Jean Jacques Rousseau Discourse Of Inequality Summary

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There are many of life’s mysteries that have yet to be answered. It is mysteries like these that led men like Jean-Jacques Rousseau to devote their entire life to answering. Among these mysteries is the explanation of the origin of government and law, and why people willingly become slaves and choose to relinquish their freedom. In the Discourse of Inequality, Rousseau claims that the origin of government and law began with a “revolution”; this “revolution” was the moment when one individual needed another’s help, and one man desired what was enough for two, then equality vanished, work became essential and oppression separated the weak from the strong causing people to willingly give up their freedom to become slaves in order to gain security.…show more content…
His first care was self-preservation (food, rest, and sex). Let it be known that Rousseau asserts that at this time man scarcely dreamt of exploiting or profiting from Nature. However, the development of man made this concept increasingly more difficult. Man had to adapt to endure and overcome the obstacles of Nature. As man spread, difficulties multiplied. Different climates led to different lifestyles. Man learned to hunt animals, causing him to consider himself superior among species. From this rooted the beginning of pride in man himself as an individual. As a result, Savage man gradually began to compare himself with others. The notion of comparison forced the creation of a primitive form of envy. Progress became more rapid with the discovery of tools and the innovation of technology to build huts. This was the first “revolution”. As a result, this led to the establishment of families and property. Rousseau notes that each family was like a small society. These societies consisted of women who stayed at home while the men foraged for supplies. Men in this new leisure of a society experienced new conveniences that weakened their bodies and minds. Men became unhappy to possess these needs, but equally as unhappy to lose them. This struggle became one of the most primitive examples of why government and law became

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