24 November 2008

rousseau:: a dreamer?

Rousseau was mentioned on web site's as having views that appealed to the 'dreamer' in people. It is true that his views outlined a plan of sorts that could not and would not work, but people could dream, couldn't they?
Rousseau argued that civilization was corrupting humans. Urbanization, technology, science, was all contributing to the corruption of compassionate human beings. Those things were seen as starting to turn humans into cruel and selfish individuals. Rousseau also argued that government was robbing humans of a natural freedom that should be ours. Humanity was looking towards government for rules on how to live, and to society for how to be happy. The price of revolutionizing the world was individuality.
However, Rousseau wasn't totally against government or a governing system. He was just trying to talk through a way in his essays that individuals could be free, while still having order and obedience.
Rousseau's views are easy to agree with. He wants everything for the people, while also preserving life as everyone knows it.

The whole utopia movement reminds me of something cohesive with Rousseaus views. Folks in a utopia were looking for that freedom from a larger governmental society, while still having order within themselves. Utopian people wanted to pull their kids from public school, and teach them communally. Everyone in the utopia would educate the children and be responsible for their upbringing. This has always seemed like a valid point, because therefore children learn from many people and those people's life lessons, not just from one person in a stuffy public school. There was the argument that by breaking up the traditional ''family'' and letting everyone be responsible for everyone's children would ruin parent/child relationships, and this became true.

Although utopias didn't survive, and so therefore there must be a distinct flaw with this setup, it is still good to dream, like Rousseau, of how much easier things could be for those who didn't agree with the world.

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