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Thread: Jean-Jaques Rousseau, finally a man that thinks like me!

  1. #10

    Default Re: Jean-Jaques Rousseau, finally a man that thinks like me!

    "Also, by solitary Rousseau means primitive men stayed within their own groups and cared little for the lives of other groups."

    You will need to support this contention of what Rousseau meant. I don't think it is what he meant, and I will support my view as follows:

    1. If man evolved, he evolved in societies, as it is apparent that the next lower forms of life already had social structures.
    2. A feature of the social structures of many of the animal kingdom's societies is the presence of alpha beings, mostly male, but sometimes female. I remember seeing a special about sea lions (or maybe walruses), where the alpha male was tasked with preventing the rape of any unwilling females, during the mating season.
    3. It is reasonable to conclude that homo sapiens evolved with the feature of the alpha male, already present in the most advanced of the lower forms of life, intact.
    4. The immediate presence of alpha males in the original "primitive men small groups" would be imcompatable with Rousseau's conception of man's complete freedom of action in his imaginary "man's original state of nature".
    5. Therefore Rousseau could not have meant "solitary" as applying to small groups of men. When he says solitary he must mean exactly that, since even the smallest groupings of men will have those despised alpha males setting and enforcing rules.

  2. #11

    Default Re: Jean-Jaques Rousseau, finally a man that thinks like me!

    "This changed largely after official religion was born and Churches or Mosques were obliged to exploit religion for conquests all in the name of conversion."

    You're phase "this changed" refers to man staying in small groups and not caring for what happens in other small groups.

    The example of Alexander the Great would seem to call into question that the first wars were in the name of religion. They were more likely in the name of economics. Or even megalomania.

    Religions came about very early on anyway. I think they were born out of fear, doubt, and unanswerable questions, and combined with ritual were an aid to the alpha males' control of their groups. Keep in mind that the deveplopment of some type of religion happened in virtually all societies worldwide.

    I postulate that activites that could be characterized as being religious, came VERY EARLY in the history of homo sapiens.
    --------------------------------------------------

    I view Rousseau's presentation as nothing more than expressions of regret as to how man evolved.

    There is nothing to be done about it.

  3. #12
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    Default Re: Jean-Jaques Rousseau, finally a man that thinks like me!

    Steve, perhaps this excerpt will give you a better understanding of what Rousseau meant. He basically equates solitary with Nature and living off of the land. By contrast, law and morality he equates with society:

    Rousseau claimed that the state of nature was a primitive condition without law or morality, which human beings left for the benefits and necessity of cooperation. As society developed, division of labour and private property required the human race to adopt institutions of law. In the degenerate phase of society, man is prone to be in frequent competition with his fellow men while at the same time becoming increasingly dependent on them. This double pressure threatens both his survival and his freedom. According to Rousseau, by joining together through the social contract and abandoning their claims of natural right, individuals can both preserve themselves and remain free. This is because submission to the authority of the general will of the people as a whole guarantees individuals against being subordinated to the wills of others and also ensures that they obey themselves because they are, collectively, the authors of the law.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rousseau

  4. #13
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    Default Re: Jean-Jaques Rousseau, finally a man that thinks like me!

    Steve, you are making a mistake in my opinion by equating REMNANTS OF ROMAN EMPIRE with MEN.

    You seem to ignore the fact that many groups of people couldn't care less about capitalist values and religion. They were called pagans and heretics and killed by the thousands.


    Rousseau regrets the few taking over and setting the stage for the masses much more than he regrets DEVELOPMENT OF MEN.

    Further, he argues that all the great cars (Ok maybe he didn't see any cars in his age but you get the point), and houses, and clothes and other luxuries that capitalism brought are not worth the conditioning of men to be greedy and cruel to each other in the long term.

  5. #14

    Default Re: Jean-Jaques Rousseau, finally a man that thinks like me!

    "Steve, you are making a mistake in my opinion by equating REMNANTS OF ROMAN EMPIRE with MEN."

    In the only time frames I have discussed, thus far, the Roman Empire didn't exist yet.

    " You seem to ignore the fact that many groups of people couldn't care less about capitalist values and religion. They were called pagans and heretics and killed by the thousands."

    Ignoring it? It's not part of what I was discussing.

    "Rousseau regrets the few taking over and setting the stage for the masses much more than he regrets DEVELOPMENT OF MEN. Further, he argues that all the great cars (Ok maybe he didn't see any cars in his age but you get the point), and houses, and clothes and other luxuries that capitalism brought are not worth the conditioning of men to be greedy and cruel to each other in the long term."

    Capitalism didn't exist yet, so this is surmise on your part, which is OK. It's not part of what I was discussing, so surmise away.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is what I was discussing:

    "Rousseau claimed that the state of nature was a primitive condition without law or morality,"

    Yes, I know.

    How much more clealy can I spell it out?

    Rousseau's "state of nature as a primitive condition without law or morality" NEVER EXISTED.

    It's wishful thinking on his part.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    The rest of his discourse, according to your latest Wikipedia excerpt, appears to me to (possibly) be a treatese on doing away with alpha males, via .....

    Well, you finish it. How is the "general will of the people as a whole" supposed to manifest itself? Through what vehicle? Democracy? Communism? You tell me.



    "

  6. #15
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    Default Re: Jean-Jaques Rousseau, finally a man that thinks like me!

    Steve,

    How can you not see it? In many cultures a man could kill his wife if he wanted to without punishment, he could shoot an endangered specie without punishment, he could pollute water without punishment. To Rousseau that is lack of law. Steve you have to realize Rousseau was evaluating primitive people against modern laws.

    To Rousseau, no modern law meant no law no matter whether some kind of laws existed.

  7. #16
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    Default Re: Jean-Jaques Rousseau, finally a man that thinks like me!

    Rousseau advocated allowing every person to live as he pleased even if that meant LESS EFFICIENCY with regard to materialism as long as nobody did anythinbg obviously illegal like killing someone.

    For example, if a handful of people wanted no private property, then no private property laws for anyone in that area where those people live. If some people wanted communism, then allow communism to exist as long as it wasn't large enough to hurt others. He was against majority rules and in favor of every group however small.

  8. #17
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    Default Re: Jean-Jaques Rousseau, finally a man that thinks like me!

    Big, You choose to hang with some strange people, The R man abandoned his 5 children to an orphange (a death sentance if you didn't supply money for food, which he didn't), this didn't stop him from writing a book (Emily?) about how to raise kids. He was a bum.

  9. #18

    Default Re: Jean-Jaques Rousseau, finally a man that thinks like me!

    We'll kindly draw a veil on the life and thoughts of Mr. Rousseau.

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