Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains.
 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract (1762). copy citation

Author Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Source The Social Contract
Topic man freedom slavery chains
Date 1762
Language English
Reference Of the Social Contract, or Principles of Political Law, Book I
Note Translated by George Douglas Howard Cole


“As I was born a citizen of a free State, and a member of the Sovereign, I feel that, however feeble the influence my voice can have on public affairs, the right of voting on them makes it my duty to study them: and I am happy, when I reflect upon governments, to find my inquiries always furnish me with new reasons for loving that of my own country.
1. Subject of the First Book[edit]
MAN is born free; and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks himself the master of others, and still remains a greater slave than they. How did this change come about? I do not know. What can make it legitimate? That question I think I can answer.
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