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Single Idea 19847

[catalogued under 25. Society / C. Social Justice / 2. Social Freedom / a. Slavery]

Full Idea

To decide that the son of a slave is born a slave is to decide that he is not a man.

Gist of Idea

We can never assume that the son of a slave is a slave


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (The Social Contract (tr Cress) [1762], IV.2)

A Reaction

Obviously this is because men are 'born free', though I am not clear how that maxim can be reached. I take it for granted that African slaves in the Americas found themselves born into slavery. No justification was required.

Book Reference

Rousseau,Jean-Jacques: 'The Basic Political Writings', ed/tr. Cress,Donald A. [Hackett 1987], p.205