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Article :: Published Articles

The Social Contract


The minimal terms of association that any SANE person will voluntarily accept with any individual or group. Key consideration for "Rule of Law".

1. The "Social Contract"

1.1 Introduction:

Exactly what is the "Social Contract" balancing our personal powers with the powers that others may legitimately exercise over us? If these others choose to form a group called the state (government), is this just and reasonable cause for them to exercise and claim powers that do not lawfully exist for the general population? What if these others delude themselves to be Gods, superior to the proven laws of nature by imposing different relationships between action and consequence, attempting to define and defy reality to their advantage, at our expense, a losers game? Are the choices made by our ancestors codified in law and judicial opinion binding on us, or, are we free to challenge their opinions? Have states devolved to bullies and tyrants? Are there provable, objective, reality based standards by which we can judge the behavior of states? How much of law is rationally valid and how can we determine whether any particular law is valid or not?

The fact that we, as children, mature and reject influence of our parents argues that we are free to form our own opinions. It also argues that the democratic opinions encoded by our ancestors in law are just that, opinions, to be considered or rejected based on merit or circumstance. The majority opinion of our ancestors used to be that the world is flat. At the time those who claimed to be law, the church, expressed serious forceful disagreement to those who dissented against this dogma. "Blessors of truth" wielding force have always has issues with those who can prove them incorrect. This is interpreted as a challenge to arbitrary (by unsubstantiated opinion) power. Not all law is without merit, just the portion which is opinion, as opposed to objective knowledge required to maintain civilization.

To answer the above questions, coerced social / economic reality is contrasted with proven reality. Coerced reality is imposed on us by those who terrify us with the threat of forceful retaliation should we choose the "or else" option of their general "obey or else" threat. Provable reality is enforced by the laws of nature, including human nature. The most basic law of human nature is: need to survive which demands a self-defensive reaction in opposition to those who negatively affect our survival. Drive to survive is a basic, non-negotiable characteristic of life, in general.

The concept of "Social Contract" defines what is ours versus what belongs to organized force. Or, to paraphrase religious mythology, it is the answer to the question of what to "render unto Caesar, what is Caesar´s", Jesus´ response to the question of "is taxation legitimate?" Taxation is a narrow example of the general question of what is legitimate for organized force to impose on or take from inherently free people? What is apparent is that if we allow organized force to unilaterally define and interpret the "Social Contract", it is no contract at all since it lacks "consent of the governed". Any unilaterally decreed, forcefully imposed association, without quid pro quo [1], lacks consent since no sane person would do or give up something without reciprocation.

Believing organized force´s opinions regarding the "Social Contract" is a very large, perhaps fatal mistake, negatively affecting survival of our civilization and species. The majority of intelligent people on the planet are dismayed with the current state of civilization for the basic reason that their survival is threatened. The trends to social / economic collapse and increasing conflict are undeniable. People have zero trust in the future of civilization and their place in it which is supposedly controlled by our "guardians of civilization", the law.

We live in an action precedes consequence reality. The laws of nature allow us to choose to do anything consistent with the laws of physics. The only choice of others, organized force included is, what do they choose to do in response? The "give me freedom" argument is falsely framed. We are already free and there is not a force in the universe which can change this. The true freedom argument is "stop sanctioning me when I exercise my inherent freedoms". The above questions of law and "Social Contract" become: "what choices of free individuals should be sanctioned by power and why?" Our far wiser ancestors answered: "Sanction those who cause harm".

The state of affairs for civilization now is the sum total of all past choices and actions which got us to the present. The future state of civilization will be the sum total of now modified by the consequences of present choices and actions. We have no fate except what we choose or tolerate others to choose for us. It is obvious that past mistakes and frauds by organized force need to be understood so they can be learned from and corrected (adapted to equals survival).

We are terrified to use our personal power to choose which equals freedom. Our collective power is now wielded by those who state: "obey or else". We feel helpless to influence the social / economic direction of our societies, despite false assurances of our rulers that "we, the people" are in democratic control. By their actions, our rulers are opposed to our survival to the extent of threatening the survival of civilization (the rules by which we cooperate for MUTUAL self interest) which has been redefined to "the rules which enforce our serfdom".

1.2 Conventional Thinking (from Wikipedia[2])

Social contract describes a broad class of theories that try to explain the ways in which people form nations and maintain social order. The notion of the social contract implies that the people give up some rights to a government or other authority in order to receive or maintain social order.

