Essay on Biography of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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Biography of Jean-Jacques Rousseau MAN is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself the master of

others, and still remains a greater slave then they. How did this change come about?

I do not know. How can it be legitimate? That question I think I can answer.

(Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 1997)

Jean- Jacques Rousseau was born on the 25th of June 1712 in Geneva, Switzerland. He was reared by his aunt and uncle as his mother died shortly after childbirth and his father abandoned him. At the age of
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He believed that the more sophisticated a society became it would become easier to lose sight of the values that make life worth living. For Rousseau Modernity is an alienated existence where man realises that if he could have everything in society he would still be unsatisfied. (McClelland, J.S 1996)

In his works the discourse on the origins of inequality Rousseau attempts to explain how the world got into this mess. He explains “men in the state of nature” where there would be naturally unequal men but with no motive for dominance it is only in society that inequality matters. He believed society arouse when someone claimed a piece of land as his own and managed to convince others that it was his. This person was the founder of civil society. Unlike inequality in a state of nature inequality in property does matter. Out of the creation of Private property arouse ‘the second fraud perpetrated against society’ (McClelland, J.S 1996) which is law, where the force of the whole community is used to protect ill-gotten gains of a few. The elite in society manage to persuade everyone that the law applies equally to all where it really means that the rich in

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