Revolution’s Real Daddy: The Rousseau Drop

A painting of a 19th-century landscape, characteristic of the Romantic era.
7/12 2:26:14 UTC

If you’ve ever harbored the thought that we’re living in a totalitarian technocratic regime, then you’re not alone. In times like these, we turn to those who have thrown off the yolk of so-called “progress” before. We turn to Rousseau.

Amidst the hype of technological change, Rousseau decided to lean out into long forest walks, sit under trees, and float on his back in a canoe while looking up at the sky. During one of his reveries, he realized that the more deeply we got into culture and technology, the farther we veered from nature and the worse off we became.  

What were some logical outcomes of this time spent in nature? An awakening. 

This awakening ushered in a great refusal to be oppressed by overlords, ultimately culminating in the American and French revolutions, which upset the established order in which an entitled few governed despotically over the many. And for all their shortcomings, these revolutions sowed the seed of revolts that ended slavery and sparked independence movements among the colonized. Rousseau powerfully reminded us of the gap between what we ought to be and what we have to settle for, and he inspired our belief in ourselves as a communal whole.

A composite image with a pastoral landscape on the top and detailed botanical illustrations on the bottom.

The lesson for us today is simple: time spent in nature germinates the seeds of our liberation. That’s why our Rousseau capsule brings you images and text from his work on 100% organic cotton tees and some of his favorite tools to accompany your own walks, like a flute and a notebook. For advanced practitioners of time spent in nature, we’re excited to offer your own copy of Reveries to read on your next journey.

Designed by Elida Holte.