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How Does Rousseau Argue That The Exercise Of Force Cannot Provide A Legitimate Basis For Social Order? The Areas Of Shared Concern Between Rousseau And David's Brutus.

1135 words - 5 pages

Jean-Jacques Rousseau argues that the exercise of force (physical power) cannot provide a legitimate basis for social order; some may say that the strongest always win, but how do they win and will they always win? The power produced by force doesn't create duty, only obedience. Let's take for example a wealthy land owner; do his employees work hard for him at all times or just when they are being watched? His power over them is their wages, they have no duty to him other than to produce X, Y or Z. No man is born with a right or power over another, however the man holding the gun holds the power/authority, but does he have the right. Others may do his will but do they do this out of fear/force or because they wish to? Take away the gun and there is no power, and others may choose whether or not to do his will, therefore the strongest is only able to yield his authority whilst that force is in place, it does not however, give him the right to authority. The old saying while the cats away the mice will play is the best explanation I have for this, if the only thing that stops the society from not following orders, rules, regulations etc. is the force, what happens when the day comes, when that force can no longer be put in place, for what ever reason? Riots, disorderly conduct, revolutions call them what you will but they happen. Rousseau called this the State of Nature where man had natural born freedom, restricted by his own individual physical strength and power. Man could do whatever he wanted, when he wanted, with no laws and no government. When a man became old or to weak to protect his land or home, the stronger younger man could force him to give it all to him, leaving him in poverty.Rousseau offers an alternative to the exercising of force on individuals, the social contract, this however does depend on citizens within a society uniting together, yet at the same time giving up their natural born rights in order to protect themselves and stay free.Rousseau suggests that "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains"(pg 97, Block 3, 2005), meaning that we are intended to be free, but in order for us to have freedom we need equal opportunity and for this, we need social equality otherwise known as democracy.Professor Nicholas Dent talking to Derek Matravers on CD4A ( Track 9) explains Rousseau's idea for social equality quite well, he mentions that every citizen should 'participate in the processes of governance, which gives rise to the rules, laws, by which...a community , will then continue to live and work together as a body of people'. In order to do this the community must appoint a governing body, Rousseau believed that any governing body should be elected by the individuals of a nation, he felt that 'the authority the state has over the people must come from the people themselves, and not from a single person such as a king'(Pg 97 block 3, 2005). The governing body in turn will enforce the general will of the community. Each...

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