The social contract is a concept that liberals and conservatives
interpret as very different things. Those who consider themselves liberals tend to use
the term in a positive sense,
to encompass ideals of social responsibility and social justice,
both of which are loaded terms in their own right. Conservative tend to interpret
the social contract as an extension of collectivism, therefore viewed as an
invalid training construct.
Most of the time this debate doesn’t go far beyond these two multiple choice options,
that’s unfortunate because this is a false dichotomy, there are more than two ways
Like it or not, the way we can see the social contract or the lack thereof
has a massive influence on the way society is organized. So it’s in our best
interest to reexamine our assumptions on the topic.
So, what is a social contract, short answer is that the social contract is a set of
expectations established by a group and forced on it’s members.
The term was first popularized by the French philosopher jean-jacques Rousseau,
during the Enlightenment period Rizzo’s concept of the social contract was
unapologetically collectivism by force. People claim that individuals should
merge their rights and there will, to society at large, for the greater good and that those who do not bend to
the will of the majority, should be forced to submit.
Rarely are modern proponents of the social contract as honest as this,
but in practice nothing’s really has changed. In modern times a majority,
or more accurately, the elected officials a majority, wish to establish public
programs and need to fund those programs, it is generally understood
that this will be made possible through taxation.
Of course people who buy into this line of thinking promote the idea that people
should happily pay taxes, after all it is our duty, there’s that social contract that we’re all a
part of but the unspoken reality here is, that those who aren’t enthusiastic
volunteers, will be forced to pay. If you refuse to you’ll have your property confiscated
and/or be drawn into a cage for a decade or two, no big deal right.
Now the current way that most people frame this debate is a false dichotomy,
because though, the political right does not acknowledge it, the fact of the matter is that
they have their own versions of the social contract and philosophically it’s identical at its core.
The majority in the political right, supports forced taxation, they just have a different concept
of where the stolen money should be spent. They also support collectivism by force in the
form of the legislative executive and judicial systems, so they don’t generally see it as such.
The problem here is that people are not being honest about the implications
of their politics. The social contract as it is right now is a set of rules imposed by force
upon people were given no choice to opt out.
Those rules change constantly, because new laws are being written all the time.
It is assumed that if you’re born within a specific country, the government ruling
that geographical region has the right to impose requirements restrictions on
We’re talking about force taxation, compulsory schooling, registering for
military draft, mandatory vaccinations,
the underlining issues are still the same, the method serves to refer to the Constitution as
the point of reference for the assumption that this changes the dynamic,
it really doesn’t, the constitution is often referred to as a document designed to
What most people overlook, is the fact that the constitution, was first and foremost
used to create government with the understanding that this government would
have power over the citizens.
But did the people who wrote the Constitution
have the right to give the government that power? In order for the contract to be
valid, those who it claims to bind, must agree to it in full awareness of the terms.
In other words, there must be informed consent, any contract that fails to meet these
conditions is invalid and therefore has no real or legitimate powers, even if that contract is
well written, and noble in it’s intentions.
group of men two hundred years ago, sitting down and writing doc,
can not hand power to the government today, cease your property by force or put you in
jail for smoking a joint,
regulate how you build your house, obviously these kinds of laws were not
the original intention of the founders,
the federal government itself owes it’s existence to the Constitution.
In fact this was the explicit reason why the Constitution was created
your replace the Articles of Confederation, which was much more decentralized in
So even though the federal government is clearly abusing its power, it’s claims of
legitimacy of rooted in the Constitution.
So it is extremely important to question whether that claim is valid.
Some use vague notions of democracy to try to get around this issue, but this really
If eleven people are in a room and 10 people vote to take the eleventh persons wallet and
distribute it’s contents is this valid ? If not then why would be valid on a larger
Even if 100 percent of the population view the electoral process as legitimate
participating, which is clearly not the case, still wouldn’t change the
underlying morality theft is theft, regardless of how popular it is.
Now on the other side to this, all societies gravitate towards rules.
Humans tend to want structure, they want violent crime to be dealt with consistently
and justly, they want certain activities like child slavery
and child pornography to be prohibited.
Most people don’t want their neighbor to be dumping poisons into the ground seeping
This tendency to want to establish societal norms will manifest
whether you like it or not and regardless of whether you see deep
philosophical problems with it or not.
Be honest there are philosophical Problems here but in practical terms we have
to deal with people as they are,
and not as we wish they would be, there for the question is really how this tendency
will manifest in how we deal with it.
In the current paradigm, both the political left and the political
right endorse collectivism by force without informed consent.
So what would be the alternative how can we address this tendency towards societal
rules with out degrading back into what we have now?
Say a group of people establish a club, and with it
a set rules and they open up membership to the public if the rules are clear and
then this would be a valid arrangement, as long as the members can choose to walk away at any
If we were to talk about this on a societal level membership would be
Of course this implies a citizenship and the duties and/or protections that may
cannot be imposed upon a child and then assumed to be valid to that person’s adulthood.
Citizenship must be conscious choice made in full awareness of the terms.
Parents can not make that decision for their children, at least not for their whole lives,
nor would it be a legitimate from this perspective, to have a gavel of so-called
lawmakers writing new laws willy nilly, writing new laws changes the terms of the
Changing the terms of the contract inherently invalidate that contract,
unless people voluntarily sign on to the new terms. Now this is a
radically different way of looking at human societies and it is not something
that could just be superimposed over current system.
In fact fully coming to terms with it’s implications will inherently break the
Because with it comes the realization, that the government is operating on a invalid
contact, and their so called authority is little more than a self-serving fantasy.
Once you see that, why would you obey them. In the early stages you may give in to fear
their enforces, but when the enforcers begin to wake up, it’s over.
This whole topic may seem to you to be like a
pointless philosophical exercise, but consider for a moment where we’re headed
All empires fall and the United States is on its deathbed
the entire planet is going to be destabilizing when this comes down,
many nations will crash’
How are we going to rebuild,
are we going to blindly recreate the current system from the same flawed paradigm
or worse, do it on a global scale, or will we learn from our mistakes.
if you care about the world we are passing on to our children, its worth thinking deeply