A Discourse on Inequality Themes

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The Corruption of Humanity by Civilization

The First Discourse has a simple theme: civilization has corrupted humanity. Man was once a noble savage, living day-to-day trying to secure means of subsistence. But this state was one of equality, and an absence of morality; it was a simple existence but a happy one. However, since man was moderately successful in his attempts to survive the savage life, he began to grow in number and eventually civilization bloomed.

Various new features of human life developed but men ultimately had to repress their true instincts not to attack one another and to let others do as they saw fit. For this reason, men became more corrupt inside if more civil on the outside. When men are not watched, they will perform all manner of evil. The arts and sciences only make matters worse. They are developed for bad purposes, for vanity, war...

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This section contains 849 words
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Buy the A Discourse on Inequality Study Guide
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