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Dictionary of the History of Ideas

Studies of Selected Pivotal Ideas
170 occurrences of ideology
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170 occurrences of ideology
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The phrase “general will” is ineluctably the property
of one man, Jean Jacques Rousseau. He did not invent
it, but he made its history.

Father Malebranche was the first well-known writer
to put the words “general will” to philosophic use. In
his first work he spoke of God's general will as ac-
counting for all the laws of the phenomenal world and
for grace. Cause and effect in the natural world are
merely the “occasions” on which God's general will
manifests itself (De la recherche de la vérité, Book I,
Chs. I-IV; Book V, Chs. I-II). While this notion has
little direct bearing upon politics, it is worth noting
that from its origins the general will is a legislating
organ. It was Montesquieu who transferred it from the
theological to the social level. Although he knew
Malebranche's work well, he did not find his outlook
congenial and it is fairly certain that Montesquieu
borrowed the phrase from an Italian jurist, Gian
Vincenzo Gravina, who had, in a work on Roman law,
spoken of the public or general will as the source of
civil law. Montesquieu used the actual phrase volonté
only once, but at a most important point, i.e.,
in discussing the separation of powers in England.
Having explained the special autonomy and safeguards
needed in order to keep the judiciary impartial, he
turned to the executive and legislative powers, the
latter being “the general will of the state, and the other
the execution of that general will.” Ideally, the legisla-
tive power should reside in the whole people, but that
is not possible in large modern states, where repre-
sentatives must act on behalf of the people. This had
many advantages, if electoral districts were fairly
drawn and if everybody had the vote except people
“of so mean a station as to be deemed to have no will
of their own” (De l'esprit des lois [1748], Part I, Book
XI, sec. 6).

Although Rousseau was certainly familiar with and
deeply influenced by Montesquieu's writings, he began
to consider the notion of the general will together with


Denis Diderot when they were still close associates.
In several articles that he wrote for the Encyclopédie,
Diderot had found the expression useful but he never
developed it extensively. In describing the growth of
political thinking in Greece, he showed how law
gradually came to replace the cycle of revenge. Only
when the “general will,” which must be opposed to
the avenging “particular will,” was finally established
through law, was there an end to murder, rape, adul-
tery, and parricide. In J. F. de Saint-Lambert's essay
on the duties of the legislator, which was once attrib-
uted to Diderot, we also hear of the general will as
a necessary guide; without it, legislators become ty-
rants, and “the spirit of community dies.” Finally, in
an article on Natural Right, to which Rousseau's Econ-
omie politique
was meant to be a companion piece,
Diderot defined the general will as the sense of justice
shown by all mankind. Justice, he argued, must by
definition be a general rule that has a source other than
personal inclination. If it is to fix all of men's social
duties, it must be universally valid, and it must, there-
fore, have its roots in the will and welfare of all man-
kind. It is, in fact, expressed in all actual social rules,
however various and inadequate, and it is felt by all
men when they express indignation or resentment. As
such it is the force that restrains the particular, self-
regarding wills in all men, individually and collectively.
Fundamentally the general will, for Diderot, was the
rule obliging mankind to do unto others as they would
have others do unto them (“Grecs,” “Droit Naturel,”
in Encyclopédie).

