Herrmann 1Justin HerrmannProfessor LuxonPolitical Ideas 120116 April 2019Rousseau, Labor, and ExploitationInequality by means of labor is an inevitable consequence. As oxymoronic as it may seem, there is just inequality. An inequality that stems from the simple fact that there will always be men who need to clean up the pig pen, just as well as there will always be men who are able to forsake that labor and have the opportunity to feed in food through the trough. In that vein, inequality is fair, natural even. In respect to that, what Jean-Jacques Rousseau argues in Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, is that when those who take advantage of the power gap an unnatural inequality takes shape. In this sickening version of inequality, there are those in power abuse and take advantage of it, and dominate the natural order of equality, bending societyto their will. As previously stated, all inequality is not equal. There are certain aspects of life and laborthat breed inequality, and that is natural. Perhaps that disqualifies it from being inequality and is actually representative of equality: where no man is favored over another by the law based on their status. But for Rousseau, and this paper, it is an inequality. Power is another great theme in Discourse on the Origin of Inequality. Rousseau frames labor and property as two essential equations to power and inequality. As with any mid-18th-century man, property is akin to wealth and societal status. As for labor, a farmer who works the crops cannot hold the same type of
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- Fall '19
- Political Philosophy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Geneva