Jean-Jacques Rousseau (June 28, 1712 July 2, 1778) was a Franco-Swiss philosopher, writer, political theorist, and self-taught composer of The Age of Enlightenment. Rousseau's political ideas influenced the French Revolution, the development of socialist theory, and the growth of nationalism. His legacy as a radical and revolutionary is perhaps best demonstrated by his most famous line, from his most important work, The Social Contract: "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains." (For Rousseau's conception of revolution see Du Contrat Social, Book II, Chapter 8. Given that he considers revolution "dangerous and vain", one must question the legitimacy of calling Rousseau a revolutionary.).
"The English people believes itself to be free; it is gravely mistaken; it is free only during election of members of parliament; as soon as the members are elected, the people is enslaved; it is nothing. In the brief moment of its freedom, the English people makes such a use of that freedom that it deserves to lose it."
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