The Social Contract cover

The Social Contract

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

1. 1-01 – Subject of the First Book
2. 1-04 – Slavery
3. 3-01 – Government in General
4. 3-06 – Monarchy
5. 3-08 – That every form of government is not fit for every country
6. 3-16 – That the Institution of the Government is not a contract
7. 4-04 – The Roman Comitia
8. 4-08 – Civil Religion

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Genres

Summary

The Social Contract outlines Rousseau’s views on political justice, explaining how a just and legitimate state is to be founded, organized and administered. Rousseau sets forth, in his characteristically brazen and iconoclastic manner, the case for direct democracy, while simultaneously casting every other form of government as illegitimate and tantamount to slavery. Often hailed as a revolutionary document which sparked the French Revolution, The Social Contract serves both to inculcate dissatisfaction with actually-existing governments and to allow its readers to envision and desire a radically different form of political and social organization. (Summary by Eric Jonas)