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Word Count: 675
In the French Revolution the struggle for freedom liberty was a long-term goal Voltaire pointed out that to be free or liberated meant to be able to or the power to act At the same time the term free will meant to wish Since these terms were often interchanged their meanings were blurred and unclear According to the Age of Reason nothing happens without a cause So Voltaire might have reasoned that such violent events as the storming of the Bastille and the slaughter of August 4th were lessons to teach French citizens the uselessness and cruelty of extreme violence Voltaire realized that the concept of general will was a useless means of government until the masses understood it The masses of France were illiterate and therefore general will fell on deaf ears Rousseau angered by Voltaires remark jumped in First he introduced the idea of general will in his Social Contract The general will is an agreement amongst the citizens of a nation but excluding the leader in which they agree to keep the common good Here the phrase Liberty Equality Fraternity came into use These were supposed to be the main goals of the people In his theory the government is only a tool to represent the peoples desires Therefore if the government is not keeping its word then it should be replaced immediately Obviously then Rousseau supported the system of democracy In this state of government man is basically forced to be free This refers to general will and the question of how to enforce such an idea soon arises It is unlikely that the entire mass of people will come to an agreement on their goals Man is basically selfish so that virtue comes only from society With these beliefs such things as a Machiavellian form of rule can be justified The ruler knows what actions to take for the good
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