Periscope :Jean Jacques Rousseau and the Social Contract 300 Years (3-3)
In this third and last part of the Periscope dedicated to the 300 Birth Day Anniversary of the Great French thinker Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the focus will be in what he wrote in his famous book The Social Contract on the concept of the role of the Legislation.
Rousseau said: What should be the end of every system of legislation, we shall find it reduce itself into two main objectives, liberty and equality—liberty because all particular dependence means so much force taken from the body of the State, and equality because liberty cannot exist without it.
Then added that ;by equality ,we should understand ,not that the degrees of power and riches are to be absolutely identical for everybody; but that power shall never be great enough for violence, and shall always be exercised by virtue of rank and law; and that ,in respect of riches, no citizen shall ever be wealthy to buy another ,and none poor enough to be forced to sell himself; which implies ,on the part of the great ,moderation in goods and position.
Then explain more his idea; by saying: Such equality, we are told, is an unpractical ideal that cannot actually exist. But it its abuse is inevitable, does it follow that we should not at least make regulations concerning it? It is precisely because the force of circumstances tends continually to destroy equality that the force of legislation should always tend to its maintenance.
But these general objects of every good legislative system need modifying in every country in accordance with the local situation and the temper of the inhabitants ; and these circumstances should determine ,in each case ,the particular system of institutions which is best ,not perhaps in itself, but for the State for which it is destined.
We conclude by these words from Rousseau: Nothing is more dangerous than the influence of private interest in public affairs, and the abuse of the laws by the government is a less evil than the corruption of the legislator, which is the inevitable sequel to private points of view. In such a case, the State, being altered in substance, all reformation becomes impossible.
It may be a good idea if some of our politicians in all fronts take some time to reflect on the words of Rousseau.
By Alula Berhe Kidani, E-mail:email@example.com, 27/06/2012