Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Topics: Political philosophy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Democracy Pages: 4 (1508 words) Published: February 7, 2008
Topic #1 Jean-Jacques Rousseau makes the provocative claim that the transfer of sovereignty involves in the election of representatives signifies a loss of freedom: "The instant a people chooses representatives, it is no longer free." (On the Social Contract, p.103) Do you agree with Rousseau?

The book "On the Social Contract" published on 1762 by Jean-Jacques Rousseau is one of his most important works, which points out the basis for a genuine political order and freedom. One of Jean-Jacques Rousseau main ideas in this book is the significance of the loss of freedom. According to Jean-Jacques Rousseau freedom is loss when people elect representatives . In my personal opinion, I am not agreeing with the point of view of Jean-Jacques Rousseau about representatives, because people elect representatives because those representatives defend people ideas. Also representatives normally have projects that are the same project that people are interested in. Even the right to elect any representative is a demonstration of the people's liberty. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a visionary and an idealist that thought people should make the laws directly, but it is very difficult that man could exist as an individual in the state of nature controlled simply by his natural impulses without violating the rights of others. Jean-Jacques Rousseau tried to explain the invention of government and the meaning of freedom on his book "On the Social Contract", according to Rousseau the government was a class of contract between the authorities and the governed and the meaning of freedom was the power of the people to make their own laws to live. The meaning of freedom was very important for Rousseau, for example on his book "On the Social Contract" Rousseau estates that electing representatives is a very modern idea, because ancients republics and even in monarchies, the people never had representatives. Rousseau exactly said "There are some unfortunate situations when one cannot...

References: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, On the Social Contract. Ed. Roger D. Masters
(New York, NY: St. Martin 's Press, 1978) Pages 17, 52, 53, 78, 103,132.
Russell Hanson. Democracy, in Political Innovation and Conceptual Change, eds. Terence Ball,
James Farr. (Cambridge University Press 1989) Pg. 70.
Robin Chew. (1996) Jean-Jacques Rousseau Philosopher. Retrieve February, 3th 2008.
Edward W. Younkins (2005) ROUSSEAU 'S "GENERAL WILL". Retrieve February 4th 2008.
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