Rousseau’s political ideas: The importance of government in our society.
Political systems have always created controversy in society. The debate to know which one works best has led philosophers like Rousseau to present their ideals to the public. In his Discourse on Inequality, Political Economy and Social Contract, Rousseau presents a prototype of how should an ideal system of governmentoperate. It includes diverse concepts of liberty and society roles that must be taken into account in order to have a functional system; however, the Discourse is about diagnosing the political problems rather than offering any solutions. It is a relevant exposure of Rousseau’s political ideas for it explains what is being dysfunctional and makes a call for a change in modern society.
The idea ofhaving a better systematic form of government is contemplated by Rousseau. The way he exposes his ideas is by pointing out the problems that exists within the politics and its organization. It can be considered metaphorically a mirror used by Rousseau to change the negative political facts. He mentions how active he wishes to be by saying “If I were a prince or a lawmaker, I would not waste mytime talking about what ought to be done; I would either do it or remain silent” (On Social Contract or Principles of Political Right. P.85). Comparing himself with a prince and a lawmaker, Rousseau presents himself as a common person that in the actual form of government has no direct influence on how the social system works. According to Rousseau, only important and powerful people have theadvantage to take action to solve the problems that are being set out. This is one of the relevant political ideas he exposes in his Discourse. It is important to highlight that he evokes motivation to act instead of talk, and therefore he believes in a form of government in which people take direct action assembling together to make laws. This jurisdiction will be functional since everybody is beingheard and represented in the government. This political idea brings a reflect on inequality that exists in the actual system. If society implies Rousseau’s idea of direct democracy, there will be equality with the participation of not only the powerful but everybody.
The concept of freedom comes along with his idea of direct action. Those who are not powerful must obey the laws of thoseconsidered the “masters” in a government without direct democracy. While if everyone has equal legislative voice, the master and slave roles disappear from the society; then equality exists. Rousseau assures that “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains. Anyone who thinks himself the master of others is no less a slave than they” (p.85). The political system is described as the chains thatare not allowing man to be free. Man is trapped inside a system that is being ruled by “masters” and followed by “slaves.” The lack of direct action has made everybody a slave of a dysfunctional system; therefore there is no progress within it. This idea is relevant to political meanings since the main point of having an organized government is to progress as a whole. Liberty is considered byRousseau as the bridge to direct democracy that will bring equality and independence. If people assemble to make a jurisdiction with their own laws, progress will be a political and social fact.
Unification of people seems to have a big importance in Rousseau’s thoughts of political power. This kind of power could only be obtained if the people assembling are independent, but do not act withdespotism. His idea of politics does not tolerate the tyranny of who should be a leader. According to Rousseau, despotism is an impediment for advance and an obstacle to achieve direct democracy. In a society “where isolated individuals are successively enslaved by a single man, whatever their number may be, [there is] only a master and his slaves, not a people and its leader, […] there is neither public...
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