Deutsch

3b Contrat social

Christianity emphasized the idea of a partnership between the ruler and the people – the relationship was comparable to the tie between God and the people. The contract was seen as an instrument which connected allies. Because of the fact that a Christian ruler was chosen by God and had to be benevolent and just, the people trusted in fair and merciful acts. During the Late Middle Ages the meaning of fixed rights became even more important, enforceable laws were established. The impairment of the feudal system, the prospering growth of the cities, commerce and finance changed the social structure lastingly. In the aftermath the idea of a contract came into focus: An unlegislated area was hypothetically stated which was dated to a long ago past. The natural state («bellum omnium contra omnes») provoked the desire for fixed rules. The social contract was to accentuate the common interest and create a basis for action. Unlike other thinkers, Rousseau assumed that man lived independent and peaceable in his natural state. By owning goods man did not remain autarkic but falls into a role. He has become servant or master and dependent in the same way. Objectiveness is doubtful within these functions. To overcome this conflict every person has the desire to comply with an order. Only the state has the power to pass a law which meets the will of people in the whole.