Social contract theory formed a central pillar in the historically important notion that legitimate state authority must be derived from the consent of the governed. The starting point for most of these theories is a heuristic examination of the human condition absent from any structured social order, usually termed the "state of nature". In this condition, an individual´s actions are bound only by his or her personal power, constrained by conscience. From this common starting point, the various proponents of social contract theory attempt to explain, in different ways, why it is in an individual´s rational self-interest to voluntarily give up the freedom one has in the state of nature in order to obtain the benefits of political order."[3]

An incredible amount of effort has been and continues to be expended on misrepresentations and subversions of current events, history, education, and the natures of mankind and reality. These efforts have the effect of rationalizing the "necessary" existence of unfettered organized power (the state) and the "necessity" of citizens to tolerate whatever those who control the state choose to do. It is alleged we must all defer to power for reasons of rational self-interest and general social welfare. These falsely framed arguments are pretexts regarding avoiding anarchy which is equated with the "state of nature". In reality, the arguments are in support of why it is legitimate for states to act against the interests of "we, the people", without "consent of the governed". The corollary of these arguments is those who argue for freedom are enemies of "common interest".

The rational case for states (monopoly on the usage of force, over a geographical region) may have had merit if the original purpose, limited powers, scope and functions of states established by our freedom fighting ancestors remained true. States still claim they are "public servants", our employees. They claim they are constrained to common interest (all persons are treated equally by law in terms of rights and responsibilities, including members of the state itself). Current states hypocritically behave otherwise. By their behavior, states believe they are "master" and "we, the people", serfs. Clearly, "consent of the governed" can never be given for slavery. What is actually given by "we, the people" is "subservience", due to terror of the consequences of opposing tyranny.

The arguments for states become invalid when they rationalize themselves to have the power of God, determining who lives and who dies. Current states prey on the people by acting contrary to the proven laws of nature. They interfere with reality (action inevitably leading to consequence) by imposing different action / consequence relationships. States deem themselves unaccountable (irresponsible) and forcefully demand others pay for the negative consequences of their actions. By acting contrary to the laws of nature and historically proven social / economic knowledge, states negate their arguments for existence and prove their unfitness to survive. States claim that reality and thereby any factual justification for their existence is irrelevant. It comes down to force, using weapons that "we, the people", have provided to them. States, by their actions, believe that "might is right", which all of history refutes.

According to Friedrich Nietzsche "The state is the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies, too; and this lie creeps from its mouth: 'I, the state, am the people.'... Everything about it is false; it bites with stolen teeth."[4]

The rationalizations of states to absolutely control us and having the power to do so are lies. If states actually had the power to control us, they would not waste so many resources attempting to convince us of this "fact". Instead, states would just control us. This means they seek our consent, by stealthy lies.

States are far from being as pervasive as the laws of nature and yet, for the most part, we, the people, act in a peaceful, civilized manner, even in the absence of state coercion. We cannot even find police when we do need them. Should the majority choose to defy authority there is no possible social force able to counter this. The majority, by numbers are in control in any forceful contest with authority. Clearly, states do not and cannot control us should we collectively refuse subservience.

The question is begged, why does the majority act peacefully? Are there some other factors or forces at play, making it in our rational self-interest to be peaceful and not prey on each other? These forces / factors must exist, since civilization evolved from a state of anarchy without states to impose order. States arrogantly claim that they are civilization and, without them, anarchy will rein supreme. Because states claim to be synonymous with civilization, they implicitly claim to provide our survival. As a consequence states believe they are entitled to enslave us (their property) and do whatever they choose. What if civilization does not require organized coercion? What happens if it is proven that civilized behavior is a choice encouraged by natural forces? What happens to states which falsely claim to be providing civilization when general consensus is achieved that much of the bloat of states is totally unnecessary to the point of being harmful to civilization?

1.3 Social Contract, in the Absence of Coercion:

It could be done, but would be tedious to enumerate the major diverse environments and factors contributing to what the real "Social Contract" is, defining civilized coexistence. I will just state the obvious and leave it to the reader to consider their personal reality (environment, forces at play and opinions of other individuals) to verify this. Start with basic assumptions:

  • All persons want to survive.
  • Rational self-interest of intelligent persons.
  • Impossible to survive alone without being a member of some group. We are, by nature, a socially cooperating species, using division of labor.
  • Group survival not possible without division of labor and cooperation.

Whatever groups you belong to, be it mafia, church, public "servants", an elite CIA assassination squad, conspiring bankers, gang, soldiers, a family or an employee of an enterprise... some form of mutual compromise with your fellow group members is required. Compromise is necessary in order to be allowed to be a group member (meet group terms of free association) and to meet your self-interest requirements (you actually want to associate with the group). In the absence of this MUTUAL compromise, you will not be part of the group and will perhaps be an enemy or prey of the group.

The real "Social Contract" is the MUTUAL compromise that allows you to participate in division of labor, as part of a group, to meet your survival goals:

"I will forgo the initiation of force or fraud (harm) against you, should you do the same. Failure to comply means that I will defend myself and both of our lives (time and energy) will be consumed in conflict until you cease aggression and make reparations."

