L homme est né libre et partout il est dans les fers explication

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we seem venir be reading more et more these days about the restriction of democracy and the need venir mobilise à la the common an excellent – generally à save the Earth, the world, often even auto planet. Such arguments are made with a po-faced aviation of assurance in thé obviousness ns their case. Auto worst are indeed "full ns passionate intensity" as Yeats wrote. All this can only mean une thing: thé zombie has awakened et is walking abroad once more. In every age this specifically dangerous zombie emerges from his caisse to causer mayhem and despair among auto living. His name? Jean-Jacques rousseau (human: 1712–1778; zombie: 1778–present).

rouseau was a novelist, essayist and musician. Some appel him a philosopher. His personal life was reprehensible. His treatment ns the many people who helped and supported him to be disgraceful. Nous find no morals in his conduct, which seems to have been entirely based on immediate self-interest.

Take any "philosophical" statement ns Rousseau"s and shine auto light of reason et analysis nous it and it will crumble to dust like some zombie artefact dragged from the crypt into thé sunlight. Take it his most well known quote, the first lines du his occupational The social Contract: "Man is born free, et everywhere he is in chains. Those who think themselves auto masters de others room indeed higher slaves 보다 they."<1> Ponder that. What does any de that mean? these sentences have been quoted again and again, cible I an obstacle anyone à give a rational explication of them.


Jean-Jacques Rousseau, aux contract social, ou, régner du droit politique, Amsterdam, 1762, p3. Source: Bibliothèque du Genève

A human bébé is not "free" in any type of sense du the word: cette is entirely helpless. Contrasted to divers organisms, thé offspring of humans have an extremely longue biological dependence conditions météorologiques their parents, année even longer social dependence and in modern societies a legal dependence generally until about 18, in some endroit 21. In fact, nous are never free, conditions météorologiques need each other too much. Tu say venir me: but this phrase is not to be bring away literally, it is a metaphor. Well, if you insist. But a metaphor à la what?

Rousseau"s second sentence defeats tous understanding. It reminds je of auto nonsense Thoreau created in Walden, ont he watched those idiots who, unequal him, didn"t habitent in a hut on année exclusive diet du beans marqué got up in thé morning, elevated children, retained animals, worked the fields et grew food for others: they had enslaved themselves, hey thought. Whilst others were labouring, hey could go et contemplate the pond jaune hoe up and down his p rows. In spite of his contempt pour the self-enslavement of the people ns Concord to their possessions, hey was happy à barter his beans for tous the valuable things he needed and which your enslavement developed – nails, planks and tools. Other idiots fabriqué his clothes, his shoes, his paper et his ink. Without all these idiots his first in his shed would oui been nasty, brutish and short indeed. As it is he managed deux years or so ns hut life. At least Thoreau"s prose is comprehensible, if wrongheaded. Rousseau"s is seul nonsense.

Yes, i know. Elle don"t have to raconter me: rouseau sparkles and I plod. That is auto danger, je reply. This statements are seul demagoguery, 18th century sound-bites. After reading The société Contract a learned modern called him auto "new Diogenes", alluding fairly accurately to the legendary lunacies of that crazed Greek, who, as we toutes les personnes remember, was autre free-thinker who rejected polite society, who resided in a barrel, behaved choose a dog et went looking pour wise personnes with a lamp.

it is true: Rousseau"s writings are compelling, marqué to je vous demande pardon purpose is another matter. His readers slither across thé glittering surface de his prose choose flies nous a pond. Cette has the demagogue"s miracle powers: for nearly two and a half centuries people have read right into his words everything they wanted venir read. Freedom, nature, childhood innocence, chain – yeah, I"ll ont some de that. Toutes les personnes the dogwhistle words are there, seulement not connected in any means that makes sense. In spite of their confusion and general incomprehensibility his books were best sellers, even when banned.

Paradox dessus paradox. The homme who exit his own children and put castle into année orphanage – at that time effectively a medical fatality sentence – and also preserved that only a few personnes should be educated anyway and the rest left stupid is, even today, lauded oui a an excellent educationalist. The masculin who hosted that auto private ownership de property to be theft et who took auto Greek city state ns Sparta v its unyielding, totalitarian militarism ont his model is held venir be a an excellent champion of freedom. The masculin who held intellectual and technological progress venir be mauvais for us, who thought nous should return to some previous, unspecified temps in the past et throw out all scientific, technological et medical progress is taken into consideration a great progressive thinker. Conditions météorologiques should hear carefully to Voltaire: cette detested Rousseau.


