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Jean Jacques Rousseau
1712 - 1778

Philosopher, social critic, author of On the Political Economy, On the Origin of Inequality (1755), and others


Censorship may be useful for the preservation of morality, but can never be so for its restoration.

1762 - from The Social Contract
Man was born free and everywhere he is in chains.

1762 - from The Social Contract
In the strict sense of the term, a true democracy has never existed, and will never exist. It is against natural order that the great number should govern and that the few should be governed.

As soon as any man says of the affairs of State, 'What does it matter to me?' the State may be given up as lost.

1762 - from The Social Contract
From....lack of knowledge, there has arisen that fine dictum of morality so much bandied about by the philosophical crowd, that men are everywhere the same, and that having everywhere the same passions and the same vices, it is rather useless to attempt to characterize the different races; which is just about as reasonable as if one were to say that one could not distinguish Peter from James, because each of them has a nose, a mouth and eyes.

1755 - from On the Origin of Inequality
He who eats in idleness that which he himself has not earned, steals it; and a capitalist whom the state pays for doing nothing differs little in my eyes from a brigand, who lives at the expense of passers-by.

A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.