"This little treatise is part of a longer work which I began years ago without realising my limitations, and long since abandoned. Of the various fragments that might have been extracted from what I wrote, this is the most considerable, and, I think, the least unworthy of being offered to the public. The rest no longer exists."
Rousseau wrote this at the beginning of his landmark book “The Social Contract”
Now, I’m not the biggest fan of The Social Contract, but I admire its general democratic principles. But I admire this introduction. Its Rousseau saying “I tried, I failed, fuck it, have this piece of shit anyway”. But it wasn’t shit. It was almost revolutionary. Every philosophy and politics student knows about Rousseau and the social contract. The words “Social contract” are embedded in society.
Not bad for a guy with no confidence in his work and who abandoned it for years.
So, next time I think something is shit, I’m going to think “let’s pull a Rousseau”. Let’s put it out there anyway, because its better to do something than nothing. Let other people judge your work, don’t do it yourself.
I dread to think the works that have been destroyed by people thinking its not good enough, or what “The Social Contract” could have been.