Dissertation > Marxism,Leninism,Mao Zedong Thought,Deng Xiaoping Theory > Marxism,Leninism,Mao Zedong Thought,Deng Xiaoping's theory of learning and research > Study and research of Marxism > Study and research of the writings of Marx and Engels

The Study on the Comparison of the Thoughts of People’s Sovereign Rights Between Marx’s and Rousseau’s

Author ZhangJingWei
Tutor HeLingLing
School Southwestern University
Course The basic principles of Marxism
Keywords Marx Rousseau Popular sovereignty Comparative study
CLC A811
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
Downloads 142
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Rousseau, the first man who clearly put forward and systematically elaborated on the thought of people’s sovereignty in the history of human ideas, is a great thinker. After inheriting the people’s sovereignty ideas from western political thinkers, Rousseau put forward his thought of people’s sovereignty on the basis of Social contract theory, and his thought is especially the shadow of democratic system in ancient Greek and Roman. While Marx selectively inherited and deeply developed Rousseau’s thought of people’s sovereignty, and on the basis of historical materialism, Marx brought forth new ideas. Marx and Rousseau both agreed that the people are the masters is the basic connotation of the thought of people’s sovereignty, people have the right to override illegal and oppressive government and establish new government through the revolution, personnel of the government is just the servant who serve for the people’s public, and the people’s sovereignty is indivisible. Both Marx’s and Rousseau’s thought of people’s sovereignty reflected the continuity of European political thought, but because of the different life time between Marx and Rousseau, the academic ideas trend at that time is also different, it caused a great difference between their thought of people’s sovereignty especially since the difference between their own experience and individual characteristics. First of all, Marx agreed that proletarian dictatorship is the basic way to realize the people’s sovereignty, however Rousseau thought that citizen conference is the basic way to realize the people’s sovereignty. Secondly, Marx thought that laws reflect the interests of the ruling class, and it’s the reflection of the people’s will only in condition of proletarian dictatorship. But Rousseau generally thought the people’s sovereignty is the reflection of the people’s will. Thirdly, religion was regarded as the barrier of the realization of people’s sovereignty in Marx’s view, but Rousseau agreed that the establishment of civil religion on the legal standard will safeguard the realization of people’s sovereignty. Finally, Marx’s theory of people’s sovereignty was built on the basis of historical materialism, and Rousseau’s thought of people’s sovereignty is established on the foundation of social contract theory. Through the comparison of Marx’s and Rousseau’s theory of people’s sovereignty we got the following enlightenment:Firstly, the realization of people’s sovereignty is the important embodiment of human progress, and it’s also a gradual process of history. Secondly, the people’s sovereignty involved truthfulness and value, and it’s also the unity of universality and concreteness. Thirdly, the principle of people’s sovereignty is the fundamental guiding principle in the political restructuring of our country, and we also need the principle of people’s sovereignty to guide the people’s democratic thought in the process of political structural reform.

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