Man is born free and is everywhere in chains

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man is born free and is everywhere in chains

Quote by Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chai...”

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Published 13.03.2019

"Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains"

Written in , The Social Contract picks up where his Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men left off, defining natural man as being free and happy and living in the forest. Rousseau explains how man went from this state of autonomy to the modern condition, dominated by inequality, dependency, violence and unhappiness. There were positive aspects to this process too, he admits, including the creation of families, the discovery of tools and technology, and the building of cities and social organisations.

“Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born to a family in Geneva. His mother passed only a few days after his birth. A few years later, his father fled after a duel. At the tender age of 16 he left for France and converted to Catholicism. At first, he would try to make his way as a musician and composer.

With the famous phrase, "man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains," Rousseau asserts that modern states repress the physical freedom that is our birthright, and do nothing to secure the civil freedom for the sake of which we enter into civil society. Legitimate political authority, he suggests, comes only from a social contract agreed upon by all citizens for their mutual preservation.
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a French philosopher and writer who lead a life rich in contradiction. He lived in an unhealthy garret, but taught hygiene. He wrote about nature, but lived in crowded Paris. He promoted virtues that he obviously lacked. When he came to Paris he became increasingly aware that ordering society was unjust. The rules were made by the rich to suit their own interests not those of the common people.

Source: The Social Contract. Author: Jean-Jacques Rousseau. This quote opens Rousseau's Social Contract Theory , an important treatise in both philosophy and politics. Here's the quick version: Rousseau says that all men are born into a state of freedom uh, except that we can't quite get out of our cribs —human nature is all about autonomy and being in control of yourself. He thinks back on the wonderful time when humans were primitive, roaming around without anyone telling us which elk to hunt or which berries to gather.

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