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In
order to know the causes of inequalities in men Rousseau starts by looking into
the beginning of humankind (mankind in its infancy). By so doing, he believes
that we will be able to get insights as to how the inequalities began. From the
understanding of the beginning of mankind comes the understanding of the nature
of man which is either directly or indirectly intertwined with the causes of
the various inequalities in men. However, Rousseau is quick to note that it is
not easy to determine whereby he states that the human soul which could be very
resourceful in determining this nature has already been altered so much in the
society that it is hardly recognizable (Rousseau, 1774). Thus, in order to
determine this human nature, he opts to analyses him since his primitive state.

Rousseau
states that there are two kinds of inequalities in mankind. One of the
inequalities is as a result of the natural or physical causes. It is established
by nature and consists of the differences in terms of age, health, the bodily
strength as well as the qualities of the mind and soul (Moran,F. 1993). The
other type of inequality is moral or political whereby it depends on a
particular kind of convention that is established or authorized by the consent
of men. The moral inequality according to Rousseau is associated with the
different privileges that some men enjoy at the prejudice of others (Moran,F.
1993). It comprises the aspects of being wealthy and more honored, more
powerful or being in a position to exact obedience. Thus some people are held
high in the social status due to these factors while others are held low. Those
in high status become powerful and may, for example, enslave the less powerful
or, the weaker ones. Nevertheless, Rousseau notes that this moral inequality
can be avoided or reduced, unlike the natural one which may be inherent in the
man and unable to be controlled.

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Rousseau
views man at his infancy as a simple being. He compared him to an animal that
is weaker than some, as well as less agile than the others (Rousseau, 1774).
Nevertheless, he notes that when observed from all dimensions man had the most
advantageously organized traits among all other animals. His feeding style would
be simple such as satisfying his hunger on the first oak, quenching his thirst
from a stream as well as sleeping on the foot of trees, and as such all his
wants supplied. Rousseau views man at this early age as contented by what
nature provided. And were it not for the overexploitation of the natural
resources such as the mutilation of the immense forests with the axe, nature
would have provided both sustenance and shelter for every other species of
animal including man (Rousseau, 1774). This shows, that in nature, men would
all be equal and contented.

Rousseau
refers to the uncivilized man (whose natural characters have had little or no
change over time) as a savage.  He notes
that the savage could only rely on his body for his various purposes whereby because
of lacking in tools and equipment, for use in his natural world, had developed
the ability to use his both as the only tool (Moran,F. 1993). This savage,
according to Rousseau comprises of all the natural traits that the civilized
(modern) man lacks or abandoned only to his self-destruction and cause for
inequality.

He
disagrees with Hobbes who claimed that man was naturally intrepid with
intentions only for fighting and attacking. On the contrary, he viewed man like
other philosophers (Cumberland and Puffendorf), as a timid and fearful.
However, he states that this is only true of the things which he does not know
only that such circumstances presenting such a scenario are rare in nature. As
such, man while in the woods had nothing to fear as he had learned to coexist
with the other animals having discovered that he surpasses them in adroitness
than they surpass him in strength (Yousef, N. 2001).  He also states that the animals would also
rarely attack the savage having realized that he is also ferocious and wild
than themselves. He cites the Caraibs of Venezuela who despite living in the
woods with the beasts with absolute and without the slightest inconveniences
(Rousseau, 1774). This means that man in his original nature could live
comfortably amongst the other species in the natural settings though passion
and greed later set in leading lack of contentment which would later lead to
inequalities.

Rousseau
argues that nature would provide entirely every need that man needed including
medicine or natural healing processes. He views that in the use of drugs and
other such substances man only exacerbates the situation whereas his lifestyles
itself brings diseases to man (Yousef, N. 2001). He cites beasts healing their
injuries and recovering normally from their sicknesses without any
intervention. Thus man indifferent in such terms with animals could recover
well without the need for medicine. He notes the great inequalities between men
resulting from their manner of living whereby some live in extreme idleness,
while others work excessively, the consumption of too exquisite foods, by the
wealthy which leads to indigestion, while the poor consume unwholesome food
which does not provide their body requirements sufficiently (Rousseau, 1774).
He also notes that this lifestyle which may also include sitting up late,
fatigue, the mental exhaustion, among other life conditions are indications of
the fact that most of our ills are of our own making. As such, it would have
been possible avoiding them had we adhered to the providence of nature,
following its simple, uniform and the solitary manner in which it is prescribed
(Rousseau, 1774).

He
cites animals such as horses, cats, and bulls have a lot of strength, vigor, as
well as courage when running in the world but on the centrally loose half of
these advantages when domesticated (Rousseau, 1774). This is despite the man
trying to provide them care by feeding them the best feeds while unknowingly
only depriving them. He uses this analogy to show that a savage similarly loses
his strength and courage, growing weak, timid as well as servile after becoming
sociable and a slave. Rousseau strives to show that in nature, a man was
destined to be complete in himself and as such issues of inequality would never
arise had he stick to this natural predisposition. 

