Thoughts on: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract

The ideas of having read it was more exciting than actually reading it..

Sometimes the idea of having read a book is more exciting than actually reading it. That’s the case with The Social Contract.
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But “fun” and “easy” is seldom what we strive for in our quest for understanding. I knew this would be challenge to get through the works of the major thinkers of the history of the world.
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That said; after finishing the book ,and with a few YouTube lectures in the bag, I feel it was an endeavor worth the effort.
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Here are some notes:
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📝 With the SOCIAL CONTRACT man loses his natural liberty—the strength of the individual—in exchange for civil liberty: which is limited to the GENERAL WILL.
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📝 What is this GENERAL WILL? The will of the people as a whole. The common good.
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📝 Rousseau: “It’s always in times of crisis that laws are easily passed that would never have passed the scrutiny of the public otherwise.” (Paraphrased)
Sweden today: Laws have been changed to give the government power circumvent parliament, enabling them to act faster in the battle against CoVid-19 crisis. 🦠
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📝 Wise men/women can come up with concepts and ideas that the public doesn’t understand and will therefor not stand behind. This is where the divine is called upon. We use “the gods” to make the laws seem natural. By turning the laws of men, into laws of nature. 🌳
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⭐️ TAKEAWAY: The big takeaway for me does not come from the book, BUT from what I realized about myself by reading it. I have the ability to read and understand the big thinkers and learn from them (with some occasional help from YouTube lectures). I can turn books like this one into building blocks in the puzzle of the history of thought.
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I’m super pumped to continue this exploration of human thought journey! Learning about Hobbes and Locke. Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. All the rest!
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When I’m old and grey I might actually have insightful philosophical lessons to share to the deaf ears of my grandchildren 😂 👴🏻 🧐
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2/5
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⁉️What big thinkers are on your list to study?⁉️

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Thoughts on: “Wanderlust” by Rebecca Solnit

If there is a way to read a book in the “wrong way”, I might actually have done it with this one! I listened to a book about walking while running.

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“A history of walking” is a bit misleading because it feels very superficial as a history book. It more a collection of musings and digressions around the subject of walking in the context of culture and history.

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Walkings influence on philosophizing/writing/thinking, women’s rights to roam freely, the “walking gardens” of leisure class, political marches and the auto-mobilization of public spaces are some of the topics covered. Sound kind of dry and boring but for some reason (and I can’t really put my finger on why), it kept my interest all the way through. ———————

📝 About the car mentality of modern day America: “People seem to have a mental radius on how far they are willing to walk, and it’s shrinking.”

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📝 Flâneur: A stroller. A connoisseur of the the streets.

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📝 Rousseau believed that the original man wandered the forests in solitude, living a simplistic life. This was what we ought to emulate. Most of his philosophy was born during his long walks.

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📝 Walking has been much more accessible to men than women. And this is still the case today. Restrictions and risk of physical abuse has limited women’s access roaming freely. 2/3 of American women are afraid to walk their neighborhood at night.

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📝 Back in the day the treadmill was used to punish prisoners sentenced to hard labor.

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⭐️ Takeaway: I should pay attention to my health. I would love to be able to still wander around during my autumn years without interference from bad knees, back problems or obesity.

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This is definitely not for everyone but if you, like I do, enjoy walking just for the sake of walking it might be worth your time.

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3/5

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