louu the Undead sapin crawled out du the sodden soil de his lake-island sérieuse a little over ten year after his burial. He staggered around among the unhinged sansculottes of the french Revolution oui they howled with mindless rage. Voltaire may oui despised him, cible the monster Robespierre loved him – that fact alone should parlez us all we require to sait about Rousseau. His work yielded a glib, pseudo-philosophical justification à la the abattu of much more than 40,000 people in the space ns about 4 years: the concept of la d’obtenir générale, thé "general will". This astonishing force, which no-one has ever managed à explain, does not arise from a autonomous majority. No one vote in Rousseau"s world et so ne sont pas one now should appel téléphonique him a democrat. The normal will just mysteriously crystallises the end in the heads de leaders as "the appropriate thing à do".

cette was the justification used for almost every fatality during that horrible time. In September 1792, thé demagogue monster danton suggested that thé "traitors" in auto prisons of Paris to be a threat à the nouveau republic. The général will moved in its mysterious way and over the course of 3 days about 1,400 prisoners – priests, aristocrats, tradesmen, servants – were dragged out of their cells et slaughtered (the indigenous is completely appropriate). At thé start ns the adhering to year, 1793, the aperçu will gave Louis xvi a seul trial and lopped his head off; thé head du his reine would roll after un autre show psychological a couple of months later. In the bloodbath of what ended up being known ont the "Terror" it was the general will that selected the victims. Those who had actually been frontière free were now in real chains et awaiting your appointment with "the barber". Quelle drôlerie! next please!


Charles-Louis Muller, Roll call of the Last Victims de Terror, c. 1850. The normal will has actually spoken. Your tumbril awaits, Madame!

right here is a great irony: even thomas Paine, auto author du the Rights de Man et one du the fathers of the American revolution, finished up in a Parisian dungeon and only escaped auto sharp blade ns the normal will by année astonishing fluke. A further good irony: on 11th October 1794, a few days avant Paine escaped auto guillotine, thé mouldering corps humain of louu the Undead to be fished out of its soggy sérieuse where ce was having a quick nap et placed in thé Panthéon in Paris, a fully fitting bookend for the Terror. Ironies come in threes ce appears: his tomb is currently located straight opposite that du his ennemi Voltaire, both garlanded equally this days through bemused étranger tourists. Unfortunately, Voltaire is dead, cible Rousseau is encore very much undead.

Not seul Voltaire marqué also bertangang Russell, composing in 1946 soon after the forcible removal ns a few Grendels from thé world stage, uncovered Rousseau"s lieu de travail philosophically incomprehensible. Russell witnessed in them auto spirit that had been offered by all the worst totalitarian despots since auto zombie sapin crawled out.

The social Contract came to be the bible of most du the leaders in the français Revolution, marqué no doubt, ont is thé fate du Bibles, it was not carefully read et was still less understood by many du its disciples. ... y that is doctrine of the aperçu will it made faisabilité the mystic identification of a dirigeants with his people, i m sorry has ne sont pas need of affirmant by haricot de soja mundane année apparatus ont the ballot-box. <2>

Berlin and Moscow

since 1794 the zombie has actually slid back thé lid on his dig in auto Panthéon and staggered out whenever cette has been called. He has not been idle: Communism, Bolshevism, Trotskyism, Stalinism, Maoism, national Socialism, all in your own means make année appeal à Rousseau"s the atmosphere music. All these monster claimed à be the agents of the normal will, just oui the french monsters did two and a half centuries ago – it was toutes les personnes in the le meilleur interest de their people. Anyone that can"t be bothered with auto messiness of democratic process invokes the normal will – it is always auto "good thing", thé "right thing" à do. Russell again:

Its first-fruits in exercise were the reign du Robespierre; thé dictatorships of Russia and Germany (especially thé latter) are in part année outcome du Rousseau’s teaching.<3>

the Nazis? elle say. How can pauvres Jean-Jacques, oui he liked to sacrés himself, be considered to be a Nazi thinker? victor Klemperer, a Jewish (Protestant!) Professor pour Romanic Philology at the Technical University of Dresden witnessed this clearly. Klemperer retained acribic notebooks enregistrer the "small history" in Germany native the instants the nazis seized force in 1933 till their obliteration in 1945 – a du quotidien record du ever enhancing tyranny and spiteful, shameless oppression. His own survival v the tous les jours depredations du a tons lived under thé jackboot is a an excellent miracle. Despite tous the chaos and humiliations approximately him, cette kept on writing in secret both his diary et his two volume work nous 18th century français Literature. Volume 1 was greatly Voltaire, le volume 2 was greatly Rousseau. Klemperer was a thinking homme who to be exposed simultaneously to Stalin"s Bolshevism, Hitler"s intérieur Socialism et Rousseau"s puzzled sparkles. Cette realised how astonishingly alike tous three were. Immersed in Rousseau"s work et simultaneously immersed in Nazi propaganda cette saw many parallels in language et reasoning.

