Rousseau: On the Importance of Private Property and Private Interests
In a society based on private property, a conflict arises between private economic interests and the general interest of the society. For this to be minimized in favor of the general will, Rousseau advocated a return to simple society based on a primitive economy. In his critiques on civil society, Rousseau identifies the division of labor, private property and exchange as the central causes of moral and political corruption in that society. Interestingly, he considers private property and exchange to be inevitable, if economic cooperation is to take place (Birkhead 18) and hence to be the…
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