October 8, 2010
A Discourse On Inequality
According to Rousseau, inequality is nonexistent in the being's state of nature. Men came into existence in their natural state without property, needs, moral laws, "reason" and "language", but instead with pity and self-preservation. As a result of pity and self-preservation, humans, in their natural state, cannot willingly cause harm to other humans, or animals, unless necessary for their own survival. Although humans, in their natural state, will not voluntarily strive to do good, their instilled principles restrain humans from committing a sinful act. Rousseau insists that pity and self-preservation are the building blocks and notions, that subsist in the natural state, before their debasement, as a direct result of the development society throughout the centuries. In the discourse,and all of its entirety, Rousseau emphasizes on the depravity of men. Rousseau distinctly mentions that modern men have transformed drastically from their natural state, in fact, so much that they have become "unrecognizable" and he also asserts that as long society and "amour proper" are present in the world, men will be unsuccessful in reaching their state of nature, and more importantly, happiness will therefore be out of the reach of mankind.
Freedom and happiness within the boundaries of society, are inconceivable because "amour proper", along with property and competition steer mankind away from their state of nature. The exploration and research of natural men, is of the essence, in order to dismiss the belief that inequality is a direct result of human's state of nature. It is ironic, however, that Rousseau claims that men, will never be able to return to their state of nature, and that humans are deemed incapable of obtaining true happiness without the state of nature, which undoubtedly, translates into the simple fact, that happiness outside of the state of nature is impossible to acquire....