Saturday, June 1, 2019
General Will Essay -- Philosophy, Rousseau
The problem is to recall a norm of association which exit defend and protect with the firm common force the person and goods of each associate, and in which each, while uniting himself with all, may still obey himself alone, and remain as free as before.Rousseau (1762)a, ll. 57bThus Jean-Jacques Rousseau sets out his aim, and quite a formidable aim it is. He hopes to establish an appropriate norm of association (i.e. kinship between individual and state) in which all individuals and their possessions are protected, to the greatest extent possible, by the state (or body politic) each individual gives himself wholly to the general exertion of the state and all individuals act freely and of their own volition. It should be noted here that the state, in Rousseaus picture of things, is constituted wholly and exclusively of the individuals subject to these criteria. at that place is no separate institutional government whose portions have a materially different relationship to the w hole, and so the people are simultaneously the holders of power and the heavy subjects in the body politic. In the former capacity they are referred to by Rousseau as citizens, and the active group made up by them is called the sovereign, a popular person, formed by the union of all other persons (l. 41). Rousseau sums up the terms of his solution succinctly thus the total alienation of each associate, together with all his rights, to the whole community (ll. 1718). This is not intended to be as unilateral as it may sound. The key concept that brings together Rousseaus social contract supposition is the bifurcation of each state members resolve into the general will and the individual will the distinction being most importantly that the g... ...es with Rousseauist hallmarks have historically existed does not drag in the debate, since these societies generally confirm rather than alleviate my doubts. Those groups that existed before Rousseaus time were invariably small to very s mall, this being the only environment in which I find his propositions at all practicable. In those larger scale political systems influenced by Rousseau, such as Marxist communismf and the totalitarianism of Adolf Hitlers Nazi partyg, there is evidence of about of the flaws mentioned above coming to the fore the propagandist Nuremberg Rallies, for example, could be seen as broad manipulation of the general will and little vindication of the claim that each member of such societies obeys himself alone, and remains as free as before. At least, not free in the way that we would understand the term in the twentyfirst century.