The Origin Of Civil Society Essay

864 words - 3 pages

The arguments in ?The Origins of Society? Jean Jacques Rousseau, in his essay The Origins of Society, writes about an ideal form of government. In his essay he attacks several other proposed or existing forms of government by carefully destroying their claims. However, it seems that Rousseau?s arguments do not promote his idea completely. For example, why would Rousseau write about the ?right of the strongest? if at his time it were not relevant? Why then would Rousseau argue these ideas? Rousseau wisely began his essay by associating his form of government with a common and strong notion of a family. In his analogy, the father (ruler) raised (governed) his children (citizens) until they were old enough to grow on their own. This is a strong point that attacked the monarchy of Rousseau time. The monarchy did not want its citizens believing that they would be better off with out them. For this reason they expelled Rousseau out of France; he had a strong point that really touched the readers of his time.Next, Rousseau tries to convince the reader the strengths of the civil state by comparing in to the natural state. His view is clear from the start; Rousseau claims that the advantages of a civil state ?are of far greater value? than those in a natural state. Even more so, he refers to the ?passage from the state of nature to the civil state? a turn from ?a limited and stupid animal into a intelligent being and a Man.? Rousseau explains that the difference between a civil state and a state of nature is that in a natural world, a man gets and gives only what can be physically held. A possession is only a man?s while he holds it. However, in a civil world, a possession can belong to a man without a physical grasp on the object. A ?positive title? is enough. This comparison is therefore a clear development to Rousseau?s idea that a civil state is necessary and that a monarch, a king that controls everything because he took over the land, really has no claim.After that, Rousseau, in tries to destroy the idea that the strongest people have the most rights, starts with the definitions of ?the right of the strongest? and ?Obey the powers that be?. The simple definition, as it seems, is that that the sayings are meaningless. Rousseau step by step takes apart the statements and proves that Right does not come form might. The attack is correctly based on the fact that there is no...

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