The moral / rational basis of the above "Social Contract" is right to life, will to survive and personal power to defend from aggressions or at least to refuse association. The "Social Contract" is between you and those you freely choose to associate with. Either party can enforce this contract by exercising their freedom to not associate at any time, for any reason. This ensures that all associations are for MUTUAL self-interest, voluntary, as perceived by the parties.

Contrast the above with the currently enforced "Social Contract" of "obey or else", a unilateral demand on the part of tyrants controlling the apparatus of state. The real "Social Contract" considers survival requirements of the people; the fraudulent "Social Contract" is in opposition to survival of the people, serving the short term wants of tyrants who wield OUR collective power.

The heart and moral / factual basis of this fraudulent, enforced by OUR guns, "Social Contract" is: no right to life, our right to survive by peaceful, mutually agreed associations is replaced with threats of non-survival, should we disobey. Our personal power to defend ourselves from the predations of those who consider us their property is not acknowledged, making us slaves. Tyrants claim the "Social Contract" is between us and them and we do not have the choice to opt out. This association is not contractual for the simple reason that it is not mutually agreed. It violates our rights to freely associate which includes right to define mutual terms of association and right to not associate. This forces us to associate with criminals and act contrary to our own survival interests. It is a violation of our basic "right to life". If our "rulers" abuse our power to engage in unlawful activities such as initiating unprovoked wars or torture, our tolerance makes us accessories to their crimes.

Now it can be appreciated and understood why our civilization is plunging over the abyss to anarchy. Because states have forsaken fact, reason, natural law, consent of the governed and the lessons of history, we are being herded to social / economic collapse. The trend is to anarchy, war of all against all over diminishing resources, risking a planetary nuclear firestorm and species extinction. This is for the simple reason our "division of labor" civilization has been forcefully redefined to a "division of spoils" civilization by our tyrants. Any honest historian will tell you that when cooperation by peaceful division of labor for mutual self-interest is no longer possible, civilization collapses to anarchy and war of all against all. When political and media spin is deconstructed, this is what we are living, here and now.

According to Thomas Hobbes[5], describing a similar situation during the English Civil War (1641-1651), in a "war of all against all", due to conditions of anarchy (no objectively enforced social contract):

  • "the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short"

To those who incorrectly believe we have the "rule of law" and are protected from anarchy, secure in our rights and that collapse cannot possibly happen to western civilization, you are in the process of being proven incorrect. The "rule of law" has been replaced by "rule of judicial discretion". This is arbitrary "rule of man" which means that anarchists and those who coerce them now occupy the bench. This is the exact same problem (of slavery and impossibility of peaceful coexistence) that our far wiser freedom fighting ancestors successfully dealt with.. The functional civilization they bequeathed us has been rationalized away. If we want it back, we must seize it back. Whining to those whose survival depends on their continued crimes is futile. The key is to make sure that "crime does not pay".

Survival:

Darwin Reconsidered

Freedom:

Rule of Law

Economics:

Mathematics of Rule

Thinking 101:

Intelligent Choice

Bill Ross is an electronic design engineer in Oakland, Ontario, Canada. The above article is either an excerpt from, supporting evidence for or logical implication of HumanNature, an evolving objective study of humanity and civilization and dissection of the lies of those who incorrectly believe they are in control from the factual, provable perspective. Feedback is welcome. Email Author

Copyright 2006 - 2014, ValueTech Ltd.


[1] Quid pro quo (Latin): "something for something"; that which a party receives (or is promised) in return for something he does or gives or promises.

[2] An internet encyclopedia, http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_contract, Content subject to change.

[3] The author disagrees with this synopsis in three crucial respects: a) In the "state of nature", having a conscience limiting your choices may be fatal to survival. This was one of Machiavelli´s main points in "The Prince", the strategically denied bible of politics. A more accurate statement is that ones actions are bound by personal power and ability to defend from the inevitable consequence of self-defensive retaliation by your prey. And, b) Giving up ALL freedoms cannot be outweighed by any benefit. Rather, it may be advantageous to give up SOME freedoms to achieve the benefits of civilization. The question becomes which freedoms to trade away, and for what? And, c) The author has serious factual issues with equating "political order" to "civilization".

[4] Friedrich Nietzsche from "Thus Spake Zarathustra", published by Project Gutenberg (EBOOK #1998) is freely available on the Internet. Nietzsche was a very influential 19th century philosopher whom many allege killed God in modern philosophical thought.

[5] Thomas Hobbes (1651), from "Leviathan", published by Project Gutenberg (EBOOK #3207) is freely available on the Internet. Hobbes was one of the earliest and most influential "Social Contract" theorists.

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