Views of the Social Contract

Topics: Property, John Locke, Political philosophy Pages: 3 (1203 words) Published: December 5, 2012
Views of The Social Contract
“Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains” (Rousseau). Is probably one of the most widely known quotes in the philosophical world. Rousseau explains in his Social Contract how all people are bound to some sort of convention in the entire span of their life. He starts out with his ideas of how some sort of contract has always been present, the natural contract of a parent and child. The parent cares for the child, and the child is dependent on the parent, giving up all its rights until it is of a more mature age, after a while it focuses solely on itself because that is human nature. This he relates to governments, how a ruler takes care of his subjects, and his subjects in turn give up everything for him, until they have a reason to not be loyal to him. Any loyalty or relations that are kept once people become independent is solely because it is voluntary, not necessary. It is a moral thing to do. Rousseau suggests, that in any social contract when people combine forces and still preserve their freedom for the state, such a state or a social contract has a distinct entity with a life and will of its own. Also in a social contract, a ruler is bound indirectly to the people, as in taking care of them or not harming them, because they are the ones who first allow the ruler to be there in the first place by subduing to him. He also talks about ownership of property. What is deemed legitimately Singh 2

owned and what is not. This makes for my thesis that because of the natural bond, the sole authority in politics can only come from a social contract. “The most ancient of all societies, and the only one that is natural, is the family” (Rousseau). According to Rousseau, the basic foundation for any convent is the natural convent of a father and his son, or a parent and his or her child. What Rousseau is trying to explain is that since the beginning of human kind, even in its most primal form, there has been some sort...
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