The Social Contract By Jean Jacques Rousseau Essay example

The Social Contract By Jean Jacques Rousseau Essay example

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The Social Contract was written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau was a philosopher, writer, and composer during the 18th century. In his book, The Social Contract, he theorized the best way to create a political community. The “social contract” is an agreement in the way an individual enters society; people place restraints on their behavior to be able to live in a community. As a result, people gain the freedom of thinking rationally and morally. He believes the only way to become fully human is by entering the “social contract”.
“Man was born free, and everywhere he is in chains”, Rousseau says to open up the book. The “chains” are restrictions on the people’s freedom. He believes that in nature there is no political authority, and the only real authority is the father’s authority on his kids. This is where Rousseau’s social contract comes into play; he suggests the only valid political authority is entering into the social contract. Other people began to disagree with Rousseau by saying that there should be an agreement between the king and his people, where the people would surrender their freedom sort of as if they were slaves. Rousseau states that there is no way to surrender one’s freedom fairly. When we give up our freedom, we also give up our morality and our humanity. Rousseau also says, “Self-preservation is the first law of human nature, our first cares are those we owe ourselves.” In a way this quote is very similar to the one above because both of them state that, as a man, you are free. When he says, “self-preservation is the first law of human nature”, he is saying that once a boy becomes a man or has reached the age of reason, he becomes his own master. Again people disagree with that statement and say there sho...


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...s and ideas of the church and state instead of just one. Lastly, the third kind of religion contradicts itself. It sets up civil and religious laws that end up inhibiting the correct exercise of any kind of law. Rousseau recommends that the first two laws should in a way be conjoined. The people should be free to worship whatever they want but should still pledge commitment to civil religion. By doing this, he believes it would lessen or even prevent problems between citizens of different religions.
Throughout the book Rousseau emphasizes the freedom of men and the state being the main government. He believes that people should be able to live their own lives to a certain extent. As long as they do not commit wrong doings, all men are under their own control. The state can intervene when a citizen does something to affect the public, other than that, men are free.


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