Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote that there was a fundamental conflict between slavery and the rights of man. In chapter 4 of The Social Contract, he wrote that only voluntary transfers of rights were valid. A government, in other words, was only legitimate if people agreed voluntarily to give up their right to freedom in return for the protections it provided. It was absurd, Rousseau argued, to suggest that a person would voluntarily "alienate their liberty" and give their person to a master. Therefore, slavery was fundamentally a violation of the rights of men. Even if a person could give up their liberty and become a slave, they could not bind their offspring to such an agreement, so the hereditary aspect of eighteenth-century slavery in the New World was illegitimate as well. Slavery was a contradiction to Rousseau's dictum that "men were born free."