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How Is Mary Rousseau's Second Discourse On The Origin Of Inequality

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Rousseau’s Second Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, representative of Enlightenment thought, offers an academic response to the classical notion that humans are naturally social, on the subject of present day civil society in which unequal and exploitative social relations which are backed by law and state power are practiced. On the other hand, proto-feminist Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Right of Women, written in an era of great political upheaval, is the first feminist treatise to offer a declaration of the rights of women to civil opportunities and equality of education. Marry Wollstonecraft contends that women’s equality is socially contracted to prop up the position of males in society, arguing that if women are not…show more content…
Alike, other accounts such as Hobbes’ which depict the state of nature as one of constant war, Rousseau takes the faculties of property, natural rights and absolute government, not to have been developed in a natural state, but rather historically. Rousseau goes on to characterize the changing landscapes of society by human activity, exploring the roots of inequality found within property rights, “The wealthy, on their part, had no sooner begun to taste the pleasure of command, than they disdained all others, enslaving their neighbors; like ravenous wolves, which, having once tasted human flesh, despise every other food” (Rousseau, 1754). Through this quote, it is evident that Wollstonecraft does not in fact denounce property, but the divisions and inequalities of private property, which have brought about a “horrible state of war” (Rousseau, 1754), in the new-born state of society within the wealthy families versus the poor, to lead for the demand of rights through both the human natural and the new social…show more content…
Therefore, we can see that Wollstonecraft argues for the idea that by nature men are free, but as society progresses through time, the laws and corrupt forms of government have risen to power, even though people would never accept or agree to chose such government on the condition that “the poor had nothing but their freedom” (Rousseau, 1754). He exercises the ideology of freedom within human
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