Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 13: Rousseau Seeks Sanctuary in England (Vol. 34, pp. 215-228)

On this day in 1766, Jean Jacques Rousseau arrived in England after fleeing France. The French at the time weren't particularly interested in his theory that men were not created free and equal.

In this selection from his "Discourse on Inequality," he explains what liberty and life really mean and how inequality undermines these essential values of human life. He maintains that man in his natural state has little inequality, but once laws and property rights and everything else associated with government enters the equation, inequality usually follows.

This is an interesting choice, coming two days after Hamilton's defense of government in "The Federalist."

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