The Importance Of A Consensus Among Citizens In Order For The General Will To Prevail

1934 words - 8 pages

The Importance of a Consensus Among Citizens in Order for the General Will to Prevail

First a broad definition of consensus which may later be modified.
Defined as the "concord of different parts or organs of the body"1 the
application to the members of any system seems natural. Defined
secondarily as "the collective unanimous opinion of a number of
persons"2 we have to consider very carefully about what extent and
kinds of consensus we are talking about.

A further definitional point this time from Rousseau himself. Rousseau
sees an individual under the social contract as playing two roles at
once. The individual as a citizen is a member of and indivisible from
the sovereign. This can be seen in light of the other role of the
individual which is as a member of the state, a subject. "Those who
are associated in [the public body] take the name of a people, and
call themselves individually citizens, in that they share in the
sovereign power, and subjects that they put themselves under the laws
of the state"

What comprises this 'general will' on which Rousseau bases his quest
for the 'Principles of political right'? The general will can be seen
as distinct from a sum of coinciding private interests. This does not
however mean that the general will is not in the interest of each
individual. It is, in so far as "It is not the interests of others
that we are to follow but rather the interests of all, all includes us."(Hall
an introduction to Rousseau p.73) This is where Rousseau's common
interest comes into the argument. The common interest consists of
those interests held by individuals which are in the interest of the
public body as a whole, or put another way, what is best for the
individual in his/her role as a citizen and therefore an indivisible
part of the sovereign body - what is best for all. This is not to say
that the general will is always on the minds of the citizens of the
body politic and always the subject of their volition - "If Rousseau
was right, individuals living in just states, have general interests,
interests as indivisible members of the whole community. But they may
fail to discover what that interest is, and even knowing what it is,
may fail to make it the object of their volition"(Levine Engaging
Political philosophy p72).

Even armed simply with this basic definition of the general will we
can begin to make some observations in answer to the question. Because
the general will is in the common interest - in the interest of all -
it must presumably be held by many - that is those who do not fall
into the category of not knowing or not bringing to the fore the
common interest. This would certainly point in the direction of some
kind of long term consensus. Hall seems to point to support this view
"as a matter of objective fact some of what we desire also...

Find Another Essay On The Importance of a Consensus Among Citizens in Order for the General Will to Prevail

What it's really like to be a freshman. The essay is about being a freshman from a freshmans point of view (that it's hard) Some dates will need to be changed in order to update it!

643 words - 3 pages . Freshmen are the lowest of all classes, sometimes referred to as the "Lower side of the L". The only good thing about being a freshman is that you gain some freedom. Freedom from middle school. At high school, you aren't thought of as a fire hazard for standing up or being in the hallway as you are in middle school.You get off the bus every morning, and open the doors to what most freshmen call their worst nightmare. Parents think they are doing the

A study of the ecological systems map for the character of Will in "Good Will Hunting"

2126 words - 9 pages finds Will solving a maths problem posted on a corridor blackboard at MIT, where Will works as a janitor. The particular problem had proven impossible for Lambeau and many of his associates to solve. Will has never had a formal education in the area of four-dimensional maths, or any other strand of maths apart from what was learnt in high school.He describes his intelligence by likening it to the ability of Mozart or Beethoven to look at a piano and

The Consensus Theory of Criminal Law

870 words - 3 pages The consensus theory of criminal law contents that society finds its own way and it is product of social needs and values, it also serves the interest of society at large. Rules are for the community to control themselves and to put order. If a crime is committed it is punished by what the society considers appropriate. The significance of that crime has to be evaluated by the same society as well as the punishment

The Importance of Helmet Use Among Motorcyclists

1154 words - 5 pages seventy-nine percent in states with no helmet law (Naumann and Shults 425). These statistics would seem to indicate the importance of states enacting universal helmet laws. Unfortunately, not every state has one. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) only nineteen states and the District of Columbia have universal helmet laws and an additional twenty-eight have partial helmet laws, where specific riders must wear a helmet

The Consensus Perspective

1058 words - 4 pages , the consensus perspective takes responsibility for those who violate those values. Many believe that criminal behaviors result from a failure to control oneself, a lack of self-control. The consensus perspective advocates believe that crime exists because there are members of society “who fail to participate in the social consensus” (Agnew, 2011), arguing that these people are “low is self-control and lack the abilities to resist the temptations

