Inadequacies of Social Contract Theory

Topics: Political philosophy, Human, Jean-Jacques Rousseau Pages: 4 (1433 words) Published: April 4, 2013
Each and every human being is born with a set of wants and desires. Eminent psychologist Sigmund Freud believed that human personality has three major components, the “Id”, the “ego”, and the “superego”. The “Id” comprises of all our primitive, innate urges. It is completely unconscious and it works according with the pleasure principle. The ego develops because there are few opportunities in the world to obtain instant pleasure, if most of the human beings would work just according to the id this could have severe repercussions. For example a man desires extra land to harvest crops, as it would give him more food. The only way to obtain this land would be to take over his neighbour’s land, if this man complied according to his id, he would take over the land immediately. However this move could cause the man to maybe loose his own land, as the neighbour would not take kindly to this trespass and retaliate. Thus the ego operates according to the reality principle. It takes into consideration the external consequences of actions and directs behaviour so as to maximise pleasure and minimize pain. The final component is the Superego. The superego works in accordance with the moral principle. It allows gratification on the basis of the rules that are given by the society. The State of Nature represents the interaction of human beings with each other in the absence of any political authority. It was a state that preceded governments. As Freud said man keeps his innate urges in check because of the norms that are formed by the society. So in state where there are no rules that have been formed by the society, man will be governed by his own free will. Due to no guidance, no structure, the state of nature would be a state of war. This can be illustrated by the way man lived in the Stone Age. The only reason that man formed groups together was for survival. Packs were formed to increase the chance of survival. The pack leader was either the most...
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