The Relative Importance of Private Property in Modern Society In Discourse on Inequality, Rousseau stated: “The first person who, having enclosed a piece of land, took it into his mind to say this is mine and found people simply enough to believe him, was the true founder of civil society.”1 By this, Rousseau meant that property rights are not a natural aspect of the human condition. In Rousseau’s imagined pre-civil natural world, human beings had no sense of property rights or of dividing the world up into bits that belonged to some and not to others. Thus, civil society in the sense we consider it today could not exist without individuals who through hubris divided the world. The natural human state that Rousseau imagined existed before...The end:
.....t neither Locke nor Rousseau were capable of imagining a world in which private property did not form the basis for all human society, whether through inclusion or lack. Notes 1. Bernstein. Devine, 267. Waldron. Devine 267. Bernstien. Devine 267. Devine 268 References Bernstein, Alvin. “Locke vs. Rousseau: The Modern vs. the Medieval.” The School of Cooperative Individualism. http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/bernstein_on_locke.html (accessed February 25, 2010). Devine, James. “The Positive Political Economy of Individualism and Collectivism.” Politics & Society 28, no. 2 (June 2000): 265-304. Waldron, Jeremy. “Property.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/property/ (accessed February 25, 2010).