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Single Idea 19817

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 4. Citizenship]

Full Idea

Each citizen should be perfectly independent of all the others and excessively dependent on the city.

Gist of Idea

Citizens should be independent of each other, and very dependent on the state


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract (tr Cress) [1762], II.12)

A Reaction

Unlike many other of his pronouncements, this sounds a bit like a welfare state, though I doubt if he means that. Rousseau's state, founded by the general will, seems to have a quasi-religious quality, like a devotee's love of God.

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.172