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Bad to the Bone… Or Not? Rousseau’s On the Social Contract introduced new and powerful ways the notion of the “consent of the governed” is important as opposed to the will of the state or ruler. It plays a huge role in what our society has become today because of the development of the modern principles of human rights that underlie contemporary conceptions of democracy. Many of the ideas that Rousseau found important to have in a government are ideas that are used today. Such as what was previously mentioned the idea of the consent of the governed, this can be seen in the opening line of the Constitution simply with, “We the people,” as well as in the amendments to the Constitution. To be able to understand this though, there must first be a common understanding about what people are naturally, good or bad. Based on class discussions and other sources, humans are naturally bad.
The main topic that will be focused on throughout this reflection of Rousseau’s The Basic Political Writings is what humans are naturally, good or bad. This will be discussed through the relationship between On the Social Contract and herd mentality. Another big topic will be the problems with the application of On the Social Contract in social norms of today. Some side topics to think about within comparing the ideas are the idea of general will versus individual will, as well as intellectual development. Each of these plays a major role in the connection between On the Social Contract and herd mentality.
Herd mentality is the idea of a giant chain reaction, such as an exponential growth problem in algebra where one person does or wants something and then two people do/want it and then four people do/want it and so on. This in relation to general will versus independent will would mean that a general will would directly reflect the will of its independents. The only downfall to this idea…...

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