• book
    0% of On the Social Contract completed

From the Publisher

"Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains. This man believes that he is the master of others, and still he is more of a slave than they are. How did that transformation take place? I don't know. How may the restraints on man become legitimate? I do believe I can answer that question …"
Thus begins Rousseau's influential 1762 work, Du Contract Social. Arguing that all government is fundamentally flawed, and that modern society is based on a system that fosters inequality and servitude, Rousseau demands nothing less than a complete revision of the social contract to ensure equality and freedom.
Noting that government derives its authority by the people's willing consent (rather than the authorization of God), Rousseau posits that a good government can justify its need for individual compromises, rewarding its citizens with "civil liberty and the proprietorship of all he possesses." The controversial philosopher further suggests that promoting social settings in which people transcend their immediate appetites and desires lead to the development of self-governing, self-disciplined beings.
A milestone of political science, these essays introduced the inflammatory ideas that led to the chaos of the French Revolution, and are considered essential reading for students of history, philosophy, and other social sciences.

Published: Dover Publications on
ISBN: 9780486111803
List price: $0.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for On the Social Contract
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.

Related Articles

Foreign Policy
4 min read

Scared Stupid

I like to think that the people I know are of above-average intelligence. Most of them, anyway. (I do know lots of people in Washington.) Yet were you to ask them to list their biggest fears, they would offer up answers similar to those enumerated in public polls and reports on the subject. One such study, conducted by Chapman University in 2014, ranked people’s biggest phobias in order: public speaking, heights, bugs, sharks and other animals, drowning, blood/needles, small spaces, flying, strangers, zombies, darkness, clowns, and ghosts. That’s right. Despite the fragility of life on this p
Nautilus
1 min read
Science

Spark of Science: Robbert Dijkgraaf: The director of the Institute for Advanced Study on the wonders of his childhood attic.

Robbert Dijkgraaf will sometimes let himself drift back to his childhood attic in the Netherlands. It was there that he did some of his first physics experiments, playing with discarded binocular optics that his father kept stacked in boxes. As he has risen to take the leadership of the Institute for Advanced Study, one of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions, those early experiences have not lost their power. “It’s very important to go back to the origin of your passion,” he says. They have also helped to shape his ideas about science education. Like many educators we talk to, D
TIME
3 min read
Politics

4. Our Backyard Is 85 Million Acres

ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, as we once more read the stirring words of the Declaration of Independence and celebrate the creation of a nation founded on the noble principle that every person has the inalienable right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” we should also celebrate an idea born in the United States nearly a century later—a uniquely American idea, just as radical and just as profound. Our national parks are more than a collection of jaw-dropping scenic wonders (the world’s greatest set of geysers, its biggest and tallest and oldest trees, its most famous canyon and so much