Showing posts with label Rousseau. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rousseau. Show all posts

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mailbag Monday: Freedom

Mailbag Monday: A weekly segment that covers readers' questions and concerns about all things Philosophy, Bro, and Philosophy Bro that don't quite fit anywhere else. Send your questions to with 'Mailbag Monday' in the subject line.


Switters writes,
Bro,What is freedom? Or to be more specific, what do the philosophers have to say about freedom?
Politicians love to rant about freedom ad nauseum, but have the great thinkers ever weighed in on the subject?
Holy shit, Swits, (D'ya mind if I call you Swits?) have they ever weighed in on the subject. And the consensus is... well, I mean, there isn't one, which is exactly what you'd expect from philosophy.

But there are two broad ideas of freedom (or liberty), two camps into which most philosophers fall. Those camps are negative freedom and positive freedom. It's not that philosophers disagree over which one is real so much as they disagree over which one is more important.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Jean Jacques Rousseau's "Discourse on Inequality": A Summary

Savage man was the most effective fucking animal out - no more, no less. While every other animal relied on pure instinct, bros had freedom, and it was super fucking effective. Was he cold and wet without shelter from the elements? Fuck no. Savage man wasn't a bitch like you. He didn't give two shits about gourmet dining or fine tobacco or bearskin rugs - as long as his basic needs were met, he was happy as fuck. And his needs were the most basic needs any bro has ever had - sandwiches, sleep, sex. Ladies, take note. In fact, write those down. He'll thank you later.

That's why bros never fought in the state of nature. Why bother? Once his needs were met, that was it. He wasn't wicked or greedy; in fact, he had no idea of good and evil. All he knew was hunger and exhaustion and desire. Since men had the advantage of freedom over instinct, it wasn't hard for anybro to satisfy these.

Did inequality exist back then? Well, of course. Sometimes smart-as-shit bros devised a plan that required a strong-as-fuck bro to execute. But when bros absolutely had to work together, they did so simply and advantageously - they didn't intrude on each other's freedom. Instead, they made deals, fulfilled them, and went on their way. Fuck, bros barely even needed language, so simple were their needs and the tasks required to fill them. Point, grunt, kill, eat, sleep. Fucking lather rinse repeat, bitches. If something didn't help a bro preserve himself, he had no use for it - words were as few as needs. Men were naturally unequal, but back then, that just meant different.