Burke Vs Rousseau Analysis

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Political philosophers: Jean Jacques Rousseau and Edmund Burke had quite opposing viewpoints, particularly on their political ideals. Rousseau and Burke’s perspectives on what the political system should be are directly influenced by the assumptions held in their personal beliefs on the origins of inequality. While they both articulate their positions, there is a severe lack of evidence and sustenance for the underlying assumptions in Burke’s argument of education and the social hierarchy, which is why Rousseau’s concepts are more compelling. However, when compared economically Burkes concepts have greater value. Rousseau's perspective in the Second Discourse initiated the discussion of inequality by distinguishing between the two types: "moral"…show more content…
It is said to be necessary for a proper democracy. Burke deems inequality as a natural division of labor, which is seen as valuable in society due to people having inherently different skill sets. Therefore, Burke answers that the educated class would be in charge of the government, while the lower class, who are considered less educated, have jobs that are regarded more apt to them. According to Burke it is only natural for there to be differences in rank, virtue, wealth, and especially in the privilege of the citizens. "In all societies, consisting of various descriptions of citizens, some description must be uppermost. The levelers therefore only change and pervert the natural order of things; they load the edifice of society, by setting up in the air what the solidity of the structure requires to be on the ground." Through this, Burke credits the need for additional inequality to property rights by his desire for a “true natural aristocracy” (Burke 495). The use of the state to correct inequality, on the other hand, is is indiscriminate in practice and purposive in design. This can be shown through "The characteristic essence of property, formed out of the combined principles of its acquisition and conservation, is to be unequal." Burke acclaimed the existence of a natural aristocracy under the full awareness that "men are unequal: unequal in mind, in…show more content…
For instance, Burke denotes that taxes should be essentially proportional, while benefits should not be distributed equally, but rather should favor those who pay more: "He that has but five shillings in the partnership, has as good a right to it, as he that has five hundred pounds has to his larger proportion. But he has not a right to an equal dividend in the product of the joint stock."(46) Moreover, Burke believes that politics cannot change anything about human nature because nothing would reasonably go against the “natural state or things”. Burke quite skeptical of grand schemes because politics themselves are just a reflection of our human nature. Human beings are not equal, so hierarchy is natural and essentially to burke a positive consequence from inequality. Additionally, he alleged that a social contract is one that the people of a given society have with their past. Thus, Burke responded to inequality by stating only some people should participate in politics, while others who were adamant for universal suffrage, should not. This belief stemmed from the understanding that only citizens who could set aside time to contribute in politics could. He felt this would eliminate all of the lower working classes, as it was assumed that the upper class were invited for political debate. Burke thought it was
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