Comparing Rousseau And Burke's Second Discourse

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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 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" or "political” or what is just called social inequality. Rousseau emphasizes that the Second Discourse concerns itself with the origin and legitimacy of only moral inequalities. These differ from natural inequalities in two respects, each of which makes them social singularities. This specifically tackles the origin of moral inequalities which are not consequences of nature alone but depend instead on, convention. This essentially means that they are "established, or at least authorized, by consent".…show more content…
He states that hierarchy actually does not exist in the state of nature, as it alienates and chains most of the population. Because of this hierarchy, anyone under property owners and the wealthy consequently suffer and do not benefit from the modern social contract. This displaces power and puts a strong emphasize on one’s political life which in return only benefits individual interests. This despotic society where one class rules everything and corrupts the masses, through a liberal social contract, is what Rousseau deemed the most destructive
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