Rousseau, Political Economy 134-135


There is no point to believing that one can strike or cut off an arm without pain being transmitted to the head. And it is no more believable that the general will would permit a member of the state, whoever he might be, to injure or destroy another member than that the fingers of a man in his right mind would put out his eyes. Individual welfare is so closely linked to the public confederation that, were it not for the fact that one must take account of human frailty, this convention would be dissolved by right if just one citizen within the state were to perish who could have been saved, if just one citizen were wrongly held in prison, and if a single court case were to be lost because of an obvious injustice. For when these fundamental conventions are violated, it is no longer apparent what right or what interest could maintain the populace in the social union, unless it is restrained by force alone, which brings about the dissolution of the civil state.

– Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on Political Economy

Living socially aware


The fact of the matter is, if you aren’t waking up in the morning mad as hell at the state of society around you, you’re probably benefiting from the structures that oppress others and you probably don’t even realize the extent of it. Likewise, if you aren’t aware, and you don’t care, you accept the system. Your complacency and ignorance is as good as consent. And allow me to be blunt here, just once. If you consent to the system the way it is, you’re dead to me.