Making Citizens: Rousseau's Political Theory of Culture by Zev M. Trachtenberg

By Zev M. Trachtenberg

By means of analysing Rousseau's belief of the final will, Zev Trachtenberg characterises the perspective of civic advantage Rousseau believes contributors should have to cooperate effectively in society. Rousseau holds that tradition impacts political lifestyles through both fostering or discouraging civic advantage. notwithstanding, whereas the cultural associations Rousseau endorses may inspire voters to obey the legislations, they wouldn't organize voters to assist body it. Rousseau's view of tradition therefore works opposed to his account of legitimacy, and Trachtenberg concludes that Rousseau's political concept as an entire is inconsistent.

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But now say that a faction gains control over society, and diverts the social choice from the common good to the goods the faction wants instead. ‘Does this mean that the general will is annihilated or corrupted? 438). The general will persists, that is, even though the social choice does not express it. How are we to explain the discrepancy between the two? What makes the social choice an incorrect statement of the general will? Recall that the general will is defined in terms of the members of society’s wants; it exists if these wants fit the pattern of a large number of small differences.

However, it is not at all 1 2 3 clear that A would feel obliged to cooperate with B and C—what would be in it for him? 4 point of self-interest he has no reason to cooperate. 4 shows that commonality is not simply a matter of counting the wants for each good—commonality requires a certain distribution of wants for all available goods among all the members of society. Only if the members of society’s desires are such that they stand to gain with respect to some of their wants by bargaining with respect to others will society have a reliable basis for cooperation—and, we can say, will society have a genuinely common good.

We can represent the underlying structure by mapping zeros to minuses, and intensities greater than 0 to pluses. 3b. For convenience we can call this A’s underlying profile, and the wants his underlying wants. Now let us say that each individual has an intensity threshold such that he will choose to sacrifice wants below it in order to satisfy wants at or above it. For example, the threshold for A may be 5—in this case he would seek to attain g3 and g6, and not seek to attain g1, g2, g4, or g5.

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