From the first Rousseau rejected the notion of a
universal bond obliging mankind. As he reacted against
the cosmopolitanism of his friend, he came to insist
that a law obliging mankind in general was a fantasy
and an evasion of immediate social duties. Only mutual
obligations among members of a single civic body are
binding and effective, he claimed (Première version du
contrat social,
Book I, Ch. II, pp. 447-54). Thus he
returned to Montesquieu's view, that vox populi alone
expressed vox dei, and the general will. It could be
meaningful only in the small classical republic in which
equality and virtue formed the spirit of the laws.
Moreover, this spirit was not just a matter of consent
to a form of government. The general will was an
articulation of the entire patriotic ethos, of which
Sparta was the ultimate symbol. For unlike Montes-
quieu, Rousseau refused to compromise with aristo-
cratic civil liberty as it existed in modern Europe. Only
the civic spirit of antiquity could maintain a general
will (Économie politique, passim). This social republi-
canism also separated Rousseau's ideas decisively from
the thought of Thomas Hobbes and Samuel von Pufen-
dorf, who had, in the seventeenth century, also spoken
of civil society as the creation of a union of wills, and
as an artificial body endowed with a single sovereign,
law-giving will. In Pufendorf's words, “a state is defined
as a composite moral person whose will, intertwined
and united by virtue of the compact of the many is re-
garded as the will of all, so that it can use the powers and
resources of all for the common peace and security.”
This “will of the state” is the source of all public acts
(On the Duty of Man and the Citizen, trans. F. G.
Moore, New York [1927], Book II, Ch. VI, p. 108).
For the theorists of monarchical absolutism, the will
of the many existed only in order to be delegated. For
Rousseau, on the contrary, no man or group ought ever
to part with any fraction of the freedom to make its
own decisions, because to do so is to renounce one's
quality as a man. That is why “we will never be men
until we are citizens” (Première version du contrat
Book I, Ch. II, p. 453). Sovereignty, he wrote,
is a “mere personification” that stands for the will of
all which alone is “the order and supreme rule” in
society, and one that the people ought never to dele-
gate (Lettres écrites de la montagne [1764], VI, 201;
Contrat social [1762], Book III, Ch. XV, pp. 95-98).
The people, above all, are not everyone and anyone
in a given place. They were all those who had no
special wealth, talents, or powers (Émile, trans. B.
Foxley, London [1948], pp. 186-87). In short, the
common man alone stood to benefit from the civic

The importance of the will for Rousseau was not
merely social, but also psychological. He knew that
men behaved differently in groups than in isolation,
but “without a perfect knowledge of the inclinations
of individuals” one could not understand society (ibid.,
p. 202). The general will only expressed collectively
something that was a vital part of every person's moral
life. The ability to make choices, to will one's aims,
distinguishes men from other animals even in the state
of nature. However, when men form societies they lose
the capacity to act independently and sensibly in their
own interest. The “situation” of society, while it
arouses men's moral faculties, also deprives them of
their self-reliance and kindles all kinds of self-destruc-
tive inner dispositions. Society stimulates a need for
approbation and with it ambition and competition.
Inequality and weakness become both personal atti-
tudes and social institutions. The strong and rich strive
for power; the weak and poor are driven by envy. Both
join to sustain the worst of all social evils: institu-
tionalized inequality. Society is thus a threat to human
willpower, and a good education must concentrate on
restoring that willpower (Discours sur l'origine de
1754), for it is the sole inner force that men
have to counteract the impact of their present social


condition which is a mixed one, half natural and half
social, and unjust and oppressive at all times.

Like John Locke, Rousseau regarded the will as a
power of the mind, a psychological faculty. His con-
tempt for metaphysics and for that part of it which
deals with the will was boundless (Émile, pp. 236, 253).
The function of the will was, according to Rousseau,
not to direct specific actions, but to order men's pas-
sions. These passions are all good, as long as there is
a will to keep them natural and in proper balance.
Since happiness is the sole possible object of human
striving, a good education develops the capacity to
reject avoidable misery. It enforces resignation to ne-
cessity, first of all. Natural necessity, within and outside
us must be accepted without a murmur. Opinion, how-
ever, is to be shaken off as a man pursues his real,
rather than falsely defined, interests. Above all, he must
be able to liberate his conscience which is an instinct,
once it is aroused, and which is experienced just like
physical pain or pleasure. Nothing is more satisfying
than a sense of one's own goodness, nothing more
painful than remorse. A man with a will capable of
all that, is his own master. He wills what is necessary
for his own felicity and does nothing except what he
wills. That is freedom (ibid., p. 48). That is also the
way to escape from the present torment of being torn
between duty and inclination.

For an individual such freedom may mean with-
drawal from society. For “man in general” a social cure
for the diseases of inequality would be required. What
“men in general” need is a general will to protect them
against the general social and emotional forces which
tend to victimize them. It is the will against inequality
and all that stimulates and sustains it. For without
equality there can be no liberty (Contrat social, Book
II, Ch. IX, p. 61). That is the lesson of history. Only
in a small, isolated, agrarian, patriotic republic in
which men know each other and live under educative
laws, given to them by a great legislator such as
Lycurgus, would it be possible for them to be truly
at peace with themselves and each other. Only then
can vanity be redirected to public ends, xenophobia
replace private ambition, and the sense of civic pride
undermine that particular will that always seeks privi-
leges. As such the “general will” for Rousseau was far
less an historical probability, least of all a likely future,
than a judgment against all actual societies. For all
actual societies are based on a fraudulent social con-
tract by which the rich dupe the poor into accepting
legal restraint while they remain as free as ever to do
as they please (ibid., Book I, Ch. IX, p. 39).

