What does Rousseau think about private property?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Rousseau believed that the closer man was to nature, the purer he would be. If he was able to own "nature" in the form of private property, that ownership would eventually corrupt him. Private property was therefor the cause of social evil and he believed the state should minimize the need for private ownership. That would mean that the state would be in charge of most of the land and therefore the state could lead the people with greater ease.