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Single Idea 19786

[catalogued under 25. Society / D. Social Rights / 3. Social Equality / a. Grounds of equality]

Full Idea

Stage one gives law and property (producing inequalities of rich and poor), stage two gives a magistracy (producing weak and strong), and stage three is legitimate power becoming arbitrary (producing master and slave).

Gist of Idea

Three stages of the state produce inequalities of wealth, power, and enslavement


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

A Reaction

This is the final answer to the prize essay question (with Idea 19772). What a beautiful analysis - and he didn't even win the prize this time!

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.76

Related Idea

Idea 19772 In a state of nature people are much more equal; it is society which increases inequalities [Rousseau]