Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.

Rousseau and the Collectivist Concept of Freedom

George Walsh

Presented at: TJS 1983

Date: Aug 06, 1983

In these lectures, Dr. Walsh will discuss the vital historical importance of Rousseau as the thinker who was mainly responsible for preventing the "Anglo-Saxon" concept of freedom in its Lockean form from taking root on the continent of Europe. In place of the Lockean concept, Rousseau substituted another one worked out with incredible subtlety and often using the same terms, with the result that many European advocates of freedom were led to think he was an improvement on Locke. Rousseau's ideas were carried into Germany and exercised considerable influence on Kant and the early German nationalists. Eventually they emerged in the "German" concept of freedom which lay at the basis of Marxism, facism and welfare statism. The emphasis in the lectures will be on the logical structure of Rousseau's political philosophy as developed in the three treatises and the Social Contract, but this structure itself will be explained in such a way that its historical impact will be obvious.


Parts: 1

Handout: none


  • Not yet available