Worst Effects Of Socialization

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What, according to Rousseau, were the worst effects of socialisation?

Jeans-Jacques Rousseau’s Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men is a defence of the original man in a state of nature and an attack on the corrupt and elitist European society of his day. Rousseau sought to ‘go back to an earlier point and try to piece together[… the] slow succession of events’ in order to pinpoint where humanity degenerated from the state of nature to today’s “civilised” society. In this sense, Rousseau seems to be attributing the process of socialisation to ‘all the evils’ in the world. In order to explore what, according to Rousseau, were the worst effects of socialisation and as a result how they impacted humanity, four points require
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Rousseau asserts that whilst both are passions, to ‘Love of oneself is a natural sentiment’, a simple motivation to preserve oneself which all animals possess and in humans this becomes ‘humanity and virtue’. Whereas, egocentrism is a ‘relative and artificial’ passion, born out of socialisation moving ‘each individual to value himself more than anyone else[…] and that is the true source of honor’. Rousseau argues that this arises from socialisation; more specifically the moment individuals comparing themselves to one another: ‘Each one began to look at the others and to want to be looked at himself, and public esteem had a value’. With this, each person claimed the right to this ‘esteem’ and as a result ‘men became bloodthirsty and cruel’. This is a fatal event in Rousseau’s mind as unlike ‘the savage’ who ‘lives in himself’, an individual in society ‘is always outside himself and knows how to live only in the opinion of others’. Very unlike the Hobbesian war-like state of nature where ‘vainglory’ cause people to act like barbarous beasts, Rousseau argues that egocentrism derives solely from social interaction believing that his predecessors were projecting ideas of modern corruption onto the state of nature. Therefore, Rousseau’s analysis of moral psychology reveals how humans have become duplicitous and false through socialisation as the foundations of competition and bettering people are laid and consequently, a ‘desire for inequality’ governs the
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