Du Contrat Social
'Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains'
These are the famous opening words of a treatise that has not ceased to stir vigorous debate since its first publication in 1762. Rejecting the view that anyone has a natural right to wield authority over others, Rousseau argues instead for a pact, or 'social contract', that should exist between all the citizens of a state and that should be the source of sovereign power. From this fundamental premise, he goes on to consider issues of liberty and law, freedom and justice, arriving at a view of society that has seemed to some a blueprint for totalitarianism, to others a declaration of democratic principles.
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Review: The Social ContractUser Review - Steven PR - Goodreads
This is a must-have for anyone interested in learning about political philosophy. Rousseau's book seems to stand on opposite ends of Locke's Two Treatises on Government. Whereas Rousseau outlines his ... Read full review
Review: The Social ContractUser Review - Bruce - Goodreads
I chose to read Rousseau's work at this time because Thomas Carlyle, in his monumental history The French Revolution, implied that Rousseau's thinking provided an important philosophical underpinning ... Read full review