The Social Contract

    2 June 2005, late morning

There are in all ages men born to be in bondage to the opinions of the society in which they live. There are not a few, who to-day play the free-thinker and the philosopher, who would, if they had lived in the time of the League, have been no more than fanatics. No author, who has a mind to outlive his own age, should write for such readers.

That is some sound advice from Jean-Jacque Rousseau. Sometimes I feel there is an independent thought alarm monitoring the web sites I read. Everyone seems to say the same things and do the same things and read the same things. Am I guilty of this? Perhaps. I’m quite certain I haven’t read anything remarkable or interesting in quite some time.

I am trying to improve my collection of texts on politics, and to this end I bought the The Social Contract and Discourses by Rousseau. I’ve wanted to read The Social Contract for ages. The Everyman’s Library edition is particularly nice. I’ll need to find a better copies of On Liberty and The Communist Manifesto next.



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