Making Citizens: Rousseau's Political Theory of Culture by Zev M. Trachtenberg

By Zev M. Trachtenberg

By means of analysing Rousseau's belief of the overall will, Zev Trachtenberg characterises the angle of civic advantage Rousseau believes members should have to cooperate effectively in society. Rousseau holds that tradition impacts political lifestyles by way of both fostering or discouraging civic advantage. in spite of the fact that, whereas the cultural associations Rousseau endorses could encourage voters to obey the legislations, they wouldn't organize electorate to assist body it. Rousseau's view of tradition therefore works opposed to his account of legitimacy, and Trachtenberg concludes that Rousseau's political thought as an entire is inconsistent.

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The conditions hold, then, for the emergence of two additional factions. 4c thus illustrates the plurality stage of factions; it shows the effective profiles of A—I, hence the effective structure of the wants of the society as a whole. 372). Abstracting for the moment from the question of the size of the differences (we will return to it below), we can tally the number of differences at the level both of token effective profiles and of effective profile types. In both cases, since there are nine individuals there are 9(9–1)/2=36 possible differences.

Broadly speaking, the social choice corresponding to these wants would express the will of all: a statement of the set of benefits each member of society wants for himself, not of those benefits each would cooperate with all to provide to society as a whole. In this case, then, society could not formulate a general will. We can interpret this case as radical political failure—the failure to sustain true political cooperation. The logic of self-interest would ensure that in this circumstance free cooperation would be fragile and fleeting; only coincidentally would it serve everyone’s interest to work for the will of all.

3b. For convenience we can call this A’s underlying profile, and the wants his underlying wants. Now let us say that each individual has an intensity threshold such that he will choose to sacrifice wants below it in order to satisfy wants at or above it. For example, the threshold for A may be 5—in this case he would seek to attain g3 and g6, and not seek to attain g1, g2, g4, or g5. Of course, even within the same society this threshold may be different for different individuals. Let us define the ‘effective structure’ of a welfare profile as the structure of wants on 42 Making Citizens which an individual will act, given his intensity threshold.

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