First Version of the Social Contract (1761)*
PRELIMINARY CONCEPTS OF THE SOCIAL BODY
Subject of This Work
So many famous authors have dealt with the maxims of government and the rules of civil right that there is nothing useful to say on this subject that has not already been said. But perhaps there would be greater agreement, perhaps the best relationships of the social body would have been more clearly established if its nature had been better determined at the outset. This is what I have tried to do in this work. It is, therefore, not a question here of the administration of this body, but of its constitution. I make it live, not act. I describe its mechanism and its parts, and set them in place. I put the machine in running order. Wiser men will regulate its movements.
On the General Society of the Human Race
Let us begin by inquiring why the necessity for political institutions arises.
Man's force is so proportioned to his natural needs____________________