residential property was theft? – the nazis turned required confiscation du private into année art form. Sparta was auto ideal? – how much of Germany"s gold youth was tossed away in glorious cible hopeless combat, never venir surrender? Rousseau and Goebbels were qui peut être of contradicting themselves within deux sentences without damaging the mesmerising flow du their rhetoric. It didn"t matter. The seulement un thing the mattered was auto radiance de the rhetorical present. Klemperer"s diary<4> through those dreadful fois is studded with par exemple of thé equivalences between auto minds et language du Stalin, Hitler and Rousseau. Toutes les personnes three shared auto same believed processes et the very same erratic egotism. Because they assumed it, it must it is in right. In their last years all three to be lunatics with too much persecution complexes. Rousseau himself never became a demagogue: his dérange was also erratic et unfocused for that. Cette just left behind tous the ideas et specious justifications the others needed for that task.


Adolf Hitler nous the frontispiece de the 1936 edition ns Mein Kampf. Key expression in the Nazi vocabulary: "will", "fanaticism" and the "leadership principle".

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Klemperer"s watch is extended passant par someone indigenous the est différent side of the divide: Günther Franz was a professor ns agrarian history, who had actually been a Rottenführer (group leader) in auto SS, so, in terms du Nazis, hey knew whereof he spoke. After auto war his rehabilitation ultimately came after a long wait. Hey noted Rousseau"s glorification de the peasant ont leading a life fermé to Nature et his simultaneous demand that peasants must not be educated, so oui not to spoil them. Lock were à be preserved stupid. Their state was sufficient as it was, agricultural progress to be unnecessary. Auto tractor, auto milking an equipment would be innovations that directif to degeneracy.

thé farmer was held to be an exemplary person, to be the core de the people. Conditions météorologiques can for this reason follow the threads native Rousseau et Hirzel through Riehl and Gotthelf to auto Blut-und-Boden ideology ns the 20th century.<5>

We do not need venir spend much temps looking at Bolshevism – as the nazis liked to appel it – that mirror photo of denchères Socialism, v its same institutionalised contempt pour the masses. Thé masses to be always seul a stupid mob: thé worthless Lumpenproletariat, who had non idea of their position in society and history cible who could, through caution, be beneficial to thé revolution; the proletariat, that were seul confused and mistaken around their position et needed to oui their heads straightened out by their revolutionary betters avant anything useful could it is in done with them. Finally they tous just become the same malleable, unsecured clay – the tovarisch, auto (Volks-)Genosse – the dumb-ox peasants who have the right to be extinguished in their millions, conditions météorologiques their farms, on roads heading east et west, in camps, at the gates of Stalingrad jaune under thé rubble of German cities, jaune driven indigenous their houses with ne sont pas more than the clothes they room wearing et a petit suitcase. And tous these crazed -isms ont their foundation in a rejection ns constitutional stimulate at thé expense du the id in thé rightness de a leader"s ideas: the normal will.


But, astonishingly, rousseau is encore applauded de intellectuals around auto world. Plenty of French appel téléphonique him a hero et claim him pour their own, when, in fact, any kind of right-thinking french person would have shuffled your feet a bit and tried to pretend auto Genevan was really Swiss et therefore nothing to faire with them. Even an ext astonishingly, auto otherwise ever-so democratic Swiss seem to amour him too. His muddled ideology has sunk deep into their muddled contemporary heads.

In 2012, the 300th anniversary ns his birth, the Swiss state broadcaster scheduled a whole principale for débat of Rousseau"s bizarre Luddite ideas. Irony ns irony: thé organizers set up a flashy website<6> for the old technophobe and even won a prize parce que le it.

In the discussions during that la semaine academics mused about the aperçu will as a means of putting an ethical patina on action against société heretics – especially climate heretics, that clearly only think de their own self-interest in wanting court fuel prices à la their gas-guzzlers. However, such selfish knuckle-draggers can account pour a taille number de votes: every Swiss referendum decision nous saving auto planet has actually gone auto Neanderthals" way so far.

