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Old July 19th, 2010 #1
Karl Radl
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Default A Review of Jean Jacques Rousseau's 'On the Origin of Equality'

A Review of Jean Jacques Rousseau's 'On the Origin of Equality'

By Johann Luther

As I read through Jean Jacques Rousseau's "On The Origins of Inequality", I came to realize just how much of the fundamental tenets of "equality" today, derive from this small booklet written by the French Philosopher in 1754. It is therefore with this in mind that I find it of pressing importance to address specific claims made by Rousseau and thereby individuals in modern society today.

Rousseau attempts an explanation of man in his natural state [1], and the state which he describes man in, is a condition that is void of all Government, of all civility and stripped of all signs of modernity...a cave man in other words. It is the contention of Rousseau therefore that institutions are the primary cause of inequality since it requires mankind to adapt in a way that is not natural to his predisposition. [2] This perspective on man and the origin of inequality, remains as can be seen, to this day a popular one. Countless times I've heard it claimed, that if two individuals of two entirely different races are born in the wild and left to fend for themselves void of education, civilization and other "luxuries" there would be absolutely no distinguishable difference between these individuals at all. That, they, would in fact be completely equal. The suggestion however, is a flawed one, one which we might be able to forgive Rousseau, but not modern man for accepting it as being an evident fact. What modern man conveniently forgets (and what Rousseau may not have known) is that man's natural state is never a constant, we are organic creatures and like any other organism we adapt and evolve with one single purpose in mind - survival. Thus to state that our "natural condition" is that of the caveman is an inaccurate estimation, institutionalizing and organizing ourselves into a community exponentially increased our ability to survive whatever may come our way. Of course even this is an imperfect method and it can in some cases even threaten the survival of the organism, that aside man has laboured throughout thousands of years, to find out the best way to Govern, that is to say to extract the absolute maximum from the community and thereby to ensure maximum survivability of the organism.

More astonishingly is the fact that Rousseau makes note of the fact that the Negro man in the Caribbean has no future sense at all[3], stating that he would sell his cotton in the morning then come back later crying for it back the afternoon, not having realized that he may have needed it later on. This Rousseau believes is man's natural predisposition, based on the notion that the negro man is closer to man's natural state than the European. The issue with this however, is that there is little consideration placed on the fact that different races have different temporealisation and temporecognition, that is to say that each one perceives things differently and in different time spans. If our natural predisposition is, as Rousseau contends, to have no sense of future needs and wants, then European man would never have foreseen the need for cultivating crops, or for storing large quantities of food, or for preparing proper housing for the winter. It could be argued that, the increase in population demanded that we create these sort of preparations, and that it was only as a result of this that man foresaw the need to store. However, this contention is flawed as well, it was through agriculture that our population expanded rapidly, and if not for a future sense, we'd have had no way of foreseeing the future starvation that would result from a lack of proper preparation. It is not "civility" the arts or "education" which created this future insight, but the manner in which European man's mind biologically functions.

In support of the contention that any perceived natural differences are merely institutional, Rousseau cites an example as evidence [4] It is his contention that, if man is to forsake all inclinations and behave in a sheepish manner (to do precisely alike with no variation) man would immediately be far more equal than he is in a society. But this in itself suggest a contradiction of his previous assertions, because it would indicate that man would have to actively force himself to forsake such things as communication, behavioral differences, likes and dislikes, and behave in precisely the same manner as all others. Thus making this an unnatural condition, and not a natural state. That which is natural comes without force, and is a logical sequence of adaptations that lead inextricably toward a single harmonious goal.

As can be seen from this brief review, there is a lot of Rousseau's beliefs that still remains pretty common in modern society. It is commonly believed by people, that institutionalizing is the cause of the inequality between European and Negro, that it is "Socio-Environmental" factors that create this rift between the success of one and the failures of another, the argument remains to this day that, when placed in exactly the same environment, both will have equal success and thrive equally. And as I've shown this is a flawed manner of thought. It is man that creates his environment not the environment that creates man, and it is precisely because of the biological differences between them that this rift exists. Whether you build up one area or not, the end result will remain the same, one due to a lack of future sense, would see no need for improvement and only concern himself with issues that relate to the present, the other will always seek to advance, always finding a need for it. I am certain that there are those who would argue that it would be the case, because the one group lacks the proper education that the other one has, however, consider why this is the case? It is not as though they have been denied this opportunity. "Yes, but they have a culture that attacks education" indeed! why's that? Perhaps because they see no need for this? Different races - different values. Not even compelled education at Harvard would create a "socio-environment" that is equal to that of European man.

[1] Rousseau, Jean Jacques, Discourse on The Origin of Inequality, Dover Publications Inc, 2004 P. 4 - 6
[2] Ibid. P. 24 - 25
[3] Ibid. P. 7 - 12
[4] Ibid P. 24 - 25

Originally published at the following address:
Old July 19th, 2010 #2
Rick Ronsavelle
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Locke Versus Rawls on Equality
Old July 19th, 2010 #3
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Whether you build up one area or not, the end result will remain the same, one due to a lack of future sense, would see no need for improvement and only concern himself with issues that relate to the present, the other will always seek to advance, always finding a need for it.

