Individuals breathe life into a society, they shape it with their ideas and beliefs. However, when these beliefs become corrupted, do individuals have the power to change it?. In the short stories “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, and the theories of enlightenment philosophers, individuals can not change society. Tessie Hutchinson from “The Lottery” tried to persuade her village that the long-standing tradition was wrong, but faced death soon afterwards. On the other hand, Harrison from “Harrison Bergeron,” tried to overthrow society's ideas, through atrocious actions. The philosophers such as Locke and Rousseau, believed that the governors of society should be responsive and secure rights for the people. With this intention in mind, an individual wouldn’t change society because it is supposed to be built around the individuals. Thus, individuals can not change their society because they don’t have power in numbers, they will be condemned by society if they try, and they shouldn’t need to change society if it is built to represent.
This paper examines both Jean-Jacques Rousseau and James Madison remark concerning ‘ factions ’ as the potential destructive social force to the society.To layout and examine, this paper will first outline and discuss on Rousseau’s understanding of factions in The Social Contract,and Madison’s discussion on factionalism in the Federalist Papers 10.But there are many component surrounded with their view’s on ‘factions’,so it is important to consider together.
The French Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, and experienced violent periods of political turmoil. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, it profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. There are mainly three aspects of the causes of the French Revolution—political, economic and cultural.
After already obtaining an uneven distribution of wealth in the nation among the three estates, the debt from the American Revolution took a toll on France’s financial stability, practically bankrupting them. Struggling from the large gap between the wealthy and the poor, it was suggested by Sieyes that the third estate, commoners (97%), were the people who made up the nation of France and that they needed to take a stand, which they did. The third estate followed Rosseau, who’s ideas were developed from Locke, on his ideas of “general will” of the nation, and that they should form a national assembly of their own since they were the nation (SMW 76). The French Revolution unfolded into three phases of constitutional monarchy, radical republicanism, and military consolidation, resulting in the issue of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, among other accomplishments. Also following the American Revolution, and the Declaration of Independence, the French used Locke’s ideas in his Second Treatise of Government as a guideline to their new constitution. It is easy to see in the preamble that Locke inspired it. However, unlike the Declaration of Independence, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen included Locke’s ideas on ownership and property. It states, “Property being an inviolable and sacred right, no one can be deprived of it…” (SMW,
Society has been struggling to find order ever since its conception. The idea that perfection could be achieved has long been dismissed, but societies still strive for something at least resembling functionality. Some of the fundamental problems faced within the genesis of a nation stem from the establishment of a government. How would one control and provide for the citizens in an effective way? Why would anyone willingly submit to governmental control? These are questions that Jean-Jacques Rousseau attempts to answer. In his “The Origins of Civil Society”, Rousseau presents his ideas on how the ideal society would run. He is able to effectively organize his thoughts in such a way that enables understanding and camaraderie with his audience, convincing them of the ways in which the quintessential society would function.
The state of nature is the state in which man first existed. The right to property consists of whether individuals have a defensible right to a certain form of property, whether it be wealth, objects, or land. Social inequality consists of inequality between citizens in political society resulting from differences in property. All references to inequality herein are to social inequality, not to any other type. Finally, for the purpose of brevity, all references to governments are references to governments formed by the consent of the governed unless separately denoted. Before commenting on Locke and Rousseau’s policies, one must examine their basis for property, inequality, and
Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan and Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his Discourse on Inequality and Social Contract each attempt to explain the rise of and prescribe the proper management of human society. At the foundation of both philosophies is the principle that humans are asocial by nature, a precept each philosopher interprets and approaches in a different way. Hobbes states that nature made humans relatively “equal,” and that “every man is enemy to every man.” Life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,” he says, and “every man has right to everything.” Rousseau outlines primitive asocial man having “everything necessary for him to live in the state of nature” from “instinct alone,” and being “neither good nor evil.” In contrast to Hobbes, who argues social bonds form to regulate human nature, Rousseau argues that the formation of the civil state results from and in a “change in man,” that humans must of necessity be denatured in the process of forming society. There are similarities between the two’s philosophies, but it is Rousseau, through his arguments that human nature can be changed, who articulates a political vision more consistent with the claim that humans are asocial by nature.
There are various theories across the spectrum of the social sciences that address the birth of society. The focus of this essay will be on two French sociologists, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Émile Durkheim who share different ideas of how the creation of society came about. Durkheim was a functionalist who has very fundamental views on the formation of society. Durkheim theorizes that society is natural and happens through shared experiences. He believes that society makes the individual “whole” by providing them with knowledge. However, on the other side of the spectrum is Rousseau, who views society as more of a means to an end. Rousseau theorizes that modern society is unnatural,
During the Estates General, Louis XIV believes he can rid the Third Estate’s demands by locking them out. The Third Estate moves next door to a tennis court and takes an oath to remain there until there is a constitutional monarchy, a form of government promulgated by Montesquieu in his “Spirit of Laws”. “Montesquieu claimed that a liberal constitutional monarchy was the best system of government for a people who prized freedom, on the grounds that by dividing the sovereignty of the nation between several centres of power, it provided a permanent check on any one of them becoming despotic.” Montesquieu is clearly vital in the French Revolution as he sets the structure of government which the National Assembly demands and provides the governmental goal of
Rousseau presents this question “How is a method of associating to be found which will defend and protect-using the power of all-the person and property of each ember and still enable each member of the group to obey only him and to remain as free as before?” Thomas Paine says that “Government, on the other hand, is an institution whose sole purpose is to protect us from our own vices.” In order to grow and protect itself people join a society. For a society to have order and justice and remain equal, laws must be put in place, such that protect the individual rights of these people that they were born with.
To him, the exercise of sovereignty itself depended on an adequate determination of the general will. This leads us to the question of the proportion of vote necessary to produce just outcome that discovers the general will. Although, the institutional features of Rousseau’s writing are incomplete and often too trivial, his goal was to convert his theoretical work in a law for the common good. His main focus remains on describing voting rules that will in fact identify the general will as opposed to individual will or its sums.
With regard to Jean-Jacques Rousseau in The Social Contract,he believed that the society could only function to the extent that people had their interest in common.And
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. Thus, both men would evaluate the statement that “in a legitimate state all men are free and there is no inequality,” differently. Rousseau would mostly disagree, holding that the state itself is the impetus for inequality. Hobbes would largely agree, contending that men are equal both in a primitive state of conflict and under a sovereign’s awesome power. These different responses result from the philosophers’ opposing views on fundamental human nature, civil society’s raison d’etre, and government’s inevitable form.
The Social Contract was written after John Locke and Thomas Hobbes had already developed their own “social contracts”. Unlike Locke and Hobbes, Rousseau believed that the social contract should be between the citizens, rather than between the state and the people. He believes that citizens shouldn 't have to give up any rights. He said that each citizen should give up all their rights to all the other citizens, but in return should receive equal amount rights from them. Rousseau was a supporter of violent revolutions; he believed that when the people aren’t satisfied with the government they have the obligation to overthrow the government. As a strong critic of the idea of property, he believed property caused greed and that the idea
Book One of The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau focuses on the reasons that people give up their natural liberty in order to achieve protection from threats to themselves and their property. This results in the formation of a legitimate sovereign where all members are equal. Rousseau believes that no human has authority over another individual because force cannot be established. He argues that no individual will give up his or her freedom without receiving something in return. I will focus my analysis on how the social contract states that we must give up our individual rights in order to obtain equality and security. However, by doing so, we retain our individuality and freedom.