first stage of society, establishing the family unit and property. While this new idea of property was present, people stuck to their small huts and didn’t claim large swaths of land for themselves. The land was free and everyone enjoyed gathering goods from it equally. This development shifted the act of reproduction from “blind inclination, devoid of any sentiment of the heart, produced only an animal act” (142), to “the sweetest sentiments known to man: conjugal and paternal love” (146-147). People now shared strong emotional attachments, and shared in an entirely new emotion called love. Simple language began to develop as people started living closer together, and was spread to those that still lived in nature over a long period of time (148). With the establishment of property, people enjoyed the relative safety of their hut from nature. They also had yet to be concerned with vice that would later develop as a result of mo...

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...ress humanity has made at the expense of human virtue lead him to favor the “hut society” stage in the development of human civilization, even over the free and pure state of nature where humans began. He absolutely favors this stage over contemporary society for a multitude of reasons. These include the vanity and materialism promoted by other major enlightenment figures, as well as the rampant inequality in contemporary society. This inequality was the result of division of labor and property that required laws and powerful states to enforce them. Rousseau viewed hut society as a much more permanent state for humans than that of the state of nature, citing the existence of hut societies in his day. For Rousseau hut society, while it had its problems, still maintained much of the freedom and equality present in the state of nature making it the most appealing option.

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