Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The General Will

Is the will general? Is it corruptable?

14 comments:

Aaron Nussdorf said...

I think that the General Will is corruptable and that mankind, overall, is "evil" [selfish; cruel; etc.]. So, I think that the General Will is corruptable, and there are countless examples where the general will is lost in exchange for "evil" deeds.

tmichals said...

I think we all realized today that it definitely can be corruptible. It kind of goes to show that Rousseau's beliefs, as Nussdorf said today, are far too idealistic. This may not be exactly what the blog topic is about, but I wasn't really sure.

Aaron Nussdorf said...

I think this is really interesting: is what happened today the general will or the will of all?
I will submit that the will of all and the general will are one and the same.

Caroline said...

I agree that our experience on the "Moby Deck" is proof that the general will is corruptible. It is also testament to the fact that our humanities class has no sense of balance whatsoever.

El Paco said...

I disagree with yall's reasoning. Us not being able to do the "Moby Deck" didn't have anything to do with the general will. I mean, Nick said it - we were doing it the right way but we just couldn't balance it. Plus, we tried a couple of different methods before incorrectly doing it the right way. I don't think there was a lack of leadership or a lack of sense. John said it perfectly - we're just not good at balancing stuff.

Saying that the general will is "corruptable" is a pretty vague statement. Can you elaborate?

Ehren said...

I'm not sure I would say Moby Deck was an example fo the general will being corruptable. I think (as Aaron said) that there were just too many "cooks in the kitchen." It seemed like we had good ideas, we just couldn't get our act together in time.

jp said...

Are we really analyzing our failure to balance a wooden platform here?

I appreciated the chance to go outside and move around instead of sitting inside and talking about art or literature - I even tried to help a little - but I didn't really care if we beat the Moby Deck or not.

Anyway, there are plenty of examples throughout history that show us that the General Will is definitely corruptable. But I don't think that "mankind, overall, is 'evil.'" We might all be a little selfish, but I don't think selfishness is necessarily evil - in fact, I think you have to look out for yourself before you can look out for others. Even on airplane flights they tell you to "please secure your own oxygen mask before helping others."

I think that the people around someone determine their "good" or "evil" tendencies more than anything. It's pretty rare for somebody to grow up with a loving, caring family and supportive friends, and then go on to become an "evil" person. While there is no excuse for being a bad person, evil people have generally been failed or wronged by the people around them first.

Aaron Nussdorf said...

I guess that I'm asking if the Holocast, for example, was the General Will of the Nazi-German state [please ignore Godwin's Law] or if it was the will of one man.

I think that it was the General Will of the German People.

stephen said...

I think that if you look at certain aspects of life especially politics, the general will of even doing good acts can certian be coruptable and evil acts can be marginalized and rationalized.

ndepass said...

i think that the problem with the Moby Deck was that everyone was trying to be the one to balance the deck and everyone thought they could do it. We decided that only one person should move and even though we only saw one person moving it seemed as thought everyone else was shifting their wait, just not noticeably! But i dont think man is necessarily evil, but i would say they are necessarily good, and they can totally be swayed either way, to good or evil

tmichals said...

I agree it may have been the general will, but there was definitely one small group of influential people, following Hitler, controlling the rest of Germany and instilling nasty beliefs in their minds.

bballinsupasta said...

i agree with taylor. not all of the germans believed in hitler's message. a lot of them were intimidated by soldiers and others helped hide the persecuted.

jp said...

I don't agree with Rousseau's ideas about the "General Will," and I'm not sure how anyone with any life experience could. Rousseau thought that the General Will was "inalienable and infallible" - but really, how many examples do we have from history of the majority ignoring the needs of, or even institutionalizing discrimination against, the minority? Anybody remember slavery?

The General Will is clearly not infallible. I don't know how anyone could argue that, and I am kind of baffled as to how a smart guy like Rousseau could make such a retarded idea part of his philosophy.

ndepass said...

i in a way agree with john completely! because the society majority is not always right and many times make bad decisions which definitely proves a valid point!