From
this account of the simple nature of men, Rousseau views that the origin of
society would have only resulted from the invention of language. He observes
that initially there would be no need for language, as there was no communication
among men as a result of them being so contented with each living by their own
means (Rousseau, 1774). According to him the invention of language led to the
formation of society and later to the origin of the various inequalities among
men. This is because, with so much contentment and very little or no
differences between men in the state of nature, inequalities would never appear
(LaFreniere, G.F. 1990) and were only a result of the social institutions that
later formed following the invention of language.

The
changes in nature, as Rousseau notes could have by chance led to man
discovering various survival tactics depending on where he was living. With the
changing climate, seasons, soils men must have discovered a new industry
whereby those in the seashores invented fishing hook and line, those in the
forest invented bows and arrows while a volcano or a lightening could have by
luck acquainted them to fire (Rousseau, 1774). Later man would realize that he
was superior to animals, but shared various features with other men. The growth
of various industries led to the man realizing that he could invent sharp
stones dig the earth and use tree branches to build a shelter later learning to
plaster it with mud and clay.

Families
were formed as a result and the first societies, were introduced, and with
their establishment came property which has been the main cause of quarrels and
conflicts according to Rousseau. As a result passion and love developed with
each families living together, where the division of labor occurred with women
being more to the shelters and the children while men looked for food. The
families were thus the first little societies (Rousseau, 1774). The little
families would with time start making connections assembling before their huts
and around large trees for songs and dancing. Here inequality started as with
time they would start to consider others and wishing to be considered; as a
result, those with the best dances, or the most handsome, or the most dexterous
would receive the most considerations (Williams,
D.L. 2005). Thus, as a result, vanity and contempt, as
well as shame and envy, would result to cruelty, murder, and vengeance which
would later lead to the need to a government to protect the common good of all
individuals in the societies.

Locke, on
the other hand, looks at sources of inequality and issues of property from a
different perspective. He delves more into the need for societies and
governments addressing the issue of inequality and property from this angle. In
his view, Locke notes that the development of societies and the government were
as a result of free will (Armitage, D. 2004). He notes that men were naturally
free and equal, and as such independent and no one could find it possible to
subject the other to a political power without his will or consent. As a
result, the formation of civil societies was only as a result of people
agreeing to come together and form communities for the comfort, safety, and
peace they would enjoy when together (Lebovics, H. 1986).

The
governments according to Locke started right from the families where the man or
the head of the family was seen as the ruler of such family (Locke, 1988). He
would state on what was right for the family as well as instill discipline to
the children. The children on their behalf would respect and comply with the
father’s guidance even when they had become grown-ups. Nevertheless their
fathers would not dictate what politics for them to follow. The leadership of
the family would be passed to the elder son when the father died. This is only
if the son showed the characteristics that the rest of the family would
consider critical for him to be a leader. If he was not acceptable, a different
person would leader. Sometimes several families would come together and form a
civil society where one of the family leaders who were viewed to have the best
qualities among all would lead this society (Locke, J. 1993). He was obligated
to rule in that society, whereby he would help them secures their place from
invasions. As such, Locke notes that the governments were formed in a similar
manner where people agreed to have one leader who can safeguard their common
needs as a society (Lebovics, H. 1986). However, Locke notes that in the
formation of such societies and the choice of leaders, inequalities would occur
as the qualities for determining the leader were themselves indicative a man
with better qualities than the rest.

Locke
argues that the reason for the formation of political societies was because
despite man having no restrictions in his state of nature, the right for
possessions, there is no assurance that he would use them as intended (Locke,
1988). This is because of invasions by others, who are his equals, owing to the
fact that most men are not strict observers of fairness and justice. This lack
of security for his property would then prompt men to form governments thus
looking for people who they can come together for the preservation of their
lives, their liberties, as well as estates. The cause for this was that nature
does not have an established or settled law that can be used for setting
standards of what is right or wrong. The law of nature according to Locke is
plain and intangible thus would not be applicable in particular cases. Also,
nature does not have a known and impartial judge to enforce the law thus
leaving it to people who are only impartial and prejudiced (Dunn, J. 1967).
This according to Locke is the main reason why men would not remain in the
state of nature irrespective of its many privileges, thus resulting in forming
societies. As such, their only option was to find refuge in governments which
would preserve their properties. This would set standards of right, and wrong,
make judgments and form enforce the law.

The
formation of governments would be to lead the civil societies and to protect
them from invasions by others was a great step for man (Locke, 1988). The
government would be required to conform to the will of the people. For this
most government would vow to obey. The righteous and just kings would abide by
the set rules without which are for the benefit of the whole society (Locke, J.
1993). They would not by any way indulge in activities that would lead to
oppression of their very own. The people in such a government would, therefore,
feel secure and at peace while using their property. However, sometimes, as
Locke explains the government may deviate from their set purposes led by
corruption and greed. Thus they use the power bestowed to them by the people to
their own advantage denying them their rights. Locke states that this may be a
major cause of inequalities in the society as some enjoy the privileges that
the government provides at the expense of others.

This
kind of behavior as Locke notes result when the law is not observed; thus
tyranny begins (Locke, 1988). The rulers or the governments thus exceed the
power given to them by the law to oppress the people who have given him the
power.  In the process, some people who
are close to the government end up gaining while the rest, mostly the majority,
suffer.

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