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24. Political Theory / B. Nature of a State / 2. State Legitimacy / d. General will

[consensus among citizens that justifies a state]

33 ideas
The state aims to consist as far as possible of those who are like and equal [Aristotle]
To govern used to mean to serve, not to rule; rulers did not test their powers over those who bestowed it [Seneca]
A single will creates the legislature, which is duty-bound to preserve that will [Locke]
The social pact is the total subjection of individuals to the general will [Rousseau]
We need a protective association which unites forces, but retains individual freedom [Rousseau]
To foreign powers a state is seen as a simple individual [Rousseau]
The act of association commits citizens to the state, and the state to its citizens [Rousseau]
Individual citizens still retain a private will, which may be contrary to the general will [Rousseau]
Citizens must ultimately for forced to accept the general will (so freedom is compulsory!) [Rousseau]
The general will is common interest; the will of all is the sum of individual desires [Rousseau]
The general will is always right, but the will of all can err, because it includes private interests [Rousseau]
If the state contains associations there are fewer opinions, undermining the general will [Rousseau]
If a large knowledgeable population votes in isolation, their many choices will have good results [Rousseau]
The general will changes its nature when it focuses on particulars [Rousseau]
The general will is always good, but sometimes misunderstood [Rousseau]
Laws are authentic acts of the general will [Rousseau]
Assemblies must always confirm the form of government, and the current administration [Rousseau]
The more unanimous the assembly, the stronger the general will becomes [Rousseau]
The a priori general will of a people shows what is right [Kant]
A law is unjust if the whole people could not possibly agree to it [Kant]
The law expresses the general will, and all citizens can participate [Mirabeau/committee]
The community's interest is a sum of individual interests [Bentham]
A fully developed state is conscious and knows what it wills [Hegel]
The people do not have the ability to know the general will [Hegel]
The great man of the ages is the one who reveals and accomplishes the will of his time [Hegel]
The will of the people is that of the largest or most active part of the people [Mill]
The real will of the cooperative will replace the 'will of the people' [Marx]
Politics is compromises, which seem supported by a social contract, but express the will of no one [Green,TH]
Eventually political parties lose touch with the class they represent, which is dangerous [Gramsci]
We can see the 'general will' as what is in the general interest [Wolff,J]
Today it seems almost impossible to learn the will of the people [Reybrouck]
There are no united monolothic 'peoples', and no 'national gut feelings' [Reybrouck]
In 1794 France all individual and legal rights were suppressed by the general will [Dunt]