In Book I, Rousseau aims to discover why people gave up their natural liberty, which they possessed in the state of nature, and how political authority became legitimate. He begins with the famous sentence, "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains." These chains result from the obligations that each person has to the community. According to Rousseau, this sense of communal duty is founded upon convention. He denies that a legitimate, political authority can be found in the state of nature. The oldest and only natural society is the family. However, children are only bound to their father as long they depend on him to take care of them. Once a child has reached maturity, the members of the family return to their previous state of independence. The family is the prototype for all political societies: the father is the leader, and his children are the populace. Each person gives up his liberty to receive the protection of the family and thus promote his own utility. According to Rousseau, force cannot be the foundation for legitimate political authority. People obey those stronger than themselves out of necessity, not by choice. Thus, the right of the strongest cannot create the sense of a duty that is necessary to establishing a true right. In addition, because strength is a relative term, the effect of this right changes with the cause. As soon as one person makes himself the strongest, all previous claims established on the right of the strongest are nullified. Thus, the primary flaw with
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