Rousseau discourse on Inequality

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a French-Genevan philosopher and writer of the 18th century. In 1754, Rousseau published a pamphlet title “Discourse on the origin of inequality”. In this pamphlet, Rousseau explained that there were two types of inequality among people that are “natural” and “artificial” inequality.

Rousseau’s Natural inequality

The natural inequality represented by age difference or other natural physical differences among the people was considered functional by Rousseau. He emphasized that natural inequality does not result in the exploitation or suffering of people.

Rousseau’s Artificial inequality

According to Rousseau, artificial inequality caused by material forces results in exploitation and suffering a people. The rich use their wealth to exploit the poor.

Rousseau emphasizes that artificial inequality must be shattered by abandoning materialism. He asked the people to go back to nature.

In this way the elements of socialism can be seen in Rousseau Philosophy

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