The Social Contract

what does the social contracts do?

please explain for me.

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Rousseau's solution to the problem of legitimate authority is the "social contract," an agreement by which the people band together for their mutual preservation. This act of association creates a collective body called the "sovereign." The sovereign is the supreme authority in the state, and has its own life and will. The sovereign's interest, or the "general will," always promotes the common good. This is in contrast to the private will of each citizen, which strives only for personal benefit.

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