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Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778)


Franco-Swiss philosopher of Enlightenment whose political ideas influenced the French Revolution, the development of socialist theory, and the growth of nationalism.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
With children use force with men reason; such is the natural order of things. The wise man requires no law.
Rousseau quotes
It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.
Rousseau
Childhood is the sleep of reason.




Rousseau Jean-Jacques quotes
Falsehood has an infinity of combinations, but truth has only one mode of being.
Rousseau Jean-Jacques
True Christians are made to be slaves, and they know it and do not mind; this short life counts for too little in their eyes.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau quotes
What good would it be to possess the whole universe if one were its only survivor?
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
For Rousseau, man’s nature is essentially good, but he was corrupted by various “advances” in human civilization (especially the institution of private property). Although man’s natural “innocence” has been lost, Rousseau thought that it could be replaced by a new form of moral goodness through the establishment of new political institutions. When we compare this to St. Augustine, we can see what a departure this is from the mainstream of Pauline Christianity. Augustine held that man is inescapably sinful and concludes that, as such, the City of God cannot be achieved on earth. Rousseau’s major contribution to the foundation of socialist thought is in his rejection of human sinfulness and his commitment to human improvement through institutional change. With this foundational belief, he set the stage for perfectionist political doctrines that moved focus from “the next world” of Christianity by arguing that this world can be transformed into “heaven on earth.”
Rousseau Jean-Jacques quotes
General and abstract ideas are the source of the greatest errors of mankind.
Rousseau
We do not know what is really good or bad fortune.
Rousseau Jean-Jacques
[W]hat truly makes the French Revolution the first fascist revolution was its effort to turn politics into a religion. (In this the revolutionaries were inspired by Rousseau, whose concept of the general will divinized the people while rendering the person an afterthought.)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Every man has the right to risk his own life in order to preserve it. Has it ever been said that a man who throws himself out the window to escape from a fire is guilty of suicide?.




Jean-Jacques Rousseau quotes
As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Do not judge, and you will never be mistaken.
Rousseau quotes
Habit accustoms us to everything. What we see too much, we no longer imagine; and it is only imagination which makes us feel the ills of others. It is thus by dint of seeing death and suffering that priests and doctors become pitiless.
Rousseau Jean-Jacques
Those who think themselves the masters of others are indeed greater slaves than they.
Rousseau Jean-Jacques quotes
Conscience is the voice of the soul; the passions are the voice of the body.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
A feeble body weakens the mind.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau quotes
In the famous fragment on the origin of inequality, Rousseau seems to believe that private property was simply invented by a madman; yet we do not know how this diabolical contrivance, opposed as it was to innate human drives, was taken up by other people and spread all over the human societies.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
One loses all the time which he might employ to better purpose.
Rousseau Jean-Jacques
I have entered on an enterprise which is without precedent, and will have no imitator. I propose to show my fellows a man as nature made him, and this man shall be myself.


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