The Importance of the Elizabethan Concept of Natural Order to Our Appreciation of Macbeth

1391 words - 6 pages displeasing God by destroying his 'natural order' would cause God to withdraw His hand from the 'natural order' and chaos would therefore descend upon the world. Macbeth damages this natural order by murdering the king in his sleep. He once was a brave knight of the king during the war against Norway, fighting valiantly ("For brave Macbeth - well he deserves that name"). After the last battle that sent the Norwegians

Control And Order As A Metaphor For Social Order In One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

700 words - 3 pages . Cuckoo's Nest, though it also was a serious critique of psychiatric treatment in general, served mostly as a question of what constitutes sanity or right in a world that is breaking down. For McMurphy and perhaps many Americans in the mid-seventies, the line was difficult to draw.

Critiquing Chicago Police general order (rules) to the eleven standards found in "Broken Windows and Police Discretion".

850 words - 3 pages The Chicago Police Department has many policy statements that police officers and their supervisors need to know. These policy statements are called General Orders (G. O.). These orders are numbered by the year they are established, and by how many were established in that year. So, for example, G. O. 86-08 means it was established in 1986 and that it was the 8th order established that year. G. O. 86-08 (a) initiates a "Protection of Life

A comparison of two types of renewable energies in China: hydro energy and biomass energy, in order to determine the most suitable for China’s future

1860 words - 7 pages Today it is the imperative of each country supply own citizens by water, food, energy, infrastructure. If country want to improve own economic, politic situations in the World, it should, first of all, advance the citizen’s level of living, because the main value of any country is the countries civilians. Therefore, one of the majorities of factors which could improve living level ipso facto improves industrial and economic situation of a

The Importance of Exercise as Preventative Medicine & Treatment for Depression Among Older Adults

2998 words - 12 pages Canada (2006) discussed the need for a future transformation of Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction Services in Canada. The Senate's publication reported that the incidence of depression in seniors in long term care facilities is three to four times higher than in the general population (Senate of Canada, 2006). This alarming difference in depression among seniors in long term care versus home gives question to the causes of depression among

The Importance of Maintaining Moral Order as it Relates to Hamlet by William Shakespeare's

1031 words - 4 pages The Importance of Maintaining Moral Order as it Relates to Hamlet by William Shakespeare's "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." (Hamlet. 1.4, l.90) In every society a distinctive hierarchy or organization of power exists. In the Shakespearean world, life is kept constant through the maintenance of the Great Chain of Being or moral order. Any disruption in this chain is believed to cause chaos in society. In William

Similar Essays

If One Does Nothing In Order To Stop Evil, Then It Will Prevail. Essay About "Dry September" By William Faulkner.

888 words - 4 pages McLendon, who commanded troops at the front in France, convinces a bunch of people in the barber shop to go out and look for Will Mayes, the barber quickly follows. McLendon eventually locates Will Mayes and ends up killing him. The barber wants to help Mayes but he does not do anything to help Will Mayes because the barber fears that if he tried to stop McLendon he would have been killed along with Mayes. The story relates to Edmund Burke's quote by

To What Extent Can The Existence Of Social Order Be Explained In Term Of The Functionalist Concept Of Value Consensus?

1670 words - 7 pages emphasized how consensus based on shared values is essential in the social systems.Parsons believed that only a commitment to common values can provide a basis for social order in society..He believed that value consensus forms the fundamental integrating principle in society as people tend to share a common identity and derive common goals.A social institution consists of combination of roles which is structured in terms of norms,that tend to ensure the

Equality Of Citizens And Non Citizens In The Eu

2575 words - 10 pages . Third, in the conclusion, the features of the two legal regimes are summarized and compared with the help of an illustrative table. Freedom to move and reside for EU nationals The freedom of movement has gone trough a transformation to become a general right for all EU nationals. Initially it was applicable only to workers (i.e. migrants in order to pursue an economic activity). The first step towards a general right was taken by the three

The Importance Of The First Amendment Of The United States’ Bill Of Rights For Democratic Government And Its Citizens

786 words - 3 pages type of press to express their ideas. Today, freedom of press is a utopia because every country has their own secrets, and covers important information to their citizens. With freedom of press, the countries will have a perfect government not so perfect but the people need to know the truth. The democratic government is a form of government in which the people, either directly or indirectly, take part in governing. “Democracy is the worst form of