Ques: Rousseau strove to reconcile the liberty of the individual and the institution of the government through a new vision of the contract theory of government. Examine the statement.
Ans: Rousseau is supposed to be a revolutionary thinker of 18th century. When all other enlightened thinkers championed the model of enlightened monarchy, Rousseau started to think in terms of complete democracy. His contract theory is the core of his ideas.
Unlike other contemporary scholars, in Rousseau’s scheme an individual alone doesn’t have greater importance rather individual gains signifance in relation to the community as a whole. According to him, an individual is supposed to submit his power to the community but as the member of the same community he regains a part of the collective power again. In this way, that individual becomes the master and the servant of the community at the same time. Furthermore, this community represented the General will and in this General will every member of the community makes it’s contribution. This General will is the sovereign will of this community. In this way, Rousseau tries to strike a compromise between interest of an individual and collective interest of society.