To The Average Person, Inequality Has Been A Societal Norm

1110 Words5 Pages
To the average person, inequality has been a societal norm for hundreds and hundreds of years, but too Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in a perfect society, also known as the state of nature, humans were practically equal to one another. What eventually caused humans to break from this pattern of equality and form the society we see today? In his novel Discourse on Equality, or better known, 2nd Discourse, Rousseau attempts to outline what humans were like before societal interference, and how we can try and return to our roots of equality and peace. Rousseau created a concept called the general will that acts as an outline of the will of the people. In a perfect society, this will will create laws that reflect how society as a whole wishes to…show more content…
Overall, the process of humans moving from an anonymous, secluded life in the state of nature, to the sprawling, luxurious, and materialistic world of today is what created this pattern of inequality. Since Rousseau made it clear that it wasn’t possible for society to return to the state of nature, he created a general will which outlines how to solve some of society’s major problems. This will serves to showcase the common wishes of society through laws that all people help to contribute to. For Rousseau, general inequality, brought upon by the ownership of property and the division of labor, is one of the greatest evils among people. In order to combat this, the general will must be employed. The problem of the ownership of property and the division of labor identified by Rousseau are just some of the problems that can be solved through the general will. Seeing as the will is, overall, the will of the people, laws under the general will wouldn’t allow for the inequalities that ultimately stem from these societal problems. In a perfect society, Rousseau assumes that people would try to aim towards the common good; this would mean that laws would express the will of all people, not just the rich. If the rich are unable to prey upon the poor through the laws put in place, as Rousseau suggests, then one can attempt the reverse the effects of greed that stem from property ownership and the division of
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