Rousseau Comparison Arendt

Topics: Civil society, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Political philosophy Pages: 2 (719 words) Published: June 17, 2011
Rony Nazarian
Professor Hurtado
English 1A
13 March 2011
In Rousseau’s writing The Origin of Civil Society he focuses on the basics and uses many controversial points concerning the benefits of a civil state over a state of nature. But in Arendt’s writing Total Domination she believes that it’s wrong and that anyone who advocates it is mentally distressed. They both sound very similar but are different in their own ways. The two present essentially diverse solutions to the ongoing problem of human plurality in politics. Rousseau’s and Arendt’s have similar ideas on the people and their relationship to power and being governed but they express them threw different viewpoints.

Rousseau and Arendt use slavery as examples to prove their main points in their writings, however there examples vary from each other. For example in Rousseau’s writing he says that, “Since no man has natural authority over his fellows, and since Might can produce no Right, the only foundation left for legitimate authority in human societies is Agreement.” When he says Might can produce no Right he is saying that it is not a humane thing to do. Rousseau talks and argues on and on about how slavery is inhumane thing to do and that there nothing to justify it. In Arendt’s writing he differs from Rousseau by using concentration camps as a great example on slavery. For instance when she says, “We attempt to understand the behavior of concentration camp inmates and SS-men psychologically, when the very thing that must be realized is that the psyche can be destroyed even without destruction of the physical man.”(Arendt, 127) What she is trying to explain is that in concentration camps the SS-men where destroying the prisoners mind by not physically attacking them but mentally. She is also supporting the idea that slavery is a inhumane thing but she used the concentration camps as an example of how bad and inhumane it was.

They both write about the ruling of people...
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