The Social Contract (Classics)

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9780140442014: The Social Contract (Classics)

'Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains'

These are the famous opening words of a treatise that has not ceased to stir vigorous debate since its first publication in 1762. Rejecting the view that anyone has a natural right to wield authority over others, Rousseau argues instead for a pact, or 'social contract', that should exist between all the citizens of a state and that should be the source of sovereign power. From this fundamental premise, he goes on to consider issues of liberty and law, freedom and justice, arriving at a view of society that has seemed to some a blueprint for totalitarianism, to others a declaration of democratic principles.

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From the Author:

The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
The social contract came to me when I was fairly young, living in Geneva. It is unlike a convential book, which may take a few years to write, in that that it was in the making throughout my entire life.
If you find some of the ideas are not to your liking, then I make no excuse for them. They are my own so I cannot disown them. We can do only that which we think to be right.
The Social Contract lays out my view of soceity, and how I feel it should be

Jean Jacques Rousseau,

17th April 2004

About the Author:

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78) the French political philosopher and educationalist, is the author of A Discourse on Inequality, and Emile.

Maurice Cranston was Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics and wrote and published widely on Rousseau, including two volumes of biography.

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