The great legislator must liberate a people from
history, take them, as it were, right out of it, by steeling
their will and character sufficiently to resist the full
“force of circumstances” which always tends to in-
equality (ibid., Book II, Ch. IX, p. 61). That is why
the will he instills is far more important than the
contract that first creates civil society. All societies,
good and bad, are based on generally accepted con-
ventions. That is merely the definition of a society. All
have contracts by which mere possession is transformed
into socially protected property, but the terms are
never really enforced equally or fairly (Lettres écrites
de la montagne,
VI, 199-205). The fact is that most
men are stupid and readily deceived into doing what
they do not really want to do.

Group pressure is generally irresistible and not only
soldiers are moved by an “esprit de corps.” All special
orders, magistrates, priesthoods, professions, or any
elite may be composed of personally upright, excellent
members, who would, however, stop at no evil in order
to maintain their collective status. Private aggression
is not the great problem of society. It is organized,
impersonal violence, and group vanity and group wills
that lead to incessant war and to the rule of the strong
over the weak (Émile, pp. 310-20; Économie politique,
pp. 242-43; L'État de guerre, pp. 298-307). That is
why in a well-regulated polity every citizen must look
into himself and consult his own conscience before
voting so that he will not be subject to the pressures
of privilege-seeking groups. It is the influence of such
pressures that the general will must combat, not the
occasional selfishness of individuals or personal errors
which cancel each other and are of no consequence.
It is the conspiratorial activity of those who organize
against equality that is to be dreaded (Contrat social,
Book II, Ch. III, pp. 42-43). That is why the first
condition of an effective social contract is that the rich
must never be so rich and the poor so impoverished
that the former can buy the latter. There must be no
personal subjugation. Secondly, the general will must
always be able to assert itself decisively against the

The main function of regular assemblies of the citi-
zens is to supervise the structure and performance of
the government. The general will does very little.
There is no need for new legislation. On the contrary,
the people must merely hold to its ancient laws and
customs which, thanks to the wisdom of the legislator,
are the main sources of its well-being. Policy, even in
matters of war and peace, is up to the government.
The rulers can be counted on to remain patriotic
“chiefs,” as long as their interests are not allowed to
diverge from that of the rest of the citizens. An ever-
watchful populace, asserting its will against all in-
equality, maintains that identity of interests (ibid., Book
III, Ch. XVIII, pp. 100-04).

The general will is by definition always upright


because it expresses the spirit of the people. Every
society is based on public opinion. That is inevitable
(ibid., Book IV, Ch. VII, pp. 122-23). The problem is
to ensure that opinions beneficial to the people domi-
nate. Now the people have an inherent interest in
justice. For they know that exceptions to the rules will
never be in their favor, but always in the interest of
the few who are strong and shrewd. Injustice is self-
injury for the people. Civic education must not only
see to it that the people do not falter, but maintain
their will, laws, and mores. For though the general will
is certainly not the will of all, especially not when the
people are corrupt, there can be no effective civic
order unless most of the people are inspired by patri-
otic zeal most of the time. A minority may err; that
is not serious, but when the majority ceases to possess
a general will, then the republic is dead. Most govern-
ments, in their despotic group-urges, see to it that
sooner or later this death will occur (ibid., Book III,
Ch. XI, pp. 91-92).

