Rousseau was a prominent thinker; almost all his philosophical views aimed at studying the problems of the state and state power. This topic is addressed for the first time back in the "Discourse on Inequality," then described in "Political Economy," and later considered in the "Social Contract." This essay strives to prove that no universally applicable scheme could be devised for guaranteeing the international peace. In line, the only relationship between the conception of an ideal Republican patriotic state and the possibilities of international confederation is a direct control over others by the ideal state.


First of all, an ideal republican patriotic state should be analyzed. Rousseau feared that the difficult situation of the XVIII century would contribute to the loss of solidarity that was inherent in social or political groups. All people share the same tastes, feelings, and manners because national institutions do not provide each society with clear distinguishing features. Patriotism can be dissolved in the confusion of the wishes and desires that are generated by inner or outer interests. In the presence of a huge range of interests, patriotism can be shaped if children are brought up together in the spirit of equality, if they absorb state laws and regulations of the general will, if they are taught to respect some paramount value, if they are surrounded by objects that are constantly reminding them of the gentle mother and their debt of her. Under such circumstances, they will surely learn to treat each other as brothers and sisters, desire nothing that is contrary to the will of the society, and become defenders and fathers of the country in due time.

In such a state, the national identity will be achieved, and the conflict will disappear, because equality suppresses the development of private interests that threaten the unity of the state. At the same time, a sense of equality makes a citizen loyal to the homeland; meanwhile, his or her well-being becomes a matter of everyone’s concern. The existence of a group patriotism does not play any role as long as it is not mixed with the idea of nationality. In this case, a very important modern phenomenon of the national identity rises. Strengthening the national identity is associated with the integration of the masses into a common political form. This integration is an ideal of the political doctrine of Rousseau; however, he considered its realization possible only within a limited area. The idea implies one’s commitment to the nation. Due to the centripetal force of the state, nationalism can be considered an identity.

However, it is not necessary to conduct an analysis basing only on this point. Rousseau’s judgment is applicable in any of the two cases: 1) if the state is a unity that can speak as an organism (Rousseau believed that it is hardly possible, but many states, in other respects, far from his ideals, could be characterized as unity) 2) if the state is a unity only in the sense that some power has taken a position, and its decisions are proclaimed as a will of the whole state. According to Rousseau, the worse the state is, the more important the first consideration is; the national identity in an extreme form is achieved by the outright abuse of the supreme power. At the same time, the better or more national the state is, the second consideration becomes more important. At the highest point, the consent of citizens with the foreign policy developed by the government becomes full. In both cases, the state acts against other countries as a unity. Any state that does not meet these conditions cannot be regarded as a unity in the analysis of the foreign policy; however, in this case, it would have ceased to exist as a state.

There is another consideration that is forcing the nation to act as a unity more consistently than the preceding analysis suggests. Most attempts to provide a virtually unanimous support for the foreign policy are successful at the time of the crisis, especially the military confrontation. The union of citizens and the state is based on the personal feelings of people and their belief in own security, which depends on the security of the state. Thus, the national identity is not only influenced by congenital factors but also strengthened by conflicts that are often arising in international relations. It is important to note that hatred between nations exists and that the country will mobilize resources, encourage interests, and make an appeal to feelings of the population for the sake of the implementation of its military policy.

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If speaking about the theory of international relations of Rousseau, one cannot deny that it would be a boon to achieve some perpetual international peace. However as long as any human does not have guarantees of the own security, he or she is not sure that it is possible to avoid the war. Thus, he seeks to launch it at a time that suits personal interests. An individual strives to be in advance of a neighbor, whom he or she wants to attack at a convenient time. Many wars, including the offensive in nature, are a rather unfair negligence; people become united in order to protect own territories from a striker and then to capture others. Whatever peaceful theoretical views of the society may be, it is clear that politically and even morally, these views can be fatal for those who require compliance with them from the whole world without implementing the idea in the own nation.

The modern world makes any precaution useless because being careful has no sense since all is decided by a chance. The actors in the international arena make the situation even more hopeless. Rousseau asserted that the whole life of kings was devoted exclusively to two purposes: to extend authority beyond the state borders and to strengthen it more within its borders. Any other purpose is a part of one of these two; otherwise, it is merely a pretext to achieve them. For ministers, to whom kings pass their responsibilities, the war is necessary constantly. Thanks to it they are always needed for the ruler since he or she is not able to overcome the difficulties of the war without the help of ministers. If the precaution is useless in the world, common sense is simply dangerous, because being sane in an insane world is an insanity. Thus, the scheme assures that no perpetual international peace can be devised.

Then the question of the relationship of the ideal republican patriotic state and possibilities of the international confederation arises. There are questions of whether the existence of an ideal state would contribute to the establishment of peace or not. This question is negated by Rousseau. The will of the state, which ideally is mutual for all citizens becomes only the private will when it is viewed in terms of the whole world. Just as the will of a community or a group within a state, which is correct in itself, may be wrong in terms of the state welfare, its will that is considered as fair may not seem such to the rest of the globe. Rousseau asserted, "It is possible that some kind of republic, a well-managed, enters into an unjust war. ” In order to implement the common will of the entire world, features of individual states need to be reserved. A state may declare to other countries that its objectives are legitimate; however, in fact, each state formulates such assertions from the standpoint of its characteristics and not on the basis of common requirements. Hence, it is clear that the absence of a supranational authority, which is tasked with preventing and resolving conflicts that arise due to some differences in goals, inevitably leads to the war. Conclusion of Rousseau and the basis of his theory of international relations are accurate although it is somewhat abstractly expressed in the following statement: the collision between individual countries does not happen by chance, but as a natural result.

In his book about the state of the war, Rousseau wrote, "The countries of Europe are linked to each other in so many places that any of them cannot keep aloof without creating conflict between others." Countries inevitably face confrontations. To the question of why states must inevitably be enemies, Rousseau answers – because their confederation is based on chance; it is not supported by anything else. Countries rigidly oppose each other. Their legislation has neither sufficient strength nor the clarity to guide them. Public law is a mass of conflicting rules, which can be ordered only from the standpoint of rights of a strong side. Therefore, it is absurd to expect that the harmony of interests can be established by itself, and the countries will automatically agree to the accepted rights and responsibilities.

There are two possible solutions of this problem: 1) to impose effective control over the independent and imperfect state; 2) to consider the ideal state as a perfect state without features. The conclusion is obvious: ideal republican patriotic state can achieve the international confederation by imposing controls on other nations. It is the only possibility to create an international unification of the analysis according to the ideas of Rousseau.

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