In 1972, Rousseau argued for the social contract which was meant to rectify the social and moral vices brought in the society due to development. He was very concerned about the history of mankind and how they ought to live together. He argues that when man was born he was free but now he is in chains. He further argues that mankind is and ought to live in a generally free nature but civilization has curbed that freedom and human authenticity through economic and social inequality. In order to restore freedom to mankind, Rousseau suggests there has to be a social contract.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Thomas Hobbes, two titans of the Enlightenment, work within similar intellectual frameworks in their seminal writings. Hobbes, in Leviathan, postulates a “state of nature” before society developed, using it as a tool to analyze the emergence of governing institutions. Rousseau borrows this conceit in Discourse on Inequality, tracing the development of man from a primitive state to modern society. Hobbes contends that man is equal in conflict during the state of nature and then remains equal under government due to the ruler’s monopoly on authority. Rousseau, meanwhile, believes that man is equal in harmony in the state of nature and then unequal in developed society.
In old Rome, Cicero had promoted the restoration of original Republican values to a state whose nobility seemed cheerfully mired in decadence and corruption. Lynne Taylor talked about Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who died a short time before the French Revolution, argued for a civil society that would be voluntarily formed by its citizens and wholly governed by reference to their general will. Citizens governed in this way, he believed, would unanimously accept their governing authority. Rousseau proposed that man in his natural state, without the interference of defective laws,
We can look at modern discussions of the issue such as Gibbon’s argument which blamed Christianity for the fall of the empire. According to him conversion of Christianity was the key moment in the fate of the Roman Empire. Gibbon blames Christianity for different reasons, for instance, in the loss of military spirit indicating that “the last remains of military spirit were buried in the cloister (=monastery).”(Gibbon, Decline and fall, 39) He argues that the conversion of Christianity discouraged the public virtue of the society, public and private wealth was devoted to the demand and interests of church. He further indicates that the religion was distraction for both church and government which even led to the bloody and implacable (=endless) conflicts between them. (Gibbon, Decline and fall, 39) The practices of Christianity ran contrary to the aristocratic values of Graeco-Roman culture.
Here, civilization, being more rational and socially driven, is not fully in accord with human nature, and "human wholeness is achievable only through the recovery of or approximation to an original prediscursive or prerational natural unity". From this, a new approach was developed, especially in Germany, first by Johann Gottfried Herder, and later by philosophers such as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. This sees cultures as natural organisms, not defined by "conscious, rational, deliberative acts" but a kind of pre-rational “folk spirit”. Civilization, in contrast, though more rational and more successful in material progress, is unnatural and leads to "vices of social life" such as guile, hypocrisy, envy, and avarice. In World War II, Leo Strauss, having fled Germany, argued in New York that this opinion of civilization was behind Nazism and German militarism and nihilism.
In his Reflections on the French Revolution, he blames the philosophes for their abstract ideologies that were incapable of accommodating the complexity of human nature and their rejection of the divinity of the monarchy that was the foundation of the constitution. Although, its influence over the population is debatable prior to 1789, which saw a publication of the thoughts of philosophes. The periods between the 1748 to 1770 clearly laid the base for a forum to critique traditional institutions but it was not till the collapse of political order that these ideals became widespread. taking Lefebvre’s argument that the Enlightenment had been the ideology of the bourgeoisie, and the evidence that sales of the Encyclopédie were particularly high within the upper classes supports this notion that the bourgeoisie, along with the nobility collectively knows as the ‘notables’, felt with conviction that they had become enlightened and must create a liberal state to promote the individual. This argument is further supported as the readership of the philosophes did not extend to the peasants in pre-revolutionary France and the restrictions on publishing determined the influence of the Enlightenment.
Also, he does address the topic of slavery referring to, “the gross but somewhat foreign form of servitude called Negro Slavery”(Thoreau 3). Thoreau refers to it as “gross” which indicates that he was not a supporter of slavery. This conveys the notion that Thoreau would have been an advocate for abolition According to Thoreau, how has modern lifestyle contributed to man’s “primitive and low condition”? According to Thoreau, modern lifestyle has contributed to man’s “primitive and low condition” because individuals have no time to enjoy certain aspects of
Society, he contends, has destroyed man. He considers brutality to be a consequence of political life and its foundations. Rousseau is exceptionally condemning of governments, and one could contend this to be an impact of his thought of pre-progressive France. A legislatures ' motivation ought to be to make progress toward a concordant society. Rousseau glorified a primary type of direct vote based system.
The composition and the governing structure of the Roman republic was not uniform throughout its existence, but some of the fundamental elements of its government came into being in the immediate aftermath of the monarchy’s collapse. Therefore, it is unsurprising that many of these institutions were created in reaction to the monarchy and its failures, and thus were shaped by this relationship. For example, the fundamental opposition to monarchy and the rule of kings that came with the experience of the Kingdom of Rome, remained quite strong in the Roman mindset throughout the existence of the Republic and into the beginnings of the Roman Empire, and its influence can be seen throughout Roman political discourse especially in the discussion
However, Roman culture was very imperialist culture it was accepted out of the country very quickly. Webster noted that Romans position had also a significant role in the this process because it let the provincials become inalienable part of the Roman Empire, and as the logical consequences of this situation