Questions for *On the Social Contract*, Book III

  • Rousseau argues that “the private will has much more influence on the acts of the government than those of the sovereign.” Do you agree with this statement? In other words, do our heads of state take into account the will of the people (i.e. the sovereign) when instituting laws? Or are they more concerned with private affairs?
  • Rousseau argues that “it is not good for the one who makes the law to execute them.” Why might this be the case?

One thought on “Questions for *On the Social Contract*, Book III

  1. Maggie

    I think that this somewhat depends on the means of their succession, which Rosseau discusses briefly in Book III. Each has its own dangers, and I think is another factor worth considering that plays into the scenario. Rosseau suggests that those that are elected are prone to corruption, but he also states that succession by hereditary means runs the risk of obtaining an incompetent ruler. I would argue that some heads of state do, in fact, care about more then just the private will, but I think that it would be an interesting discussion to have if you bring succession into the question such as Rosseau also discusses in Book III.

Comments are closed.