Social Inequality Vs Natural Inequalities

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Natural vs. conventional inequalities What are the different types of inequalities? Where did inequalities originate? How do conventional inequalities lead to the unhappiness of human beings? In his book Second Discourse, Jean-Jacques Rousseau analyzes the inequalities that exist within humanity. First of all, he claims that there exist two different types of inequalities, the natural or physical inequality, and the moral or political inequality. Rousseau further explains how these inequalities come into being and how they affect humanity. According to Rousseau, natural inequality occurs in the natural state of man and, is therefore, caused by nature while the moral inequality occurs in the state of civilization. Rousseau explains that because…show more content…
Rousseau’s statement clearly suggests that human beings have no control over natural inequality, but they have control over moral inequalities. Because human beings have control over moral inequality, the inequalities occur because of them and they are therefore the sole creators of moral inequality. Rousseau adds that to understand the true origin of inequality, the understanding of human beings is necessary. He says, “For how can the source of inequality among men be known unless one begins by knowing men themselves?” (SD, 91). In trying to understand human beings, Rousseau tries to think of how humanity would have been in the state of nature and compares it to today’s modern…show more content…
Conventional inequality is subject to human alienation and Rousseau blames human beings for its formation. This is because human beings are responsible for the formation of society and civilization. Society and civilization bring about the emergence, amour proper, a destructive form of self-love where human beings begin to compare themselves to others. Rousseau argues that the first step of inequality was the formation of society since once society was formed, “each one began to look at the others and want to be looked at himself, and public esteem had a value. The one who sang or danced the best, the handsomest, the strongest, the most adroit, or the most eloquent became the most highly considered” (SD, 149). His statement shows that society leads human beings to take advantage of the natural inequalities by judging and discriminating against their individual differences and preferring some qualities to others. He continues to explain how in addition to vice, other values that hinder the happiness of human beings originated from society. He says, “from these first preferences were born on one hand vanity and contempt, on the other shame and envy; and the fermentation caused by these new leavens eventually produced compounds fatal to happiness and innocence” (SD, 149). Rousseau, therefore, implies that the happiness that

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