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Single Idea 19824

[catalogued under 25. Society / B. The State / 6. Government / d. Size of government]

Full Idea

The government becomes slack as the magistrates are multiplied, and the more numerous the people the greater should be the increase of repressive force - ...so the number of leaders should decrease in proportion to the increase of the number of people.

Gist of Idea

Large populations needs stronger control, which means power should be concentrated

Source

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract (tr Cress) [1743], III.02)

A Reaction

This bit sounds Stalinist! A vast population seems to require a dictator. When his state is Geneva-sized Rousseau seems comfortable, but his plans for bigger states are a bit disturbing.

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.178

Related Idea

Idea 19826 Democracy for small states, aristocracy for intermediate, monarchy for large [Rousseau]