The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
"The Social Contract" is an exciting and influential work by famed philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau. First published in 1762, the book sets forth Rousseau's groundbreaking theory of political legitimacy based on the concept of 'popular sovereignty'. It dramatically argues that all men are born free and equal, yet everywhere they are in chains, bound by the constraints of society and its institutions.
In his quest to resolve this apparent contradiction, Rousseau explores the idea that people, through a social contract, willingly give up some of their freedom in return for the benefits of living within a governed society. This contract, he argues, forms the basis of civil society and establishes moral and political obligations among individuals, creating a collective 'general will' that always seeks the common good.
Provocative and deeply influential, "The Social Contract" offers readers a potent exploration of the tension between individual freedom and societal order, a theme that continues to resonate in our current socio-political climate. A must-read for anyone interested in philosophy, politics, and the roots of democratic governance.
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