Nov 26, 2020 in Interview

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The Social Contract or Principles of Political Right

Rousseau: I am sure that a man is born free and it is impossible to contradict this point of view looking at the modern political system. Vice versa, our modern social concept and the principles of the political right prove my statement.

Me: I cannot agree with you as considering the current situation in the political world, especially in the international arena, it is possible to see only examples of the dependency of one particular issue over another.

Rousseau: I am sure I can contradict each of your statements since I predict what you are going to say. One of the main problems in your statement is that you show your arguments from the wrong position. You initially take a wrong statement for granted and the ruining of your primary background guarantees to ruin of your whole theory.

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Me: You do not know what I am going to say and you contradict my opinion. I have strong arguments, and I have examples, which may help me convince you that my opinion is correct and to show you the faults of your theory.

Rousseau: Ok, let us try to consider the situation from the very beginning. In ancient times, all people were born free since there was no society as a structure. However, and it is going to be your main argument, all people depended on each other because they had some obligations. Some more important people created the first signs of societies, and others were dependent on them. However, those important people were also dependant on simples ones. Without people, any society is impossible. Therefore, those who had power over others greatly depended on them as well. Do you see my point?

Me: For now, it seems to me that you are proving the fact that all people are dependent on each other. Isn't it proof of my position?

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Rousseau: No, it is not. You are wrong. You see, the dependency of the leaders on their people proves that all people are equal in this meaning. We are all dependant on each other. However, a detailed consideration may help us understand that this dependency is the confirmation of our choice. Each person is free to decide whether he or she wants to depend on this particular person, situation, event, etc. The dependency on each other is a free choice.

Me: I cannot agree with you. Looking at the modern situation in the world, and referencing the discussion to global politics, it is impossible to say that people have the right to choose whom they want to deal with and who they prefer to avoid. Modern political relationships are too constrained. The countries that have weaker positions do not have an opportunity to choose the parties they would like to deal with since they are restricted by some particular circumstances. The only thing I can agree with you about is that those countries, which show their power are tied as well. The political life of the whole world has become too connected and no one can whatever he/she wants without agreeing on the process with others. A man is not born free because from very birth he/she is connected to the mother and parental-childish relationships. How can you call it freedom of choice? Where do you see liberty?

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Rousseau: I speak about the freedom of choice, the freedom of will. Speaking of liberty, or its absence, you speak about human decisions; you mix up will and action. Humans will not be dependent on anything or anyone as it is human inside tension or desire. If a person wants something, he/she is guided by the inner condition. When we speak about obligation and dependency, we mix our conscious choice with will. Do you understand what I mean?

Me: So, you want to tell me that when I do something I do not want to. It is not a dependency, but the choice, conscious choice. It means that living in this society under the particular rules created without my participation is my choice. But, this is not exactly the point. You see, I live in a society where people have to obey the rules of the president. I do not agree with some rules, but I cannot omit them. I live in this society and I have to follow rules while there are people who create these rules and they possess some kind of freedom in their decisions.

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Rousseau: No. Let me explain. When you follow the rules, it is your choice. You are not obliged, but having considered some particular conditions and reasons you decide that following rules are the most possible variant, the most convenient for you for now. You can act another way round, but you may not like the consequences and this is your free choice. Your statement about the freedom of those who have power over people is easier to contradict. Those who think that they have power do not understand that they have the helm of power, not the power itself. Each decision powerful people make is to be weighted since, in case of wrong decisions, the system may ruin. People may remain dissatisfied and the greater dissatisfaction, the lower level of power one has. Thus, powerful people depend on us.

Me: I suppose, I can get your position. Even though I still believe people do depend on some particular issues, you managed to convince me that powerful people do not have more freedom. I also begin to think about the freedom of human birth.

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