The Major Political Writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Two "Discourses" and the "Social Contract"

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

My review 2022-06-09

Yes, it is a classic. But dare I say it? It isn't very good. In fact, it is rather bad. Rousseau is overrated. His idea about the development of society out of a bunch of asocial individuals (not "noble savages") has been thoroughly debunked by evolutionary history. Its use as a hypothetical basis for political theory through the vague notion of the "general will" has generated more confusion than clarity. And the latter parts of the Social Contract, with their climate-based notions of governance, and other weird comments, are just bizarre. No, I do not approve.