A society achieves political success when it solves the fundamental problem of politics-when it provides for its members’ welfare and autonomy. In the Introduction I suggested that a society solves the problem when it successfully formulates and enforces its general will. A society fails politically, then, when the fundamental problem goes unsolved: if the general will is not formulated, or if formulated goes unenforced. In this chapter we shall interpret Rousseau’s view that the blame for political failure lies with the attitudes of society’s members. Specifically, we shall see, he is concerned with the attitudes individuals take toward their wants. As we have observed, Rousseau presumes that human beings are self-interested, that is that they seek to satisfy their wants. However, he conceives of different degrees of self-interest-different positions men can take regarding what counts as satisfaction. Men are capable of taking different positions toward their wants in virtue of the freedom of their wills. ‘Nature commands every animal, and the Beast obeys. Man experiences the same impression, but recognizes himself free to acquiesce or to resist’ (DI, II.16/III.141-42). Thus, the different forms of self-interest I shall describe can be conceived as different dispositions of the will.