The origin of civil society

cruel.org/ Rousseau
Source:cruel.org/ Rousseau

The Origin of Civil Society

The social contract is the most popular book return by Rousseau. It contains the brilliant political philosophy. In it, Rousseau emphasizes on the rights of people over those of government. According to him, the government is formed as a contract between the ruler and the ruled. The ruler is an aspect of fulfilling the desires and demands of the citizen. In return, the citizen has to obey the rules and regulation of the government. If the government fails to fulfill the desires of the people it is their right to over throw the existing government.

The subject of the first book

The man is born free and every where he is in change. That means man in his natural state is free but when he enter into the state of civil society, his bound by various rules and regulation. He shows that freedom is natural to the human being but he has to forsake his individual freedom forsake of welfare in the civil society. The man who is in the power and in the position thinks himself as the master of others who are less than himself. He considers other as the slave. This relationship is formed by the use of force. And the relations continue till the force keeps on operating. So the categories of the master and slave are not natural but it has been formed or builds upon the convention.

  • Of primitive societies

Parents are responsible for the love and care and preservation of the children. Children have to obey the rules and regulations formed by the parents. They need their parents as long as they feel the needs of self-preservation. This is an analogy brought by Rousseau to show the similarity between family and civil state. The ruler in the civil state is responsible for preserving the life of the people and for this, they have to obey the ruler. But when the rulers fail to fulfill the desires of the people they in return are not bound to obey the ruler.

  • Of the right of the strongest

The man remains strong until he is able to transform his might into right and obedience into duty. Is might always right or does might always need right is a question which gives the answer as might is right. People generally believed that those who have got power and whatever is done by them is right. But it is not that might is always right. Whatever is decided and done with s done by them is right. But it is not that might is always right. Whatever is decided and done with the use of force can be right. Furthermore, it’s not necessary to obey what is taken to be right with the use of might.

  • Of slavery

No one has natural authority to rules his fellow beings with the use of his power. So the only best for legitimate authority is people’s agreement. Taking this idea into consideration. Slave is a no more justifiable and defensible. In the system of monarchy, the slavery is prevalent. In this system, the king has the sole authority upon his citizen and in return they do not get anything. So the system of monarchy is no right to rule the people. It is said that soldiers in war capture by the rivals can be made as slave. But Rousseau says that these soldiers cease to be enemies after they have been captured. They become free individual. Slavery is defensible on no ground. Even the prisoners of the war cannot be slave because when they surrender to their rival they are no more enemies. They turn to be individuals and individuals must be free.

  • There we must always go back to an original compact

In the rule of the despotic ruling, people will never have freedom. In this system, the relationship is not that of ruler and people but of the master and the slave. So, despotism can never be the better system in any way so the ruling system through the agreement can be the better one.

  • Of the social pact

Rousseau defense civil society against the state of nature. In the original state people were free but by founding the society they have to preserve the whole human race otherwise, people would have been destroyed. In the society people unit their power into one to defend and resist against anything. While uniting the power our agreement rules.

The social contract is in many ways a follow up to discourse on the origin and basis of in equality among man. In the early work, Rousseau attacks private property got causing inequality and exploitation. These vices are responsible for the chains that Rousseau refers to in the first sentence of on the social contact. Accepting that some loss of liberty is evitable, Rousseau seeks to establish a legitimate, political authority. The social contract thus examines what constitutes such and authority. Rousseau begins the social contract with the notable phrase man is born free but every where he is in chains. Because these chains are not found in the state of nature, they must be construction of convention. Rousseau the seeks the basis for a legitimate, political authority in which people must give up their natural liberty. He sets two conditions for a lawful polity and creates several clauses to ensure that they are carried out. First there must be no relationship of particular dependence in the state and second, by obeying the laws an individual only obeys himself.

Rousseau that a person loses natural liberty in the civil society. He loses natural liberty and gets civil liberty. When such civil society is formed, a man loses his natural rights. Rousseau says that a man has two types of liberty- natural liberty and civil liberty. Natural liberty is the equal among all the people by birth. But civil liberty means the liberty permitted by the civil society. When one enters into the civil society, he loses the natural equality and gets the civil liberty. A person gets the rights that are offer by the civil society. Rousseau says that man is born free but he is in chain everywhere. This statement shows that man is originally free but later on he falls under the social rules and regulation. Social role makes people higher, lower, senior, junior, rich, poor, powerful and powerless, superior and inferior. By birth all people are free and equal but social formation makes such demarcation.

Right after entering into the civil society a person has followed the rules and the law of the society. Here, the civil society refers to the legal society where law binds people like the chain. When one enters into a civil society, he finds himself chained from everywhere. So, natural liberty is the freedom given by the natural law but civil liberty is the freedom given by the society or the state so civil society divides us into the ruler and the ruled.

Reference

Lohani, s. (2012). Western Intellectual Tradition.Kathmandu: M.K. Publishers.

  • The ruled in the civil state is responsible for preserving the life of the people and for this, they have to obey the rules.
  • The man remains strong until he is able to transform his might into right and obedience into duty.
  • No one has natural authority to his fellow beings with the use of his power so the only best for legitimate authority is people’s agreement.
  • Rousseau defense civil society against the state of nature in which people unite their power into one to defend and resist against anything.
  • Rousseau has called the commonwealth a social order in the sense that its members are owners of property.

 

 

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