This idea of subserving literature to political ends is said to have been suggested by Nakae Tokusukes translation of Rousseaus Contrat social.
The best-known exponent of this theory of the source of sovereignty is Rousseau, who assumes the existence of a pacte social, the terms of which are: "Chacun de nous met en commun sa personne et toute sa puissance sous la supreme direction de la volonte generale; et nous regevons encore chaque membre comme partie indivisible de tout" (Du Contrat social, I.
One of them, stated by Rousseau (Du Contrat social, 2.
A third proposition, often expressed with respect to sovereignty, is that it cannot be alienated: a proposition thus stated by Rousseau: "Je dis que la souverainete, n'etant que l'exercise de la volonte generale, ne peut jamais s'aliener" (Du Contrat social, 2.1; Figgis, p. 89).
In 1762 appeared the Contrat social at Amsterdam, and Emile, which was published both in the Low Countries and at Paris.
For the latter the author received 6000 livres, for the Contrat 1000.
The Contrat social, as its title implies, endeavours to base all government on the consent, direct or implied, of the governed, and indulges in much ingenious argument to get rid of the practical inconveniences of such a suggestion.
The Contrat social was obviously anti-monarchic; the Nouvelle Heloise was said to be immoral; the sentimental deism of the "Profession du vicaire Savoyard" in Emile irritated equally the philosophe party and the church.
The Contrat social is for the political student one of the most curious and interesting books existing.
"Rousseau's Contrat Social," said the vicomte with a tolerant smile.
He was agitated; this extraordinary gathering not only of nobles but also of the merchant- class--les etats generaux (States-General)--evoked in him a whole series of ideas he had long laid aside but which were deeply graven in his soul: thoughts of the Contrat Social and the French Revolution.
It is possible to understand that Napoleon had power and so events occurred; with some effort one may even conceive that Napoleon together with other influences was the cause of an event; but how a book, Le Contrat Social, had the effect of making Frenchmen begin to drown one another cannot be understood without an explanation of the causal nexus of this new force with the event.