I was just re-reading Schopenhauer's essay "On Women", and I couldn't help make a correlation between women and the men this article speaks of, when Schopenhauer states:

"It is because women’s reasoning powers are weaker that they show more sympathy for the unfortunate than men, and consequently take a kindlier interest in them. On the other hand, women are inferior to men in matters of justice, honesty, and conscientiousness. Again, because their reasoning faculty is weak, things clearly visible and real, and belonging to the present, exercise a power over them which is rarely counteracted by abstract thoughts, fixed maxims, or firm resolutions, in general, by regard for the past and future or by consideration for what is absent and remote."

And he's made many other points in his essays, such as "On Suffering", where he says the higher intelligence of the more capable man makes it easier for him to suffer than that of the animal in the jungle, etc, as the more intelligent man contemplates his actions and the future.

A fair observation for us in present day, is that this "higher intelligent" man has evolved into a twisted form of mental masturbating and procrastination to the point of fear, due to the current social situation. It's funny, looking at these observations and seeing how nothing truly great in the realms of aesthetics, music, writing, art, architecture, etc, has been produced in the very countries these dynamics we speak of are most prevalent (specifically during the period which these dynamics are most prevalent, which is in America and Europe today). On the contrary, you see vehement decay in most cities, and at best maintained stagnation of culture (those cities where they choose to pour money). Contrast it to the countries where the cutting edge of architecture is being explored on a massively aggressive scale. Let's see... Dubai? Beijing? What are the other non-white/European cities that are always featured on desktop wallpaper sites and T.V. shows for their architectural ambition? Funny that those cities and cultures that are exploring the cutting edge are the very ones where these equality dynamics are least present and pushed.

What's even funnier is that you only have to change a few T.V. channels to see these same people (who on the other channel were praising the ambitions of those in Dubai and Beijing for their architectural ambitions), now smiting "the evil Nazi's and their Berlin Supercity designs of gigantic ridiculousness". To take the hilarity further, you quickly see the "architects" in these non-white cities on the cutting edge, are whites, who have for some reason or another chose to have their designs built not in America or Europe, but in Dubai, Beijing, etc...

But, to get back on topic...

In summary, between the two, it is an observation of a commonality between women and lower-developed races, in that as Schopenhauer would say of women, are "child-like", in that they only have sense of the present.

It could be taken a step further to summarize it all by stamping discipline as the defining and unique characteristic that sets the intelligent and masculine higher man apart from lower man and woman.

You could also take this part from the same essay, and make the same distinction between women and lower races:

"Neither for music, nor poetry, nor the plastic arts do they possess any real feeling or receptivity: if they affect to do so, it is merely mimicry in service of their effort to please. This comes from the fact that they are incapable of taking a purely objective interest in anything whatever, and the reason for this is, I think, as follows. Man strives in everything for a direct domination over things, either by comprehending or by subduing them. But woman is everywhere and always relegated to a merely indirect domination, which is achieved by means of man, who is consequently the only thing she has to dominate directly."

You could substitute woman in that segment, with any other race of men who have historically created nothing great, but only mimic greatness with their obvious inferiority, and then make noise and attempt to word their way to superiority to compensate.

In my final judgement, it is the morality of this "higher intelligent man" (who is most capable in his capacity for creating the greatest visions in the world and is a descendant of those who have created the greatest this world has seen), that has apparently been his undoing in allowing the inferior to desperately word their way to the position of the superior. The animals in the jungle - who only think in the present - have no morality. They will eat you, consume all that you have to offer right now, as that is the most present satisfaction. Morals mean nothing when you're in the immoral animals stomach.

Of course, we could throw all I've said out the window, if we subscribe to the view that this higher intelligent man obviously never was very intelligent, based on the fact that he subscribed to the morals that lead to his undoing, instead of recognizing he would be willingly putting a chink in his own armor. In that regard, history demands that we'd have to separate creativity from intelligence, since the greater creativity obviously lies on the side of Europeans, but one could argue the more intelligent devised a method of gaining control over the creative visionary, who is easily tempted by those promising to help fulfill his vision (doesn't take long to see that being a banker is the optimal path here, giving out loans at interest to shackle the creative who is more focused on the future greatness the loan will enable, than the present swindle). But, that's another conversation.
Old July 21st, 2010 #4
Alex Linder
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Originally Posted by Rick Ronsavelle View Post
Locke Versus Rawls on Equality
Locke and Rawls are both horrible. Rawls is stupid beyond belief, but Locke's social contract is risible.
Old July 22nd, 2010 #5
Rick Ronsavelle
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Rawls gave up on today's utilitarianism and went back to social contract.

Political views are about 62% genetic, based on twins studies.
All of this debate since Greece and Rome, and all we have here is another shithouse. All discussion over the centuries was for naught.


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