Wherein, I pull apart the Declaration of Independence, one paragraph at a time, and analyse the contents. This is an attempt to re-think and improve the analysis I did a few years ago.
In the end, the ‘general will’ is a solution in search of a problem. Rousseau wants to craft an account of the collective behaviour of humans in large groups, before he really understands the behaviour and motivations of individual humans. This is hardly surprising, given the fact that Rousseau was himself a deeply confused and corrupt man.