Here is my belated post for Book Beginnings!
I have finally started The Social Contract, which I meant to get to last year. I have read bits of it before (and the Discourse on Inequality) but I am giving it another shot. A review will follow later, of course.
I am looking forward to it, but I don’t have much to say yet.
I mean to inquire if, in the civil order, there can be any sure and legitimate rule of administration, men being taken as they are and laws as they might be. In this inquiry I shall endeavour always to unite what right sanctions with what is prescribed by interest, in order that justice and utility may in no case be divided.
I enter upon my task without proving the importance of the subject. I shall be asked if I am a prince or a legislator, to write on politics. I answer that I am neither, and that is why I do so. If I were a prince or a legislator, I should not waste time in saying what wants doing; I should do it, or hold my peace.