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Rousseaus The Social Contract published in 1762 after the success of his of several of his previous works became one of the most influential pieces of abstract political thought in Western tradition Many historians have in fact argued that Rousseaus abstract theories on the social contract that lie at the basis of his treatise were a direct cause for the French and American Revolutions Rousseaus Social Contract directly criticizes and undermines the status quo of the old regime Rousseau criticized the flaws in the existing regime analyzing and undermining almost all aspects of the old regime including the role of the monarchy and the aristocracy the under appreciated role of the general population and the role of the church and religion as a whole and its position in society In The Social Contract Rousseau explains that the human invention of government as a kind of contract between the governed and the authorities that govern them Rousseau contests that humans are born completely self-sufficient and self-governing whereas social human beings are dependant and constrained The rights and liberties that social human beings get are derived ultimately from a general social agreement He theorizes that the reason human being were willing to give up individual freedom to be ruled by others was that they expected their rights happiness and property would be protected and therefore more secure in a formal government than an anarchic society He argues however that this social contract was deeply and fundamentally flawed With the wealthiest and most powerful members of society always having the authority they deceived the general public into a society of permanently installed inequality Throughout this treatise Rousseau argues that this contract between rulers and the ruled should be rethought and changed Government should not solely protect the wealth and rights of the powerful minority but rather should be fundamentally based on the rights and equality of the entire population If the current form of government doesnt properly protect
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