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Word Count: 766
Jean-Jacques Rousseau claims that in order to ensure the legitimacy of civil commitments and to prevent them from becoming meaningless tyrannical and abusive one can be forced to be free It is unclear however how forcing citizens to conform to the general will leads to a society which is any more reliable and capable of sustaining itself than the arbitrary rule of a few power-hungry individuals When a society forms a social contract citizens determine together what is to be considered the general will--the law of the land This compact is meaningless however unless there is a way to ensure adherence to the will of this majority A problem arises in that each individual can as a man have a private will contrary to or different from the general will that he has as a citizen 472 This distinction between ones will as a man and as a citizen arises in that one in forming the social contract with his fellow citizens chose laws which will benefit the community as a whole yet as an individual he cares only of his own self-benefit It follows therefore that private interest all to often leads a man to becoming a free-rider who wishes to enjoy the rights of a citizen without wanting to fulfill the duties of a subject an injustice whose growth would bring about the ruin of the body politic 472 The social contract must subscribe a solution to this problem for it is an empty formula unless it tacitly entails the commitment that whoever refuses to obey the general will will be forced to do so by the entire body 472 To ensure commitment society can therefore force one to be free How is this free when you must abandon your own private will and submit to that of the majority Since freedom correlates with autonomy and complete alienation from animal concern for oneself upholding the commitments made through the social contract even
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