The paper is about a particular philosopher whose ideas coincide with what is needed of the United States of America. Apparently, lack of common interest among the citizens is one of the problems experienced by the people. The ideas presented by Jean Jacques Rousseau particularly on the origin of inequality answers all the issues that surround lack of common interest among citizens of a country. The first part of the paper will be a discussion about the problem on lack of common interest among citizens of America.
It will be followed by a discussion about Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his discourses which is composed of topics about his second essay and its application to the problem of lack of common interest among Americans. Thus, it is submitted that Lack of Common Interest among Citizens of America There are three major important matters that Americans must consider for economic and political progress and these are national security, economic development, and political power. National security is the capability of a country to ensure self-preservation and protection in its internal and external territory.
Economic development is a process by which a country is able to remain economically-stable and independent. Political power revolves around the idea that a country must be able to remain politically-powerful in the world. The problem emerges when political leaders and citizens of the country do not have common interests regarding economic and political development. The American people do not hold the same sentiments with respect to national security. Recently, some people are happy when the Bush revolution in foreign policy no longer exists (Daalder & Lindsay 1).
But there is a glaring truth that enemies were just lurking within the country. Research studies reported that concern of Americans on sensitive international laws and institutions in relation to war and terror can change the world (Daalder & Lindsay 1). Yet, it is not denied that America allowed alienated allies to be unbound and empowered enemies. As a result, Americans were divided shaking the political values of the country. In addition, Bush administration allowed the existence of overstretched military capabilities and multiplied threats to enemy states.
The installation of powerful military operatives in Iraq is one example of overstretching military power. This political strategy however was questioned by so many people. Hence, we are reminded that the United States of America is not omnipotent despite its unmatched political power around the world. The common interest should be the move of American political leaders to work closely with other states and end the devastating war. With respect to economic development in America, the people experienced differences in interest especially on the issue of business outsourcing.
Some American businessmen decided to conduct outsourcing with other countries with respect to customer services and other manpower- dominated labor. For these businessmen, outsourcing can give positive results for their business endeavors. Most of the providers of manpower coming from other countries are producing skilled, competitive, and reliable employees (“Outsourcing Effects on America’s Economy”). Despite the fact that these workers are skilled and competitive, they are amenable to any agreement involving low salary. American companies were able to lessen their company costs due to outsourcing strategy that provides cheap labor.
On the other hand, others are questioning the outsourcing strategy of American businessmen because it caused the increase of unemployment rate in the country (“Outsourcing Effects on America’s Economy”). Some American workers lost their jobs due to the advent of outsourcing manpower resources. The common interest should be the prioritization of American workers in terms of employment in its own country. Jean-Jacques Rousseau and His Discourses The Famous Philosophical Writings of Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau is one of the most intelligent philosophers of his time.
He was an influential thinker that his works gained attention from the people. He also gained influence on other people during the Enlightenment period in 18th century Europe (“Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778”). In the year 1970, Rousseau won in an essay contests conducted by the Academy of Dijon by the work “A Discourse on the Sciences and Arts” (“Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778”). The primary argument of Jean-Jacques Rousseau in the said philosophical work is that virtue and morality are corrupted due to the progression of science and the arts (“Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778”).
The second work of Rousseau is entitled “The Discourse on the Origin of Inequality” which is famous for its extensive explanation of the first discourse. The second philosophical work of Rousseau did not earn him an award from the Academy of Dijon. Immanuel Kant’s writings on ethics were influenced by the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (“Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778”). Lastly, the political ideals of Rousseau were used by political leaders during the French Revolution. Discourse on the Origin of Inequality
The Philosophical Idea of Jean-Jacques Rousseau The essay of Rousseau entitled “Discourse on the Origin of Inequality” answers the question on the origin of inequality of men. The four main parts of the essay are dedication to the Republic of Geneva, a brief preface, a primary part, and a secondary part. Rousseau believes that the presence of society is just an invention. He attempted to give an explanation on the nature of men by means of stripping all their unintended attributes brought about by socialization (“Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778”).
The said work of Rousseau is related to the work of Hobbes and Locke. Application to the Problem The reason why there is lack of common interest among citizens of the United States is the existence of the rich and the poor. Rich and influential individuals continue to decide on matters that satisfies only their personal interest. The least fortunate exert efforts to advance their needs in the society. Since, society is just an invention according to Rousseau, the absence of human needs out of socialization results to the equalization of common interests.
Thus, there is a need to eradicate selfish motives in the society and political leaders must work on the common welfare of the people. Rousseau knows that a person is inherently good (Pousi 1). The will of a person to go along with what is needed in the society makes him bad. Money is the cause of all evil. Rousseau used historical explanation in this concept in order to understand the factors irrelevant to human nature (Puosi 1). During those times when money is not yet the most important need in every person, the behavior of mankind is good and there is a lower rate of criminality (Puosi 1).
The concept of discrimination was invented when human nature was raised to the level of affluence and power. Basically, a person usually discriminates others if he belongs to a rich and powerful race. Therefore, the irrelevant needs of the people like extraneous power and influence must be eradicated. The need of extra money must not be the reason of service and work in the society. The problem of economic development can only be solved if American merchants will serve first the needs of other American workers before their own needs.