The general will is not only “general” because it
is the expression of the greatest single social interest
of men in general: the inhibition of inequality. It is
general also in its scope. It can only will what is
genuinely useful to the sovereign people, and that is
something the latter must be made to recognize itself.
Moreover, the general will can only legislate; that is,
create rules that apply impersonally to all citizens in
exactly the same way. That is in a sense tautological,
since the will to equality cannot, except when ill-
informed or misdirected, will privileges. If it weakens,
the rule of law is at an end. The moi commun of the
citizens is overcome by vanity. Then the fraudulent
contract of the rich and powerful replaces the sover-
eignty of the people. In such circumstances men obey,
as they must, out of prudence and sensible fear. They
continue to have moral obligations, but no civic duties.
For no obligation can be binding unless men have
accepted it openly and vocally. Tacit consent is mean-
ingful only when it can become vocal at known and
regular intervals. If the general will cannot be heard
it cannot be said to exist. And in fact, it will be replaced
by the rule of personal power which now is so thinly
veiled under laws which serve only the rich. The sense
of justice remains but its rule is gone (ibid., Book III,
Chs. XII-XIV, XVII-XVIII, pp. 92-95, 99-102; Book
IV, Chs. I-II, pp. 102-06; Émile, pp. 437-39). Unless
each citizen is heard with the deference due to a
member of the sovereign people and unless a genuine
fraternity binds each citizen to every other there is
no effective contract (Économie politique, passim; Pre-
mière version du contrat social,
Book II, Ch. IV, pp.
494-95). And unless there is an effective social con-
tract, sustained by an active general will, political
society is merely a set of chains binding an “aggrega-
tion” of men not a genuine “association” fulfilling the
deepest interests of ordinary men: peace and abun-
dance. These are the benefits of a society, without the
inequalities and oppression which are its usual burdens.
That is why the general will is the will against inequal-
ity (Contrat social, Book II, Ch. I, pp. 39-40).

When it is recognized that the general will is a
regulative law-maintaining force and not a govern-
mental will, it is clear that the rights of minorities,
other than those seeking to destroy equality, are not
threatened by it. An individual may be “forced to be
free,” that is, made to abide by the conditions he has
accepted when he joined the community; for as a
lawbreaker he has returned to the rule of force which
threatens his and every other citizen's freedom. That
is inherent in the contract (ibid., Book II, Ch. VII, p.
36; Book II, Ch. V, pp. 46-48). The social contract
may also include a unanimous agreement to accept
future majority rule. When outvoted, therefore, a mi-
nority need not feel aggrieved. Moreover, any individ-
ual must be free to leave, without any difficulty, a
society he no longer wishes to share, if he has fulfilled
his obligations, which include military service in time
of war (ibid., Book III, Ch. VIII, p. 102; Book IV, Ch.
II, p. 105). The general will cannot, as the word “will”
implies evidently enough, be imposed, but it can be
ignored or become feeble in polities, as it does within
individuals, when the negative pressures of their “situ-
ation” in society overwhelm them.

Rousseau's general will was thus neither a plan for
revolution nor a design to say anything about actual
societies except that they were irremediably unjust and
would remain so as long as civilization continued on
its predictable course, for the inherent tendency of
inequality is to increase. The general will is not, how-
ever, in spite of its decidedly unhistorical character,
a “higher” will. It is merely the will that properly
educated ordinary people pursuing basic interests
would follow if they were to organize themselves into
units small and simple enough to suit their very limited
political talents. For Rousseau this was the sum of the
values that he felt the philosophes had rejected in their
enthusiasm for an “enlightenment” and for forms of
progress which corresponded to their own interests and
neglected the real needs of the people among whom
he, “the watchman's son,” had grown up. That alone
sufficed to ensure his continued uniqueness.

The ideological career of the “general will” began
with the French Revolution when it became a vital
part of public discourse. That accounts for its entire
subsequent fate. Liberals never ceased to associate it
with the Terror and socialists with the incomplete,
merely political, revolution. Radical nationalists im-


mediately found some use for the notion and even
conservative nationalism eventually discerned an
appealing principle of social unity “above classes” in
it. However, only the anarchists really believed in
Rousseau's original conception, little as they cared for
the man whom they, also, took to be the principal
ideologist of the Revolution and of the new state that
it had brought into being.

To see how the general will acquired its revolu-
tionary reputation, one need only look at Abbé Sieyès'
famous pamphlet What Is the Third Estate? (1789). The
commonalty as a whole is now everything, the nobility
no longer anything at all. The people, moreover, have
a will to which Sieyès referred as the “national will”
or the “will of the community.” He may have eschewed
the “general will” perhaps because he knew that he
was not following Rousseau. For the people that will
consists of everyone who happened to live at any given
time in France. Rich and poor, ex-noble and com-
moner, corrupt or civic, all are part of the people, of
an undifferentiated whole whose will, moreover, ex-
presses itself indirectly through its government, the
elected representatives. The general will was in fact
on its way to becoming national self-determination,
with one law made for all the citizens by its very own
national government.

