14 October 2008

rousseau's forced to be free

Rousseau's theory of human nature was one I agreed most with. Rousseau's theory of being "forced to be free" made so much sense to me. Although we as Americans are essentially 'free' is freedom really free? There definintely are some social norms that free people are shoved into, although they might not see it as necessary. For example, the social norm has always been to go to school, get a career, get married, have kids, retire (hopefully). Now, although there are exceptions that find the strength to take a different path, most Americans take this course, regardless of happiness. So yes, essentially, we are free, but we are forced into situations that are 'normal'. Usually citizens who take a change of path, are judged or questioned for not following social norms. It's clear that Rousseau understood that people are free by force.

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