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Rousseau and Abbey Take on Modern Civilization Essay

  • Submitted by: queirolr
  • on March 12, 2013
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,423 words

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Below is an essay on "Rousseau and Abbey Take on Modern Civilization" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Is it possible for you to recall the last time you completely lost track of time, and had no desire at all to see how much time had passed by? Although such a question may seem fairly simplistic, it really is a radical idea.   It is so easy today, to become wrapped up in civilizations ongoing demand for conformity. What happened to the old days where it was possible to lose track of time and just enjoy the simplistic and basic beauty that nature has to offer. Due to the progression of civilization society has been deceived, enslaved, corrupted, and most of all detached from our natural and pure origins. Two writers that share these beliefs are Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Edward Abbey. Both writers propose the radical idea of abandoning the developing western civilization, and returning to a simpler form of life where man can once again be pure.
Rousseau represents his idea of the harmful effects that the arts and sciences have had on civilization when he states that,   “the sciences, letters, and arts, less despotic and perhaps more powerful [than the government and laws], spread garlands of flowers over the iron chains with which men are burdened, stifle in them sense of that original liberty for which they seemed to have been born, make them love their slavery, and turn them into what is called civilized peoples” (36). Why does Rousseau condemn the arts, sciences, and modern advancements that have transformed us into the current world that we accept today? It is because such progressions that we have come to seek joy and comfort in are simply illusions distracting us from the fact that we are slaves to society.
We were once simple and pure human beings, but overtime have transformed into automatons. Our conversion began when the concept of ownership was introduced. The sense of ownership led to greed, which then led to a whole new set of needs. This set of higher demands created a world where man was forced to conform to society, and this is where we sit today....

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