This course of development can be traced perfectly
in the philosophy of J. G. Fichte. In his radical youth
he was one of the few thinkers who accepted popular
sovereignty as a necessary active force. Even if it could
be represented, the common will, the actual will of
the whole people, must always have an opportunity
to become vocal. A special committee of “Ephors”
must be set up to see that when the need arose the
whole people would meet to reconsider the basic con-
tract. Rousseau's Spartan republic, moreover, also
appealed to him deeply. Even when he abandoned his
populism in favor of an isolationist nationalism, which
made social unity its highest aim, he retained much
of Rousseau's vision of an educative polity that served
the needs of the people, even if its voice was no longer
to be heard (Naturrecht, 1796-97, secs. 16 and 17, trans.
as The Science of Rights; and Reden an die Deutsche
1808, passim, trans. as Addresses to the German
). In effect nationalism became for him a means
of both creating and expressing the general will after
the humiliations of the Napoleonic Wars.

Hegel was perfectly right in recognizing that Fichte
remained close to Rousseau because Fichte had no
conception of a “higher” will. As such their ideas led
directly to the Terror, according to Hegel. However,
the “higher” will was not the only road away from
radicalism. Benjamin Constant had also criticized
Rousseau for ignoring freedom, but he was able to
accept his general will as the principle that legitimized
constitutional government. He thus simply gave it a
new task. The protection of individual freedom re-
placed the battle against inequality. Constitutional
government based on a broad suffrage providing
equality before the law and personal freedom through
the principle of the separation of powers, was, to
Constant, the only alternative to the rule of force.
Moreover, he recognized without outrage that the laws
enacted and enforced by such a state would be the
result of a bargaining process in which individual in-
terests came to terms with each other. The result was
superior to the particular will of any monarch or class,
and indeed could be said to realize a general will whose
sole aim was to permit the greatest degree of individual
liberty, especially of intellectual expression (Principes
de politique,
in Oeuvres, Paris [1957], pp. 1099-1112,

It was left to Immanuel Kant to make the general
will a “higher” will, divorced from the interests, de-
sires, felicities, and other advantages that men might
pursue. This was entirely in keeping with his concep-
tion of the individual moral will, which was the rational
possibility of men's aspiring to moral self-determination
in accordance with universally valid rules of conduct.
It is a law-giving will that has freedom, conceived as
self-imposed duties, as its one aim. And it is a higher
will because it aims solely at a moral goodness that
is recognized to have a universal human application.
In politics that means that freedom was for Kant, as
for Constant, the sole justification of the state. More-
over, Kant's legitimate republic is in no way different
from Constant's idea of constitutional government.
However, it is based not on an actual historical or
psychological will, but on a hypothetical general will
and social contract. These are the standards for judging
the legitimacy of states. They stand for everything to
which a people would morally have to agree, not only
in domestic but also in international politics. For unlike
Rousseau's general will, Kant's has a universal human
scope. Equality of rights, impartial justice, and, above
all, external freedom are the necessary conditions for
realizing the rational moral will of men, but the actual
people need not be heard, much less bring its “lower”
will to bear directly on legislation. Bargains do not
make right any more than force. For the legitimizing
general will expresses only a moral aspiration, the will
to freedom and to justice, and not the material interests
of the people, nor those of the governments that Kant
so heartily detested. It is the moral will of the individ-
ual applied to the organization of public life (e.g.,
Metaphysik der Sitten, Vol. I, secs. 43-52). It was also
the last genuine expression of the original spirit of the


The general will for Kant had no seat other than
the individual, even if it was confined to his highest
potentiality, his moral reason. It was only with Hegel
that the national will acquired an existence apart from
the wills of the citizens who composed the political
order. Rejecting the individualism inherent in Rousseau
and Kant, Hegel managed to resurrect Leviathan on
a new basis. The state is the mind of the nation and
its highest ethical will. Unlike Hobbes' artificial body,
however, it does not serve men's natural needs for
peace and well-being. Its legitimacy is derived from
its historical necessity, its part in the development of
mankind toward an ever-greater rationality. The state
alone, in organizing a people, speaks and wills for it,
because it alone gives it a rational form, which is its
historically necessary structure. It acts for the people,
but never through them. To the extent that individuals
make the will of the state their own, they are also
rational, but the validity of the state does not depend
on this. It is guaranteed by historical forces which the
state recognizes and consciously wills and acts upon
(Philosophy of Right, secs. 257-360).

