The social contract. A great many in society might not even be aware of the notion that such a thing exists, let alone what it is, and is supposed to consists of. That is the bungling nature of government for you, they can not even fully explain and articulate the fundamental construct of the governing philosophy that we are all supposed to live by. We have what is called the social contract, you are supposed to follow it, yet there is not a single script or definition of what it consists of, therefore nobody is allowed to read an “official” archive of it, let alone sign it on the dotted line to fulfil their societal obligation of participating in its construct, you know, the way all other contracts work. If it is philosophy then one can not call it a contract. After all philosophy is just abstract thought is it not? How can a thought be considered a contract? Is anyone else confused? I thought a government contract was where the government gives a work contract to an insider, usually at an extremely elevated fiscal price where the tax payer is holding the bag for services that would have been a third of the price had the said contract been issued by the private sector.
In very simple terms, the social contract is giving up some freedoms to be governed by a certain entity be it a monarchy, warlord, parliamentary legislature, benevolent or malevolent dictator or other top down power structures that exist. Basically to agree to be a good obedient person and not question authority so as to not cause problems for the “State.” Where your individualism takes to the back seat of the state vehicle. A novel concept, but perhaps erroneous in the fact that States with the control of those under their social contract commit much more brutal and atrocious behaviour than the individual is capable of by oneself. Where the individuals behaviour is castigated by the State when acted on in accordance with ones individuality, the same behaviour when performed for the advancement of a State is in fact lauded and met with great praise and financial and social reward from the State itself.
It would be fair to say that the earliest known written laws that could be described as a social contract were the code of Ur-Nammu(circa 2100-2050BC) and after that Hammurabi’s laws(circa 1792 BC.) They were cut throat back then, literally. Perhaps it is fair to say that the 10 commandments were a simplified set of rules to implant what one calls the social contract into ones mind. A social contract has existed and persisted in all civilizations and societies in one form or another, but our current Western social contract has its root in the 17th and 18th century “Age of Enlightenment” and in reality more than anything is a philosophical and moral framework to subliminally plant in your mind that the state is more important than your individualism and the State cannot be wrong simply because it says it is the State and the State knows best. Also that the State will act in an intelligent manner for the benefit, good will and prosperity of its citizens, no matter how ignorant the States behaviour becomes. The state of the State should refrain from being stated.
A social contract has to some degree always existed even before the founding of civilization. When we were hunter gatherers the social group probably came together and agreed upon watching each others backs for predators and other known dangers and each getting their fair share of things to go around, with the alpha male probably giving a good drubbing to those others who did not want to reciprocate and fall in line. Ah, the good old days, where everybody put something in to get something out. No caveman welfare, except of course something shiny to maybe put her in the mood! Heck, maybe even when the alpha male was taking care of his cave harem, the lower totems were rubbing their sticks together and creating their own fire! A sort of precursor to the homosexual lifestyle.
After some time, the lower totems probably came to the realization that if they were to all band together and gang up on the Alpha, that they did not have to listen to the tougher if they took their individualism and joined forces to gang up on number one. The State had arrived. The weaker had derived the formula to keep the savages in check. Now there were more cavewomen to go around, though it did not stop all from rubbing their sticks together! In the end maybe the social contract is just the attempt to create a union of people in a geographical location where all have a chance to participate in a less hostile environment. But the savages always want something for nothing.
It could be said that once civilization came to exist and we had attained the level of living where existence consisted of more than simply having enough food and rubbing sticks, that humans had reached a point where cleverness and economic superiority had taken precedent over just being able to club your rival to death, as there were too many pesky witnesses around, so humans had to at least pretend to be civilized. Though the savages never went away. Perhaps this is as to why the first recorded law codes of Ur-Nammu and Hammurabi were quite brutal in their subject manner. By the time Moses had come around humans had become a bit more refined and 10 less explicit edicts were suffice to guide society. Though the savages never went away. Fast forward to today. The law books in Western democracies now consist of thousands of pages of legislature. Though the savages have not gone away, and a great many inhabit government positions and take orders form international institution savages. Those damn savages!
Our modern social contract, if such a thing exists, as nobody is able to explicitly read it, as it does not exist in a true form, as does, say a constitution or charter of rights, making the process of breaking it down and analyzing it as it is an unwritten philosophical or intellectual notion quite impossible. So one could really say that the social contract truly only exist in the form that it exists in the minds of those who know it exists but are not able to make it exist in a true form for all to be able to intake the knowledge and decipher its true meaning. Shit, I might have just discovered the fatal flaw in the existence of PEOPLEKIND!!!!! Most humans have been living their existence according to a contractual construct that does not exist. You know, a government induced fantasy!
Maybe it is time we create a true, definable and readable social contract of the 21st century, other than just do as your government says. Personally my social contract would start with, “everybody should be able to do as they please, so long as they do not harm anyone or anything else. Then it would get into the idea of individualism possibly being more important and a critical part of a truly healthy State, where humans just do not just blindly obey ignorant State diktat because that is what the person with more unearned seniority told them to do. Is that not how apartheid States, war, ethnic cleansing and other atrocities like genocide campaigns come to be? To kill a man over a feud is murder worthy of life in prison, but to carpet bomb and murder an entire geographical location for oil merits a pay cheque and praise from the purveyor of the oh so moral social contract? There goes that confusion reflex again!
Why does the education system from day one not promote the idea of the social contract and instil in the forming minds of societies greatest resource, its people, the basis for what is considered to be a healthy, life affirming social contract construct that is not truly set in stone, but has the ability to evolve with the enlightenment of said individual pupils who are immersed in logic, critical thinking, objective observations, repudiation of ignorant principles and other delineating discussions that could quite literally transform the State from subjective socializing into that of objective omnipresence. I look back at my basic education and realize that I was taught what to think instead of how to think, and have spent much of my adult life deprogramming the State inputs that were planted in my mind by an education system that is designed to indoctrinate and obfuscate reality instead of enlighten and tear down preconceived State directives put in place to keep the power structure of ignorance in a perpetual vacuous state.
It might even be fair to state that the vast majority of society would relish in the idea and construct of being able to have an actionable role in producing and participating within the ever growing confines of what could become a just and equalizing matrix to form an intelligent basis for an enlightening, definable and solid social contract base capable of towering high and elevating many to a new level of existence. Except for the savages of course. They will always exist, though perhaps the savage of the future is the average ignoramus of today.
One thing I can say for sure is that the all too indefinable, all too present, current government social contract of this day and age is filled with way too much explicit content and rubbish that does not do much other than support power structures of ignorance and more than anything holds those back who it is supposed to be advancing. In its current incarnation governments social contract is not able to be filled without stooping down to the debts of moral bankruptcy.