The notion that there exists a ‘contract’ that obligates us to abide by laws and compulsory payments that we never agreed to persists to this day. It’s a common excuse for many people to justify infringements and say that we have accepted them by virtue of simply being born into an area where these obligations exist. The only option stated to opt out in such a social contract is that you must leave.
The notion that we are somehow bound by a social contract simply by being born into an area not of our choosing is absurd. We have agreed to nothing, and our presence does not indicate agreement. We abide by unfair laws, rules and regulations because we don’t want fines or imprisonment – not because we am bound by a social contract. If we attempt to injure others in any way, steal their property, or trespass on their land, it is not the laws that really stop us (though, we don’t desire facing the consequences of not abiding by those laws). It’s primarily because it is innate within the nature of being a human that those things are wrong. We have natural rights that determine that others should not be able to do these things to us.
An extension of the mindset that claims the social contract exists, is the mindset that if something is wrong with us, others are obligated to provide assistance. Somehow, if someone is poor and others have more money, they owe that someone money because they were born in the same territorial jurisdiction. If someone is ill and cannot afford to go to the hospital, others somehow owe it to them to pay for their treatment.
In truth, there exists no social contract. To obligate people by nature of their birth to do or not do things is an immoral construct. It is greedy and self-serving at its core, and it is against all good virtues and values. We do not agree to become slaves to one another without our consent. We are not bees or ants, and we were not granted hive minds. We are sentient beings with free, individual thought, and when we exercise our free thought, only then are we the best creatures that we can be. You are not owed anything by anyone!
There is a misunderstanding among those who believe strongly in the social contract that if there is no such contract, then surely people in harsh situations will have no one to help them. Rather than a social contract, what we actually have as human beings is more of a personal understanding with social consequences. It’s not necessarily an obligation, but an understanding that if we do not provide aid to those who need it, then we may also be dooming ourselves under similar circumstances.
Rather than something owed, it is a voluntary, one-sided arrangement that compels us to voluntarily offer aid but does not provide an implied contract that implies one is owed anything. It is a personal agreement with oneself rather than a two-sided agreement between oneself and all of society.
It is common in news reports when a tragedy strikes that reporters will interview people who are angry and say something like, “I am struggling and no one is helping me!” It’s understandable that people should be distraught in bad situations and we should all be empathetic to such situations. However, a better mindset would be something like, “I am struggling and badly need help! Anyone who is watching, could you please help me?”
Victim mentality and the mentality that you are owed something is harmful. It hurts you in that it is a state of not recognizing your own sentient freedoms, and it hurts others in that there is an implied assumption that they are enslaved to your demands.
Yes, when there is tragedy, we should all understand that there is an understood personal responsibility that if help is not offered, then help might not be available to us in similar circumstances when others choose not to offer it. But that is a personal obligation agreed to on behalf of oneself. It is not an implied obligation to the person suffering.
The social contract is destructive to people. It undermines freedom. It enslaves and obligates without consent. It destroys the great sentient, self-aware thought that we have as human beings to act independently to solve problems and come up with the greatest solutions.
And I think worst of all, it assumes that humanity is evil in nature — that humanity would willfully watch the suffering of fellow human beings without providing aid. It assumes the worst of humanity and offers no hope.
The greatest statement about the nature of the righteousness of humanity as a whole is that when left to a personal understanding rather than a social contract, we freely and willfully do whatever we can to save our fellow human beings from suffering as best as we can. How much more beautiful is it to act freely than an evil human race that must be forcibly compelled to provide aid to the suffering?
The world owes you absolutely nothing, but if you plea for help, you should take faith that others will definitely come to your aid. Everyone should have a humble asking heart rather than a demeaning demanding heart. And, everyone should have a giving heart to make a commitment with oneself to help fellow human beings when they need it.
What is most misunderstood when people think of the social contract is that individuals usually assume it is the obligation of others with more wealth when, in fact, most of the people under this assumption are the ones with the wealth. Tear up the social contract and its destructiveness and go back to a personal understanding. It’s far more beautiful and far more effective.