Such a degree of depersonalization was not alto-
gether acceptable to Hegel's liberal English followers.
They, therefore, attempted to reintroduce at least some
aspects of the original popular will into the Hegelian
state. T. H. Green thus insisted that the legitimacy of
the state had to rest on its pursuit of the common good
which was a matter of securing, and even enhancing,
the rights of each citizen. That did not mean that the
will of the majority was needed as an affirmation of
the state's legitimacy, but it did recognize the general
will as the expression of a valid demand for a common
good. Without it only coercive force rules. In short,
consent was given a greater part to play in defining
the legitimate state (The Principles of Political Obliga-
London [1941], pp. 80-141). It was, however, a
very vaguely defined consent. In this respect Hegel was
far less ambiguous. For if he did not make public
opinion the final judge of legitimacy, he did not give
the state that function either. Only philosophy, as the
retrospective recognition of what had been and what
had not been historically necessary, can really judge.

The attractions of the general will as a principle of
unity in a period of considerable industrial strife, found
its final panegyrist in Bernard Bosanquet. The state is
the highest, most general organic unit to which men
can aspire. It must, therefore, as a matter of sociolog-
ical and psychological necessity be the source of the
highest values. Its history is that of the general will
gradually becoming more and more aware of itself as
men organize society into an increasingly comprehen-
sive unit, the nation state. It has claims on men above
all lesser group and class allegiances, because it is the
broadest possible, and therefore universally valid end
to which men can direct their political efforts, or their
wills. The state is the rational principle of the nation
and the sole end of collective self-development
(Bernard Bosanquet, The Philosophic Theory of the

For all these post-Revolutionary theorists, the gen-
eral will played a part in the difficult effort to find
a consensual basis to legitimize national governments.
For the Hegelians, it also had the function of overcom-
ing the narrow scope that liberalism had ascribed to
politics. Rousseau was for them a link to the classical
tradition that had regarded politics as the highest
human activity. However, the revolutionary potential-
ities of that ideal made it necessary to refashion it,
if it was to support the existing state order. That
rendered it relatively insignificant also.

Anarchism, especially Pierre Joseph Proudhon's
doctrine, for all its un-Rousseauian radicalism, was
closest to the original conception. To be sure, Proud-
hon's faith in progress dampened his voluntarism, as
it had Hegel's. Moreover, Proudhon hated Rousseau,
whom he took to be the primary ideologue of the
“bourgeois” and statist Revolution. What had Rousseau
known of economic laws, he asked? However, Proud-
hon's notion of justice as mutuality, as openly, directly,
and continually renewed agreements between members
of small groups and among such groups, is just what
Rousseau had meant by a living social contract. Not
the justice imposed from above, by God or by abstract
law or by a state, but only the inherent feeling of
community and of clearly understood self-interest ex-
pressed in personally made, mutual binding agree-
ments, create true obligations. That was Proudhon's
notion of immanent justice no less than Rousseau's.
Identity of interests and “the abolition of the opposi-
tion of the social law and the will of the individual,”
Proudhon wrote, must be the basis of a viable social
order. He also put his trust in the common people,
“as an organized union of wills that are individually
free and that can should voluntarily work to-
gether.” For Proudhon insisted, as Rousseau had, that
the social contract involved not government but the
whole social and moral environment in which simple
people might live decent and satisfying lives. That is
why his form of socialist anarchism was the only real
effort to develop Rousseau's idea of the general will,
rather than an attempt to integrate it into an inegali-
tarian order (P. J. Proudhon, Idée générale de la Révo-
lution au XIXe siècle,
in Oeuvres complètes, Paris
[1923], pp. 182-236; 267-331; De la justice, ibid.,
I, 420-30).

