Rousseau and Hobbes

A passage in The Social Contract is quite resonant with Patrick Deneen’s interpretation of Hobbes. Deneen writes that Hobbes hoped to free the individual by reducing the power of other institutions. Here is Rousseau:

The second relationship [after political law, the constitution of the state] is that between the members of the state themselves, or between them and the whole body, and this relationship should be, in the first case, as slight as possible, and in the second as close as possible; in order that each citizen should be perfectly independent of all the others, and extremely dependent on the state; and this is always achieved by the same means, since only the strength of the community can create freedom for its members. (Book II, Ch. xii, p. 89 of Christopher Betts’ translation)


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