The State Of Nature — страница 3

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liberty. Rousseau does not believe that people have a natural right to property in the state of nature. He believes that the basis of property ownership is one way in which people are manipulated and divided in a political society. While Locke contends that there is choice individuals make in forgoing certain rights for the good of the community, Rousseau does not agree. Rousseau believes that people are manipulated into agreeing with what the powerful decide, and therefore many people in political society are forced to agree with principles that essentially disadvantage them. Rousseau gives several examples of the denaturing of human beings, and how these events lead him to understand social and political society as he viewed it. A major aspect in the denaturing of human beings

was the establishment of private property because that basically led to inequality among people, which is not present in Rousseau s state of nature. Rousseau states that political society began when one individual decided to claim a piece of property for himself and essentially convinced people that his conduct was legitimate. Essentially, this individual was the first to justify inequality and to convince people that it is legitimate (Part II, page 60). The denaturing of human beings is essential aspect of political society. In political society people lose their natural power and their individuality and instead are given a power in which they re completely reliant on others to exercise. Rousseau claims that in political society, man is given a partial and corporate existence .

As I have explained earlier, the denaturing of human beings leads to inequality and facilitates the power of private individuals to control other individuals. Rousseau s views on the denaturing of human beings can also be applied to the political concept of the general will . Rousseau questions how a handful of powerful people can create and dictate the rights and freedoms of the rest of society. Rousseau illustrates that all people have individual wills. In order for the general will to be established, people do not necessarily have to agree on what constitutes the general will (because people are entitled to have opposing views and different individual wills ), instead members of political society should be in agreement over what principles constitute a violation of the general

will. For example members of a political society may agree on the principle that one person may not own another. Rousseau shows us that it is enough for the general will to agree on what is not acceptable in society, because according to Rousseau it is impossible to establish the general will of the people any other way because people are entitled to their own often-conflicting individual wills. Rousseau is also critical of the idea of tacit consent . He believes that it is wrong to think that just because someone is a member of a certain community he/she must agree with all the ideas and decisions of that community. One should have the freedom to be part of the community and share in whatever benefits that provides to individuals that choose to be part of it (Rousseau calls this

civil freedom ), but at the same time one should have the freedom to exclude him/herself from the community either partly or fully should they choose ( natural freedom ).