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Single Idea 19774

[catalogued under 25. Society / A. State of Nature / 2. Natural Freedom]

Full Idea

A savage man could well lay hold of the fruit another has gathered, the cave that served as his shelter. But how will he ever succeed in making himself obeyed? What can be the chain of dependence among men who possess nothing?

Gist of Idea

A savage can steal fruit or a home, but there is no means of achieving obedience

Source

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

A Reaction

You'd certainly need language to express an enduring threat, like excluding someone from all of the local caves. You need to be able to say 'I'll be back', which animals can't say. Huge muscular men must have dominated in some way.

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.58