Law - An abstract expression of the general will that is universally applicable. Laws deal only with the people collectively, and cannot deal with any particulars. They are essentially a record of what the people collectively desire. …
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He is free only if he can express his interest and individuality. He said, “Each man in giving himself to all, gives himself to nobody” (192). He was placing the individual in a responsible and responsive society that can create, run a government and participate in it. Collective decisions are the core of democracy, equality, liberty, fraternity. “As an ideal, the general will is, for Rousseau, a genuine universal….It is the unity through which the addictive collection of wills gets its meaning,” Dyke (1969, p.23). Rousseau argues in favour of general will at every step. “The general will is the will of all when we are not thinking about our own selfish interests but about the general interest” Roberts (1997). .
According to him if the laws of the land are good, it will reflect in the goodness of citizens and hence, the law is the root cause of good and bad both and so is highly significant. Especially the political, fundamental laws have to be wise and they connect the sovereign to people, one citizen to another, and connect the law to citizens. They also form the constitution of the state, which can wield power in every day life of the citizen. It is in the interest of all, it will affect all and rules all, and hence, participation of all is necessary.
It is in the interest of all, it will affect all and rules all, and hence, participation of all is necessary.
"Rousseau's theory has often been decried as too abstract and metaphysical. This is in many ways its great strength; but where it is excessively so, the accident of time is to blame" http://www.4literature.net/Jean_Jacques_Rousseau/The_Social_Contract/
He never talks of an individual without talking of collectivity. "The most basic convent, the social pact, is the agreement to come together and form a people, a collectivity"2.is "the real foundation of society," (p.59) and such general will must be "forced to be free" (64). His democracy is the most direct, extremely strong kind and it depended on the general will coming together frequently to make rules for themselves. They should identify each other and the common interests. We should remember that the states were smaller in those days. He did not want the common man to loosen his grip over the authority. "The constant will of all the members of the state is the general will; by virtue of it, they are citizens and free." He also says that liberty is impossible if the general will in majority ceases. "To renounce liberty is to renounce being a man, to surrender the rights of humanity and even it duties," he says on slavery and hence, making of law is the duty and right of the individual. "This general will is supposed to represent the common good or public interest - and it is something that each individual has a hand in making. All citizens should participate - and should be committed to the general good - even if it means acting against their private or personal interests." http://www.infed.org/thinkers/et-rous.htm
Even though he calls sovereignty as inalienable and
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The study will start with a discussion of the political theory of Locke, followed by a discussion of Rousseau’s political theory, and then end with how their thinking fits into the period of enlightenment. The political theory of John Locke John Locke can be regarded as one of the founding fathers of liberal philosophy
He claimed that every individual existing in this universe, has the right to be here and none had the right to harm one another. Hence, Locke is known as the “Father of liberalism” The contemporary concepts like “identity” and “self” was formulated with reference to Locke’s “theory of mind”.
According to Locke, it is illogical to give up natural rights to representation, property, life and other goods, than slavery to the government. Political philosophy seeks to question the legitimacy of taxation, state’s authority, and the best form of government.
No doubt Rousseau's ideal of a self-sovereign people along with the conception of democratic control over social life, informed the moral and political vision of nineteenth and twentieth century democratic mass movements, as well as non-democratic variants thereof.
According to them, political power originated from a pre political natural condition through a gradual development of Social Contract. This pre political natural condition is termed as ‘state of nature’. Although the
ut property rights and private property, it is important to remember that these thinkers flourished at a time that was known as the Enlightenment era where there was an intellectual flowering of sorts going on about the role of man and state and right to property etc. These
The first way is by constructing political institutions that are sovereign and can allow equality among citizens. Secondly, he focuses on the development of a kid and avoids destructive forms of self-interest.
Rousseau’s idea of general will has