Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Jean Jacques Rousseau's "General Will"

A General Will

The General Will according to Jean Jacques Rousseau is a will not necessarily expressed by the general public in any way, but is presumed to be known by the ruling elite. No aspect of life is excluded from the control of the General Will. Whosoever refuses to obey the General Will must in that instance be restrained by the body politic, “forcing them to be free.”

Those believing in the General Will wished to dissolve the people into a homogenous mass, abolish decentralization, and remove representative institutions.

The Founding Fathers hated and feared the concept of the General Will, and designed the contract known as the U.S. Constitution with protecting the union against this kind of tyranny; hence, the existence of the Limiting Principles, State Sovereignty, Individual Rights, and a Separation of powers. In order for such a tyranny to dominate a governmental system such as ours, the wool would need to be pulled over the public’s eyes using rhetoric like “these laws are for the public good.”

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

Freedom and Federalism by Felix Morley

The Other Founders: Anti-Federalism and the Dissenting Tradition of America, 1788-1828 by Saul Cornell

The Federalist Era: 1790-1801 by John C. Miller

Hamilton's Curse by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

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