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Proposal That all laws be enacted by the general will. This is not mere absolute democracy, as the will is ‘general’ in two senses:

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Presentation on theme: "Proposal That all laws be enacted by the general will. This is not mere absolute democracy, as the will is ‘general’ in two senses:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Proposal That all laws be enacted by the general will. This is not mere absolute democracy, as the will is ‘general’ in two senses:

2 (1) It is the will of the people ‘in general’ (2) Laws are not particular to any man. – This entails that: there shall be no factions and no political parties. – Citizens who are incapable of suppressing their private wills will be not allowed to vote.

3 The origin of inequality Deduction of the origin of inequality and the institution and abuse of political societies by light of reason independent of ‘sovereign authority’.

4 P1 There is ‘hardly’ any inequality in the state of nature Therefore, all inequality hails from the development of the faculties and advancement of the human mind. It become permanent and legitimate by establishment of property and law.

5 It follows that: Moral inequality authorized by positive right alone clashes with natural right, whenever it is not proportionate to physical inequality.

6 State of nature: Contra to Hobbes: – Man conceived along is not rational he has no language, as language is social. Language is the basis for rationality – Therefore, he has no fear of death, nor will towards self- preservation.

7 AND He is compassionate (pg & 226)

8 This leads to The preservation of the whole species – Instead of “Do to others as you would have them do unto you”, the natural maxim is “Do good to yourself with as little evil as possible to others”. – Note: this is positive, other negative.

9 If not rational… What distinguishes us from the beasties? – Freedom of will – perfectability

10 So… We (men) are driven into familial relationships which ‘soften’ us through natural need (guess which!). – This produces language, and leads to (and serves as the model of) society.

11 True founding: Of civil society is in the founding of property (Book 2).

12 Now… Man lives for others, no longer for himself. That makes him miserable.

13 At some point Some wealthy guy figures out that a social contract will help him protect his wealth, and free him from his obligations to others.

14 Thus: The differences in social contracts, as existing, results from the differences in the social inequalities found in the society at the time of the social contract.

15 Monarchy = one man was pre- eminent in power, virtue, riches or personal magistrate. Aristocracy = many were pre- eminent, none above the rest. Democracy = social contract arrived at early when moving from the state of nature.

16 Legitimacy There must be a government (for we can’t go back – it will just be the will of the stronger), and it may take the form of one of the above. – In any case, the right to rule is derived from the people and exercised only so long as it please them.

17 -and since the two other putative sources of power – nature and divine right – have been set aside by previous argument, only the will of the people remain.

18 And... All three lead to bad things – the most important of which is that the ‘honor of defending the common cause’ is usurped by the standing government against the will of the people.

19 So: In order to reestablish the empowered, responsible man, given the realities of the post- social contract environment:

20 Proposal That all laws be enacted by the general will. This is not mere absolute democracy, as the will is ‘general’ in two senses:

21 (1) It is the will of the people ‘in general’ (2) Laws are not particular to any man. – This entails that: there shall be no factions and no political parties. – Citizens who are incapable of suppressing their private wills will be not allowed to vote.


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