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Social contract

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Question # 1: What is the history of the Social Contract?
Question # 2: What Social Contract changes do we need?

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Social contract

  1. 1. Social contract
  2. 2. Question # 1: What is the history of the Social Contract? Question # 2: What Social Contract changes do we need?
  3. 3. Question # 1 What is the history of the Social Contract?
  4. 4. The Social Contract begins with the most oft-quoted line from Jean-Jacques Rousseau: “Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.” The problem that The Social Contract seeks to address is this: How can we be free and live together? We can do so, Rousseau maintains, by submitting our individual, particular wills to the collective or general will, created through agreement with other free and equal persons. https://www.iep.utm.edu/soc-cont/
  5. 5. Theories of the social contract differed according to their purpose: 1. Some were designed to justify the power of the Sovereign. 2. Others were intended to safeguard the individual from oppression by an all-too-powerful Sovereign. https://www.britannica.com/topic/social-contract
  6. 6. According to Thomas Hobbes, the justification for political obligation is this: Given that men are naturally self-interested, yet they are rational, they will choose to submit to the authority of a Sovereign in order to be able to live in a civil society, which is conducive to their own interests. https://www.iep.utm.edu/soc-cont/
  7. 7. According to John Rawls, each person in a society is to have as much basic liberty as possible - as long as everyone is granted the same liberties. Also, economic inequalities are only justified, John Rawls argues, when the least advantaged member of society is better off than she would be under alternative arrangements. https://www.iep.utm.edu/soc-cont/
  8. 8. Denis Diderot was the editor of the Encyclopedia, the first systematic, collective enterprise designed to organise all our knowledge of the sciences, arts and technology in a format accessible to the “educated everyman”. http://theconversation.com/denis-diderot-and-science-enlightenment-to-modernity-15040
  9. 9. According to the general social contract model, political authority is grounded in an agreement among individuals, each of whom aims in this agreement to advance his rational self-interest by establishing a common political authority over all. Thus, according to the general social contract model, political authority is grounded not in conquest, natural or divinely instituted hierarchy, or in obscure myths and traditions, but rather in the rational consent of the governed. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/enlightenment/
  10. 10. 5 reasons that laws are required in society 1. The harm principle: To prevent the serious physical assault against others that would be victimized. 2. The offence principle: To prevent behaviour that would offend those who might otherwise be victimized. 3. Legal paternalism: To prevent harm against everyone in general with regulations. 4. Legal moralism: To prevent immoral activities such as prostitution and gambling. 5. Benefit to others: To prevent actions that are detrimental to a segment of the population. https://opentextbc.ca/ethicsinlawenforcement/chapter/2-9-social-contract-theory/
  11. 11. Thomas Hobbes championed absolutism for the sovereign but he believed in the right of the individual and the equality of all men. https://www.livescience.com/55327-the-enlightenment.html
  12. 12. John Locke promoted the opposite type of government, which was a representative government. Baron de Montesquieu developed the work of Locke and espoused the concept of the separation of power by creating divisions in government. https://www.livescience.com/55327-the-enlightenment.html
  13. 13. Jean-Jacques Rousseau argues that direct democracy, which openly signifies the will of the population, is the only form of government in which human freedom can be realized. https://www.livescience.com/55327-the-enlightenment.html https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/enlightenment/
  14. 14. The Rights of Man and The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine drew extensively on Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s notions of the social contract. Paine reserved particular criticism for the hereditary privileges of ruling elites, whose power over the people, he believed, was only supported through simple historical tradition and the passive acceptance of the social order among the common people. https://www.bl.uk/restoration-18th-century-literature/articles/the-enlightenment
  15. 15. The social contract between the Singaporean government and Singaporeans is based on the delivery of social public goods (“justice and equality”) and economic public goods (“prosperity and progress for our nation”). In the area of drinking water, every Singaporean household has access to potable water that can be drunk directly from the faucet. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/sponsored/social-contracts-and-public-goods-provision
  16. 16. Question # 2 What Social Contract changes do we need?
  17. 17. As the world seeks to address the rise of populism and nationalism, it is becoming clear that economic insecurity lies at the heart of much of the discontent. In the wake of the global financial crisis, voters in wealthy countries began to lose faith in the state’s ability to protect them. The profound changes sweeping labour markets, caused by the rise of technology and continued globalization, have only deepened this anxiety. Whether through universal basic income, better targeting of existing safety nets, more investment in education and health, or a combination of all these policies, each society will need to find an answer that works for its unique characteristics. That same principle applies to the vexed issue of how to pay for social protection. Ultimately, it comes down to political choice. In this age of insecurity, we should act now to strengthen the bonds that unite us. https://blogs.imf.org/2018/11/30/a-new-social-contract/
  18. 18. Social benefits should no longer be linked to a specific job. Social benefits should be available to individuals regardless of their employment status. https://www.g20-insights.org/policy_briefs/a-new-social-contract-for-the-digital-age/
  19. 19. Digitization is enabling unpredictable transformations in work. One result of this is that the relationship between employers and employees has fundamentally changed, and so too have the responsibilities borne by employers. While a future social contract may not be able to credibly promise job security, it should be able to guarantee social and economic security. That is, the financial security (paychecks), and social security (protections) that were previously provided by full-time jobs, must now be provided through alternative means. https://www.g20-insights.org/policy_briefs/a-new-social-contract-for-the-digital-age/
  20. 20. Internet access and use are becoming essential for exercising one’s full citizenship, as public goods and services are gradually being provided online; and also for income generation, as opportunities too are gradually requiring some level of digital fluency. The public and private sectors must therefore ensure the universalization of access to the internet and ensure quality, security and affordability. The provision of access to the Internet should be seen as a public good, which can be provided in co-operation with the private sector. https://www.g20-insights.org/policy_briefs/a-new-social-contract-for-the-digital-age/

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