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Rousseau and the theory of totalitarian democracy
Zarnitskaya Mariya

Post-graduate student, the department of Philosophy of Politics and Law, M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University

119234, Russia, Moscow, Lomonosovsky Prospekt 27, building #4





This article is dedicated to the analysis of discussions on Jean-Jacques Rousseau as the author whose works served as a foundation for the origination and development of the theory of totalitarian democracy. The arguments are provided not only in support the indicated point of view, but also to against it; Rousseau’s ideas on “impelling to freedom” and the people’s right of revolution. Attention is also given to the contradictory concept of Rousseau regarding the mutual intention and subordination of private interests to common, as well as its interpretations by the critics. The author determines opposite views of the critics upon the paradox of freedom in Rousseau’s works. As an example of the frequent controversy and bias of the opinion of criticizing philosophers is used a modern analysis of the persona of Isaiah Berlin and reasons of his discountenance to the enlightener. Methodological foundation of the study is the historical and comparativist approaches that allow tracing within the framework of research the conception and content of the term “totalitarian democracy”, its correlation to Rousseau’s’ concept and evolution of views of the critics of French enlightener. The conducted analysis allows assessing the contradictory ideas of Rousseau and adduce arguments against the excessively judgmental assessment of his reasoning. The author gives credit to the rudiment of the theory of constitutional state in Rousseau’s works, for example, the idea of mutuality of rights and obligations of citizens and the state. Based on analysis of the historical situation, a conclusion is made on ambiguity but essentiality of Rousseau persona, as well as positive and negative impact of hit theory upon the evolution of philosophical thought.  

Keywords: The paradox of freedom, Coercion, Freedom, State, Totalitarian democracy, General will, Democracy, Totalitarism, Enlightenment, Social contract



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