The overwhelming problem of political thought in
the nineteenth century was how to cope with the


Revolution. Rousseau had been remote from that con-
cern, but to the extent that he was taken to speak for
the forces of upheaval, his idea of the general will,
especially, became a political force that had to be
contained or redirected. The result was nothing if not
ironic: the last defender of the agrarian republic was
transformed into the founding father of the modern
nation state, and the general will of the European
peasantry was made to serve as the justification for
industrial progress and political centralization.


Translations refer to the editions to which references may
be made. There are numerous versions of many standard
works cited here.

Bernard Bosanquet, The Philosophical Theory of the State
(London, 1899; reprint 1965). Benjamin Constant, Principes
de politique
(1815), in Oeuvres (Paris, 1957). Denis Diderot,
ed., Encyclopédie (1751-80), in Oeuvres complètes (Paris,
1876), Vols. XIV-XV. J. G. Fichte, Grundlage des Naturrechts
(1796-97), in Sämtliche Werke (Berlin, 1845), Vol. III; idem,
The Science of Rights, trans. A. E. Kroeger (Philadelphia,
1869; London, 1889); idem, Der geschlossene Handelsstaat
(1800), in Sämtliche Werke, Vol. III; idem, Addresses to the
German Nation,
trans. R. F. Jones and G. H. Turnbull, ed.
G. A. Kelly (New York, 1968). T. H. Green, Lectures on the
Principles of Political Obligation
(London, 1882; 1941). G.
W. F. Hegel, The Philosophy of Right (1821), trans. T. M.
Knox (Oxford, 1942). Immanuel Kant, Über den Gemeins-
pruch: Das mag in der Theorie richtig sein, taugt aber nichts
für die Praxis
(1793), in Werke (Berlin, 1914), Vol. VI; idem,
Zum ewigen Frieden (1795), ibid.; The Philosophy of Kant,
trans. and ed. C. J. Friedrich (New York, 1949); idem, Die
Metaphysik der Sitten
(1797), in Werke, Vol. III; idem, The
Philosophy of Law,
trans. W. Hastie (Edinburgh, 1887).
Nicolas de Malebranche, De la recherche de la vérité
(1674-75; Paris, 1962). Charles de Secondat de Montesquieu,
L'Esprit des lois (1748), in Oeuvres complètes (Paris, 1950),
Vol. I; trans. Thomas Nugent as The Spirit of the Laws (New
York, 1949). P. J. Proudhon, Idée générale de la révolution
au XIXe siècle
(1851), in Oeuvres complètes (Paris, 1923),
Vol. III; trans. J. B. Robinson as General Idea of Revolution
in the Nineteenth Century
(London, 1923); idem, De la
justice dans la révolution et dans l'église
(1858), in Oeuvres,
op. cit., Vol. IX. Samuel von Pufendorf, On the Duty of
Man and the Citizen According to the Natural Law
trans. F. G. Moore (New York, 1927). J. J. Rousseau, Émile
(1762), trans. B. Foxley (London, 1948); idem, Political Writ-
ed. C. E. Vaughan, 2 vols. (Cambridge, 1915; reprint
Oxford and New York, 1962); idem, The Social Contract and
trans. G. D. H. Cole (London and New York,
1950). Emmanuel Sieyès, Qu'est-ce que le Tiers État? (1789;
Paris, 1888), trans. H. Blondel as What Is the Third Estate?
(London, 1963).

Secondary Sources. John Bowle, Politics and Opinion in
the Nineteenth Century
(London and New York, 1954). Ernst
Cassirer, Rousseau, Kant, and Goethe (Princeton, 1945; also
reprint). Alfred Cobban, Rousseau and the Modern State,
2nd ed. (London, 1964), contains a history of Rousseau
interpretations. Robert Derathé, Jean-Jacques Rousseau et
la science politique de son temps
(Paris, 1950). Ginette
Dreyfus, la volonté selon Malebranche (Paris, 1958). C. W.
Hendel, Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Moralist, 2 vols. (London,
1934), Vol. I, Ch. V, a history of the idea of general will.
Roger D. Masters, The Political Philosophy of Rousseau
(Princeton, 1968), has an excellent bibliography.


[See also Anarchism; Democracy; Equality; Hegelian...;
Liberalism; Marxism; Social Contract; State; vox populi.]