Critique of Rousseau

The “Will of the People” is a Rousseauian Communist tagline – Conservatives should drop it.


One thing the American “Conservative” Right needs to do to keep themselves from being swept away in the coming Leftist, Hegelian, Marxist tsunami, is to come to terms with this notion of “The Will of the People.” It does not mean the same thing on the Left as is does on the Right. The problem stems from Rousseau’s influence, primarily among others, and his concept of The General Will as laid out in The Social Contract.

Rousseau believed that Kings have no natural right to rule The People and that The People should rule themselves. Authority comes from The People (Americans are waving their arms, eyes rolling, in near religious-like euphoria at those words). But keep in mind that Rousseau had as much, or more, influence on the communists as he did on the likes of Jefferson.

The problem between the Left and Right in this matter is this. The Left sees Rousseau’s General Will in the same way as did the French Revolutionaries, who called it The General Good. Rousseau makes the point in The Social Contract that once The General Will is established, the government has the right and duty to eliminate threats to that Will, i.e., one must comply because it is The General Will. The French used the guillotine unmercifully to eliminate the “enemies of freedom.”

The Right sees the Will of the People as “we don’t want Kings and Queens telling us what to do; we want to be self-governed: Individual rights! Don’t tread on me!” In actuality, it’s not really The Will of the People that the Right is seeking. What they seek is their own individual will, the right to do as they please.

The Left says “comply with the Will of the People.” We see this through their federal mandates, legislation demanding compliance to liberal, post-Christian morality, a desire to eliminate the electoral college…etc. The Right says, “I will comply only to my own will.” Which is why it might benefit the Right to stop using the term The Will of the People. It is more a communist tagline than a libertarian one. Libertarians actually want to be protected from the Will of the People! This we see in the US Constitution and Electoral College, both of which are disintegrating under the weight of the Leftist interpretation of The General Will. The so-called “brilliance” of the US Constitution is that it purports to substitute self-governance for Kings while at the same time protecting the minority from the masses. It’s Achilles Heel is that it is itself subject to the interpretation of The General Will by whichever side has the most power.

To both the liberal American Left, and the liberal American Right (who call themselves conservatives), the truly conservative Monarchist says, “Neither the Will of the People nor the Will of the Individual. We seek The Will of God, the same yesterday, today, and forever.”


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