Social contract

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

What contract? I signed naught!

Time and again we are told by “our” governments that we are all in a social contract (with them). However, a contract has to be something that is signed off by both parties and, the way I see it, none of us ever have seen the contract let alone signed it.

social_contractThe talk about social contract is just something to keep the masses quiet and obedient and allow the powers-that-be and which shouldn't be to do as they wish for they are, after all, enacting the social contract to which we are said to be a party.

Well, as said, I doubt that anyone understands this social contract talk let alone has any idea what it is supposed to be all about. It is a fake as no one has ever seen it let alone agreed to it.

The social contract thing is a philosophy, if we want to call it thus, that was first given life by Rousseau at around the time of the French Revolution. I bet the French also had no idea that they were supposed to be entering such a contract.

Hereunder the representation of the idea of Rousseau found on Wikipedia and other sources:

Of The Social Contract, Or Principles of Political Right (Du contrat social ou Principes du droit politique) (1762) by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, is the book in which Rousseau theorized about the best way in which to set up a political community in the face of the problems of commercial society which he had already identified in his Discourse on Inequality (1754).

The Social Contract helped inspire political reforms or revolutions in Europe, especially in France. The Social Contract argued against the idea that monarchs were divinely empowered to legislate; as Rousseau asserts, only the people, who are sovereign, have that all-powerful right.

The stated aim of the Social Contract is to determine whether there can be a legitimate political authority. In order to escape from either a conflictual state of nature or illegitimate forms of tyranny, man must enter into a Social Contract with others. In this social contract, everyone will be free because they all forfeit the same amount of rights and impose the same duties on all. Rousseau argues that it is illogical for a man to surrender his freedom for slavery; thus the participants must have a right to choose the laws under which they live. Although the contract imposes new laws, including those safeguarding and regulating property, a person can exit it at any time (except in a time of need, for this is desertion), and is again as free as when he was born.

Rousseau posits that the political aspects of a society should be divided into two parts. First, there must be a sovereign consisting of the whole population (women included) which represents the general will and is the legislative power within the state. The second division is that of the government, being distinct from the sovereign. This division is necessary because the sovereign cannot deal with particular matters like applications of the law. Doing so would undermine its generality, and therefore damage its legitimacy. Thus government must remain a separate institution from the sovereign body. When the government exceeds the boundaries set in place by the people, it is the mission of the people to abolish such government, and begin anew.

Rousseau claims that the size of the territory to be governed often decides the nature of the government. Since a government is only as strong as the people, and this strength is absolute, the larger the territory the more strength the government must be able to exert over the populace. In his view, a monarchical government is able to wield the most power over the people since it has to devote less power to itself, while a democracy the least. In general, the larger the bureaucracy, the more power required for government discipline. Normally, this relationship requires the state to be an aristocracy or monarchy. It is important to note here that when Rousseau talks of aristocracy and monarchy he does not necessarily mean they are not a "democracy" as the term is used in the present day - the aristocracy or monarch could be elected. When Rousseau uses the word democracy he refers to a direct democracy rather than a representative democracy. In light of the relation between population size and governmental structure, Rousseau argues that, like his native Geneva, small city-states are the form of nation in which freedom can best flourish. For states of this size, an elected aristocracy is preferable, and in very large states a benevolent monarch; but even monarchical rule, to be legitimate, must be subordinate to the sovereign rule of law.

The way most governments today, however, seem to see the social contract idea is that they make the rules and we have to sign up, collectively, to abide by them, even if they are tyrannical as we, so they claim, are parties to this social contract.

I doubt that that ever was the way that Rousseau saw this idea. In fact the opposite, I should think.

This so-called social contract also includes policing by consent. This latter, however, is also such a strange bird in that, as far as I see it, one has to first of all consent to something and secondly if something then does not work one should be able to withdraw that consent. You can't do that, though.

When it comes to “policing by consent”, we are told, we have given the government and with it the police, collectively our consent to be controlled by them and thus we cannot withdraw our consent as individuals. Somewhere along the line this does not compute and the entire story is a farce on both counts, social contract and policing by consent as both would require the us, each and every one of us, to make the educated choice to give such a consent and I doubt that anyone has done such a thing.

So, despite what we are told, we are not free but slaves to the system and the powers-that-be. Free people can give their consent and withdraw it as and when. Only slaves cannot.

© 2014