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On the Social Contract (1762)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140442014, Paperback)'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.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:03 -0400)
?Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains.? Thus begins Jean-Jacques Rousseau's influential 1762 work, On the Social Contract, a milestone of political science, and essential reading for students of history, philosophy, and social science. A progressive work, it inspired world-wide political reforms, most notably the American and French Revolutions, because it argued that monarchs were not divinely empowered to legislate. Rousseau asserts that only the people, in the form of the sovereign, have that all powerful right. On the Social Contract's appeal and influence has been wide-ranging and continuous. It has been called an encomium to democracy and, at the same time, a blueprint for totalitarianism. Individualists, collectivists, anarchists, and socialists have all taken courage from Rousseau's controversial masterpiece.
2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.
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