Property Creates Human Greed By Rousseau 's State Of Nature

1239 WordsApr 27, 20175 Pages
Property creates human greed. “As soon as one man realized that it was useful for a single individual to have provisions for two, equality disappeared, property came into existence, labor became necessary” demonstrates that men will subjugate and deprive others in order to act in self-interest (74). Once the strong came to understand the pleasure of accumulating more than is necessary for survival, “they thought of nothing but the subjugation and enslavement of their neighbors, like those ravenous wolves that on having once tasted human flesh, reject all other food and desire to devour only men” (78). This inequality is illegitimate in divine abode of Rousseau’s state of nature, but property develops constructed legitimacy “since…show more content…
Because force is always illegitimate, property maintained through force is always illegitimate as well. The illegitimacy of force is demonstrated by Rousseau’s stinging condemnation of the sultan who rules through force. The sultan’s rule is illegitimate, but those who overthrow the sultan with force are equally illegitimate. Rousseau explains that “the uprising that ends in the strangulation or the dethronement of the sultan is as lawful an act as those by which he disposed of the lives and goods of his subjects the day before. Force alone maintained him, force alone brings him down” (90). Property can only be seized through force, which is always illegitimate, regardless of the current proprietor’s illegitimate claim to the land. In both Marx’s depiction of society and Rousseau’s, humans have developed through a succession of stages to act in self-interest, oppressing other humans for the sake of material gain. They agree that property is a human construction created by the strong to solidify social status and sustained through illegitimate legal and economic systems. For both philosophers, illegitimate property leads to labor becoming deeply dehumanizing. The craving to own illegitimate property comes from human greed, appetites, and socialization. On the surface, Marx and Engel’s theory is compatible with Rousseau’s. The philosophies, however, have many significant differences. Rousseau
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