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"A Discourse on Inequality" .

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Submitted By: Denis Venderov Submitted To: Professor D.S. Hutchinson Co-Instructor: Paul Los T.A. Janette Dinishak Course: PHL 102Y Date Due: February 13, 2003 Position Paper #5 Assigned Reading: Jean-Jacques Rousseau. "A Discourse on Inequality" (part II). Corruption among mankind. One of the leading political philosophers of his time, Jean-Jacques Rousseau presents in his work, "A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality", concepts that are original not only in terms of political theory, but economical and social theories as well. Through obtaining a fictitious state of nature, Rousseau's Second Discourse leads to suggestion that man is inevitably corrupt as a result of natural and moral inequalities. "The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying this is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. ...read more.


The above quotation emphasizes the extraordinary nature of the creation of property. Rousseau is very clear that the connection between property and inequality is a direct one. Once property has been created, institutional structures emerge to fix it (the connection) in place, and mankind is then "lost." Later on in the Discourse Rousseau implies that a modern man creates laws for leading so that there may be some rules of justice and peace. "Let us, in a word, instead of turning our forces against ourselves, collect them in a supreme power which may govern us by wise laws, protect and defend all the members of the association, repulse their common enemies, and maintain eternal harmony among us."1 This quotation clearly shows the origins of nationalism, when a group of people with common ideas, common desire, and common ambition collectively group together. ...read more.


Without a doubt these emotions are the building block for inequality that leads to corruption. "Man may be in a state of nature, but the nature of man and his emotions will eventually dominate his actions."2 To secure my argument I would like to refer to a well known (school program) novel by William Golding called "Lord of the Flies." There, a group of young boys with no adult guidance use their emotions and ambitions to create laws, power and class struggle, consequently creating corruption and inequality among their "society." Corruption among the powers eventually creates a very tense conflict in the end of the book, as a result of which two boys were killed and others enormously suffered. Conclusively, so long as such emotions are present within man, then perhaps corruption and inequality, and thus disaster is unavoidable. 1 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. "A Discourse on Inequality" Penguin Classics. 1985. 2 Patten, Alan. "Rousseau's "A Discourse on the Origin of Inequality" and the Corruption of Modern Man" available on-line: http://www.smalrus.com/rousseaudiscourse.php ...read more.

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