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John Mills Rousseau

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In this paper, I will argue that Mill’s notion of colonial exploitation vastly expands Rousseau’s ideology of the perpetuation of social and political inequality through the development of private property. Rousseau discusses how property leads to inequality, which implemented the social contract. Mills expands Rousseau's ideology by discussing how race influences the social contract, directly correlating the racial contract to colonial exploitation. This allows Mills to accentuate the fundamental mechanisms in which the racial contract influences the social contract. Rousseau accounts for the development of civil society by depicting the development of the savage man into a civil and enlightened man. This development was gradual as “…show more content…
Mills states that “ In the racial contract, by contrast, a crucial metamorphosis is the preliminary conceptual partitioning and the corresponding transformation of human populations into” white “ and “non-white” men” (Mills, 13). This entails the idea that that the Racial contract was able to extend the boundaries of Rousseau’s account of the social contract by focusing not just on the transformation from savage to civil man that lead to exploitation, yet to limit the spaces in which this crucial metamorphosis was capable in occurring in, implying nonwhite nations would be incapable of the transformation . Thus, only the European was able to become enlightened enough to appropriate labor, and because the European nation was naturally civil, nonwhite nations would need European interference to become civil. This allowed a moral hierarchy to be implemented that ultimately favored European nations, and allowed the social contract to remain within white nations. Mills argues that “By the social contracts decision to remain in the space of the European nation-state, the connection between the development of this space’s industry, culture, civilization, and the material and cultural contributions of Afro- Asia and the Americas is denied,…show more content…
Mills argues that “ the whole point of establishing a moral hierarchy and juridically partitioning the polity according to race is to secure and legitimate the privileging of those individuals designated as white/persons and then exploitation of those individuals designated as nonwhite/sub persons .” (Mills, 32) . Thus, the racial contract is needed to expand the ideas of the social contract that Rousseau elaborates on by providing an account for the demoralization of certain, nonwhite spaces and the privileging of white nations that inevitably lead to colonial exploitation, making the social contract a global phenomenon rather than one reserved for one nation. Additionally, not only did demoralization lead to colonization, it justified it, establishing a state of war against savagery, and leading the European to become inclined to civilize certain spaces. Consequently, economies based on the state of war against savagery were implemented. This is justified by Mills argument that “ Economic structures have been set in place, causal processes established, whose outcome is to pump wealth from one side of the globe to another, and which will continue to work largely independently of the ill will/good will, racist/anti-racist feelings of particular individuals” (Mills 36). Thus the demoralization of non- white nations
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