In that way, higher rate of unemployment due to outsourcing labor can be solved. The political and economic development changes over time due to the existence of international competition over world power. The concept of terrorism was discovered when other countries wants to rule over the world like America does in terms of political and economic influence and power. The human nature which is kind-hearted and good was replaced by greed and violence when the will to rule the world consumes them. Rousseau is mindful of the abstraction of reason which was tainted by greediness of power over time (Puosi 1).
Hence, what is needed is to make reasonable decisions consciously for general welfare and not for seeking selfish motives. Rousseau is also aware the good manners and right conduct, morality, justice, and love are the core values that are normal for a human being. Respect and loyalty towards other people existed many years ago. In fact, agreements between individuals without written contracts were used due to mutual promise to perform obligations. The situation changed when dishonesty and unethical business attitudes came into existence.
Rousseau is trying to explain that there could never be a problem if the true essence of sound morals can be used as the guiding principles of men. The concept of morality still existed nowadays but was corrupted by the will to become wealthy and influential. For example, some businessmen no longer care for the moral uprightness of men when pornography was made available to them for reasons of business profits. Prostitution was developed in such a way that all people tend to destroy family relationships just to earn profits.
Rousseau was thinking then that sound morals were replaced by the word money alone and none other. Justice is a very important concept that most people value. Justice propagates peace and harmony in the society. Justice is the remarkable instrument that makes people reacts positively to the laws enacted by political leaders. It is also the foundation of the peaceful interrelations of the component elements of society which makes us become civilly and economically progressive. And yet, when the ability to circumvent the law existed, justice is no longer the rule but the basis of every legal demand.
Rousseau believes that justice breeds peace and harmony among human beings, but he also knew that it can be destroyed by personal motives and interests in the society. Let us consider the stretching of military power in Iraq via foreign policy of Bush administration. Several military personnel were sent to Iraq just to satisfy the need to advance foreign policy of the country. The untold casualties of war are shocking and unbelievable. The country may be powerful over Iraq but both suffered tremendously because of the war. But raising the concern of fighting against terrorist acts justifies the war in Iraq.
The American people spend money out of governmental budget to support national defense and foreign policy thereby neglecting other important matters like education and healthcare. Rousseau must be correct when he said that historical events had unraveled and contaminated the good in human heart and soul by suppressing passions and instincts to the generalization of motive (Puosi 1). Thus, lack of common interest among the people can be treated by means of observing justice in all aspect of policy-making. The little siblings of selfish interest include the concepts of corruption, greed, thirst of power and violence (Puosi 1).
Rousseau labeled all these devilish attitudes as products of a social make-up or structure shaped by historical events. These negative attitudes clued-up the alienation of those core values relevant and normal to human nature. Corruption is common in the society today. Thirst of power and violence remained the reasons why some Americans are imprisoned for such a long time. The overcrowding of prison cells is due to the inability of the government to prevent men from doing criminal acts over time. And the worst thing is, people tend to commit criminal acts due to poverty and worsening social condition.
The cycle of social matters kept on moving toward the destruction of the people and we tend to ignore the reasons of our difficulties. This point of time, we take heed to the words of Rousseau, private property ownership is the source of all inequality. In the context of modern society, ownership of private property is acceptable as long as it is done justifiable and reasonably. The problem lies on the acquisition of private property through deceit and fraudulent machinations. The acquisition of private property is also the mother of discrimination as other people think that all things belong to them.
Rousseau pointed out that the insatiable needs of men to own private property is the foundation of all evils (Puosi 1). The optimal reason for divisive acts and irregular decisions of government leaders is the desire to possess several private properties. Hence, the social and economic conditions of the people can be improved if unfair acquisition of private property is eradicated in the society. Conclusion The subject of the discussion is the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau about the Discourse on the Origin of Inequality.
The said writing of Rousseau was used to analyze the three problem of society that breeds lack of common interest among the citizens of the United States of America. The three problems mentioned include the failure of the government to enrich and magnify national security, economic development, and political power in the perspective of human nature. According to Rousseau, men by nature are good and that justice, sound morality, and love are the core values of men. But the historical events of having a goal of private property acquisition tainted these values.
Therefore, men should refrain from doing unfair deeds and unjustifiable acquisition of private property. Finally, the war in Iraq and other destructive military operations staged by America must be stopped. The social needs of education and health care must be prioritized. There is no problem if the people are protected from terrorist attacks, but it should be done in the right perspective by the government.
Daalder, Ivo & Lindsay, James. “Democracies of the World Unite”. 2009. The American Interest Website. February 24, 2009 < http://www.="" the-american-interest.com/ai2/article.="" cfm?="" id="219&MId=6"> “Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)”. 2009. Niagara University. February 24, 2009 “Outsourcing Effects on America’s Economy”. 2009. Article Snatch.
February 24, 2009 < http://www.="" articlesnatch.="" com/article/outsourcing-effects-on-america—s-economy/478092=""> Puosi, Emanuela. “Discourse on the Origin of Inequality”. 5 November 2008. Political Philosophy Website. February 24, 2009 .