Famous quotes explained: « Laws are always useful to those who possess and harmful to those who have nothing. », The Social Contract,Rousseau, 1762.
In this quote from The Social Contract, the Enlightenment philosopher critiques the injustice of laws, which in his view, amplify inequalities. He returns to one of his recurring themes, that of property.
It may seem paradoxical to think that the law protects the most powerful. Logically, it should be a barrier against the increase of power of the strongest, a protection for the weakest. However, here Rousseau focuses on property, possessions.
If laws defend property, they defend property owners, and indeed, if they are not necessarily harmful, they at least appear useless for those who have nothing. Rousseau undoubtedly points out those who make the laws (at the time, mainly the monarchy and the aristocracy), as they themselves are rich and property owners, protecting themselves and their loved ones.
He underscores his argument with the adverb « always, » framing it as a timeless, universal truth, like a law.
Laws are always useful to those who possess and harmful to those who have nothing.
Links to Another quotes:Famous quotes explained: « One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. » from The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir, 1949.Famous quotes explained: « We loved each other like a couple of crazies / We parted without talking about it. », from « Arabesques of Misfortune » in Flowers of Good Will by Jules Laforgue, 1890. Famous quotes explained: « History is a novel that has been, the novel a story that could have been. », Edmond and Jules Goncourt.Famous quotes explained: « The work exposes, the man disposes », Criticism and truth, Roland Barthes, 1966.Famous quotes explained: « We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones », Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea , Jules Verne, 1870.Famous quotes explained: « Reading all good books is like having a conversation with the most honest people of past centuries. »Descartes, Discourse on Method, 1637. Famous quotes explained: « tyrants are only great because we are on our knees », Discourse on Voluntary Servitude La Boétie, 1576.Famous quotes explained: « Politeness consists in appearing to forget oneself for others », The Lily of the Valley, Balzac, 1836. Famous quotes explained: « And to esteem everyone is to esteem nothing », The Misanthrope, Molière, 1667.Famous quotes explained: « Work keeps three great evils away from us: boredom, vice, and need. », Candide, Voltaire, 1759. Famous quotes explained: « Without the freedom to criticize, there is no genuine praise. » Act V, Scene 3., The Marriage of Figaro, Beaumarchais, 1784.Famous quotes explained: « One must eat to live, not live to eat. »The Miser, Act III, Scene V, Molière, 1668. Famous Quotes explained: « In war, it is the war of men; in peace, it is the war of ideas. », Fragments, Hugo, 1885. Famous Quotes explained: « I am weary of museums, cemeteries of the arts. » , Lamartine, Voyage en Orient, 1835. Famous Quotes Explained: « What is well conceived is clearly expressed. And the words to say it come easily. », Nicolas Boileau, The Art of Poetry, 1674. Famous Quotes Explained: « One sees clearly with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eyes. », The Little Prince, Saint-Exupéry, 1943. Famous quotes explained: « Education is given by the family; instruction is owed by the state. », Victor Hugo, Words and deeds, 1876. Famous Quotes explained: « One person is missing, and everything is depopulated. » Méditations poétiques, « L’Isolement », Lamartine, 1820. Famous quotes explained: « To love is to know how to say ‘I love you’ without speaking. » Victor Hugo
Page Facebook: CoursJulien
1 commentaire sur “Famous quotes explained: « Laws are always useful to those who possess and harmful to those who have nothing. », The Social Contract,Rousseau, 1762.”
Ping : Famous quotes explained: « If the world were clear, art would not exist », The Myth of Sisyphus, Camus, 1942. - Les Cours Julien