Surprisingly, the resistance at the ballot caisse has had no effect. Auditeur feeling is powerless in the visage of the normal will ont it is conceived passant par the political et media classes. Ont governments become managements rather than political entities, the general will et its legit counterpart, auto "common good", are invoked in numerous fields, marqué "climate change" plan is thé most egregious at thé moment. There is a "cause", année overriding cause, and that is always dangerous. Comment can we save auto planet with soja many SUV-driving knuckle-draggers around? Easy. The Swiss government works around thé voting results: thé rejected steps are renamed et the gouvernance trundles forward through its plan anyway because, in Rousseau"s world, votes don"t count. Difficulty solved: the normal will wins. The high priests du the globale warming cult envisage supranational body that will certainly take decisions pour our own good, decision that space made by the général will. Under this system individual nations will oui no genuine say in this decisions and will merely be their executors. Their politicians have the right to shrug your shoulders and say: nothing to à faire with us. Their own citoyen in rotate will just have to do what is meilleur for them. Democracy – Churchill"s least worst system – is becoming venir look less worse every day.

Noble lies

je exaggerate? Let us stay in the patrie of democracy and quarterly voting for a while. When the much hyped Climate conférence in Copenhagen in December 2009 finished in a snowy, impotent fiasco – remember it? auto private jets, thé limos, auto discount hookers et best ns all, thé mass of snow the fell nous them? Yes, that climate conférence that contributed haricot de soja much to auto gaiety ns a cold winter. Remember, too, the "Climategate" had hit the news seul a month before: auto 1,000 jaune so leaked emails that proved climate researcher in an interesting light. Well, after toutes les personnes that, auto long-serving, socialist Swiss energy Minister Moritz Leuenberger went back home and officially announced venir his parliament and people the Copenhagen 2009 had been a good success. Leuenberger, that had likewise even served deux terms ont President, merely lied. Over there is no euphemism nous can usage – he lied. The reason: a referendum conditions météorologiques measures venir curb carbon dioxide emissions to be going venir be held shortly thereafter et the failure of the conference "would have been disastrous".

you are shocked that I appel him a liar? cette is a badge he wears with pride. In june of this year, 5 years later and now safe out of government, cette gave a speech<7> in which cette said the lying about Copenhagen had been necessary to achieve his ends. Hey expressed non regret over this, nous the contrary. Pour it was a lied in a "good cause", a "noble lie", a justification lie. It was what politicians had venir do, also in what is arguably the most democratic country in the world. Thé Lumpenproletariat peut faire nowadays oui a vote but they seulement don"t understand je vous demande pardon to faire with it unless tu lie to them. Nota bene: he is a trained lawyer.


Former Swiss power Minister Moritz Leuenberger holding up Machiavelli"s the Prince in Ermatingen, Switzerland in 2015. Photo: Tagblatt Online/Nana do Carmo.

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regardless of his proactive fibbing, that referendum was undoubtedly a disaster pour Leuenberger. Never mind. Our zombie, Rousseau, pats the minister"s shoulder with a rotting hand – "his finger-bones / Stick through his finger-ends" – and whispers "La volonté générale, mon fils". That"s why it toutes les personnes came right à la them in the end. Targets were set, emissions were regulated, taxes and Lenkungsabgaben (so-called "steering taxes" to change behaviour) to be raised and penalties imposed; ligne directrice were issued, building modern technology was regulated, acceptable limits were defined; schools were alerted, curricula changed and teachers et pupils encouraged venir pull together for the sake de the planet; schemes were proposed, plans designed, "energy towns" designated and Stakhanovite récompenses offered. It tous sounds dreadfully familiar venir me.

am I call today"s eco-warriors Nazis? Of arttasters not. I do not have anything near: auto horrors of the 20th century -isms need to not it is in trivialised in a together a way. Cible it is significativement for those eco-warriors à realise that when they talk de the aperçu will et the typical good et ponder ways venir bypass democracy castle should also realise what zombies they room calling up ont legitimisation de their deeds. It is in careful je vous demande pardon you great for, indeed.

Even as long ago oui 1946 bertrand Russell saw the danger: "What more triumphs the en vigueur has venir offer to ghost I do not venture to predict".<8> auto lid has slid open et the sarcophagus in the Panthéon is empty once again, the étranger tourists look at puzzled. Rousseau strides thé Earth but Voltaire"s dust lies undisturbed. We ont had Sansculottes and Nazis and Bolsheviks. Whatever next? How do you kill a zombie? ns wish ns knew.