posted on Aug, 11 2014 @ 06:00 PM
This is my first real post here on ATS. Admittedly I often lurk the more fringe forums, but when it comes to having an opinion I most often write
about political issues. You can also find this article on my blog. So here it goes.
The Social Contract as a Record of Human Interaction
This article is designed to give an extremely brief history of what we currently know as legally binding social contracts. It is intended to make an
argument in favor of the utilization of contracts as a form of organizing and recording self-governing human interaction.
Part I – Contractus litteris
Since ancient times humans have used "agreements" as one of the highest forms of social interaction. Since the dawn of writing cultures all over the
world have been in agreement about one thing; the need to record social interaction. Some of the most notable contract based civilizations include
ancient Greece and Rome, also the originators of democracy as an alternative to despotism. Both civilizations, though not everlasting, left an
impression on future generations that still resonates today. So why 2,000 years later are we still not in a completely democratic system with an
absolutely free market economy? Well, we've had a lot of setbacks, too numerous to mention in a single article. The ancient democracies had their
fair share of setbacks, the most damaging of which must have been a lack of communication. How many wars, conflicts, invasions and assassinations were
caused by ancient lines of miscommunication? We have a difficult time of keeping our stories straight in the modern era, imagine how mixed up things
would have been when you have to wait two weeks for a return message from the next town over. Contracts in ancient times allowed agreements to be
made, kept, and enforced, but a lack of cohesion and poor communication made keeping people honest a difficult and time consuming task.
Part II – The Modern All-Encompassing Social Contract
Yes, modern democracies throughout the world have at least one. Most of the sub-units have them also (states, providences, etc). A nation's
constitution is a giant social contract designed to determine the most basic laws for each of its citizens. These national constitutions have been
instrumental in changing the way we think about freedom, liberty, property rights, and laws, and the documents as a whole have been beneficial to
humanity. That being said, they are archaic at best. Many democratic constitutions are full of good ideas, but there is a problem. No one has signed
them, or at least only a few representatives of that nation's communities have. This was the only way to do it for several thousands of years. Not
everyone can travel two months to the capital to vote, so they elected local officials to represent them. This is not far from feudalism by the way,
it just seems like the lords and dukes of the dark ages had somewhat of a tighter grip on their constituents.
Part III – The Greatest Gift of the Modern Era
So, a lack of communication brings about the need for representatives. Said representatives, being only human, make mistakes. For one reason or
another they fail to correctly represent their constituents and the people suffer for lack of appropriate representation. In the modern era an
individual has the ability to represent his or her self, and the ability to efficiently communicate with almost anyone on the planet, or even everyone
on the planet. The need for elected representation seems silly when you think about the fact that nearly everyone in the industrialized world has
access to mass communication. Why do we persist in letting a select group of people make all the decisions for us? We have the capability, resources,
and intellect to efficiently and transparently vote democratically on every single issue presented to every single community on the planet, regardless
of size or location.
Part IV – Conclusion
We now have something no other generation in the history of humankind has had, a way to educate, debate, deliberate and vote on any number of issues
without the need for any leadership, governance, oversight, or represenatives. So what do we put in the first contract we write? Should we declare our
individual sovereignty? Should we abolish all nations and decide to start from scratch as a single unified species? Maybe the first thing we should
vote on is what to do first.