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Single Idea 19819

[catalogued under 25. Society / E. State Functions / 1. The Law / a. Legal system]

Full Idea

The relationship of members to each other should be as small as possible, and as large as possible to the entire body. ...Only the force of the state brings about the liberty of its members. From this relationship civil laws arise.

Gist of Idea

The state ensures liberty, so civil law separates citizens, and binds them to the state


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

A Reaction

I'm guessing that these laws could be said mainly to prescribe both our rights and our duties. His four types of law are political, civil, criminal, and customary.

Book Reference

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

Related Idea

Idea 19818 Political laws are fundamental, as they firmly organise the state - but they could still be changed [Rousseau]