Jean-Jacques Rousseau: The Social Contract

(1762)

Document Text

Book I

I mean to inquire if, in the civil order, there can be any sure and legitimate rule of administration, men being taken as they are and laws as they might be. In this inquiry I shall endeavour always to unite what right sanctions with what is prescribed by interest, in order that justice and utility may in no case be divided.

I enter upon my task without proving the importance of the subject. I shall be asked if I am a prince or a legislator, to write on politics. I answer that I am neither, and that is why I do so. If I were a prince or a legislator, I should not waste...


Source: Jean Jacques Rousseau. Social Contract & Discourses. Translated by G. D. H. Cole. New York:...

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