Political Efficacy

Topics: Political philosophy, Democracy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau Pages: 2 (714 words) Published: June 21, 2011
Political Efficacy
The Social Contract
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Without a belief that political efficacy is strong, and each citizen making a personal input into society, it is the belief of both Rousseau and myself that “the State is not far from its fall.” Faith and activity in the political system has been replaced with financial activity. Rousseau states that, “In a country that is truly free, the citizens do everything with their own arms and nothing by means of money; so far from paying to be exempted from their duties, they would even pay for the privilege of fulfilling them themselves.” If people so desire to make their input to society purely financial, perhaps they should be punished financially for not being politically active. By its definition, one of the few forms citizens have of direct democracy is through voting at any level. Voting is something that everyone should take more seriously, and youth especially are not making their way to the polls. It is this belief that a single vote has no power in the political system that needs to change. I believe that Rousseau would agree with me in saying that those who do not vote should be fined. One thing Rousseau discusses in this section is a “lukewarmness of patriotism.” For too long, American’s have been okay with not being politically involved. We are stuck in a lifestyle in which we sit around and complain about how things are going, possibly vote for whatever representatives seem to have the best ideas to change things, and then go on living our own lives with no concerns over what political action we could be taking. In Rousseau’s Social Contract he states, “As soon as any man says of the affairs of the State What does it matter to me? The State may be given up for lost.” This attitude seems to be popular among Americans. Rousseau hopes for an opposite attitude, and would love to see as much direct democracy as possible. He even makes a point to say that laws are not valid if they were not...
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