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Single Idea 19803

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 2. State Legitimacy / e. General will]

Full Idea

If there are partial association in the state ...there are no longer as many voters as there are men, but merely as many as there are associations. The differences become less numerous and yield a result that is less general.

Gist of Idea

If the state contains associations there are fewer opinions, undermining the general will


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract (tr Cress) [1762], II.03)

A Reaction

This appears to entirely reject political parties, and similar groups, which he had seen forming in England. It goes with his interesting faith that the more separate views there are, the more the right choice will emerge.

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.156