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Single Idea 19746

[catalogued under 25. Society / C. Social Justice / 2. Social Freedom / e. Freedom of lifestyle]

Full Idea

Liberty is like those solid foods or full-bodied wines appriopriate for strengthening robust constitutions that are used to them,, but which overpower, ruin and intoxicate the weak and delicate who are not suited to them.

Gist of Idea

Like rich food, liberty can ruin people who are too weak to cope with it


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Discourse on the Origin of Inequality [1754], Intro letter)

A Reaction

Rousseau vision of a successful society involves robustly self-sufficient citizens (as in the American ideal), rather than people who are free, but easily led into dependence (in a 'nanny state').

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.27