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social contract

n. (context philosophy politics English) An implicit agreement or contract among members of a society governing such matters as submission of individuals to rule of law and acceptable conduct.

social contract

n. an implicit agreement among people that results in the organization of society; individual surrenders liberty in return for protection

Social contract

In moral and political philosophy, the social contract or political contract is a theory or model, originating during the Age of Enlightenment, that typically addresses the questions of the origin of society and the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual. Social contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the ruler or magistrate (or to the decision of a majority), in exchange for protection of their remaining rights. The question of the relation between natural and legal rights, therefore, is often an aspect of social contract theory. The Social Contract (Du contrat social ou Principes du droit politique) is also the short title of a 1762 book by Jean-Jacques Rousseau on this topic.

Although the antecedents of social contract theory are found in antiquity, in Greek and Stoic philosophy and Roman and Canon Law, the heyday of the social contract was the mid-17th to early 19th centuries, when it emerged as the leading doctrine of political legitimacy. The starting point for most social contract theories is an examination of the human condition absent from any political order that Thomas Hobbes termed the " state of nature". In this condition, individuals' actions are bound only by their personal power and conscience. From this shared starting point, social contract theorists seek to demonstrate, in different ways, why a rational individual would voluntarily consent to give up their natural freedom to obtain the benefits of political order.

Hugo Grotius (1625), Thomas Hobbes (1651), Samuel Pufendorf (1673), John Locke (1689), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762), and Immanuel Kant (1797) are among the most prominent of 17th- and 18th-century theorists of social contract and natural rights. Each solved the problem of political authority in a different way. Grotius posited that individual human beings had natural rights; Hobbes asserted that humans consent to abdicate their rights in favor of the absolute authority of government (whether monarchial or parliamentary); Pufendorf disputed Hobbes's equation of a state of nature with war.

Locke believed that natural rights were inalienable, and that the rule of God therefore superseded government authority; and Rousseau believed that democracy (self-rule) was the best way of ensuring the general welfare while maintaining individual freedom under the rule of law. The Lockean concept of the social contract was invoked in the United States Declaration of Independence. Social contract theories were eclipsed in the 19th century in favor of utilitarianism, Hegelianism, and Marxism, and were revived in the 20th century, notably in the form of a thought experiment by John Rawls.

Social Contract (Ontario)

The Social Contract was a 1993 initiative of the provincial Ontario New Democratic Party government of Bob Rae to impose austerity measures on civil service. The plan imposed a wage freeze and mandatory unpaid days of leave for civil servants, which became known as Rae Days.

Social Contract (Britain)

The Social Contract was a policy by the Labour government of Harold Wilson in 1970s Britain.

In return for the repeal of 1971 Industrial Relations Act, food subsidies and a freeze on rent increase, the Trade Union Congress would be able to persuade its members to cooperate in a programme of voluntary wage restraint.

The Social Contract aimed to avoid the difficulty of former incomes policies, allowing the employers, who in nationalised industries were the state, to treat individual groups separately in wage negotiations. There would be 12-month interval between wage settlements to prevent repeated wage demands and allow the State some level of predictability in future wage expenses, and negotiated increases in wages should be confined either to compensating for inflation since the last settlement or for anticipated future price increases before the next settlement.

It was to be the foundation on which the Chancellor Denis Healey could introduce a stronger budget in order to control the high inflation and growing government spending of the era, which Edward Heath's previous government had failed to do.

Category:Politics of the United Kingdom Category:1970s in the United Kingdom Category:Harold Wilson Category:History of the Labour Party (UK)

Social Contract (disambiguation)

Social contract is a broad class of theories that try to explain the ways in which people form states and/or maintain social order.

Social Contract may also refer to:

Social contract (Malaysia)

The social contract in Malaysia refers to the agreement made by the country's founding fathers in the Constitution. The social contract usually refers to a quid pro quo trade-off through Articles 14–18 of the Constitution, pertaining to the granting of citizenship to the non-Bumiputera of Malaysia (particularly Malaysian Chinese and Indian), and Article 153, which grants the Malays special rights and privileges. The term has also been used occasionally to refer to other portions of the Constitution.

In its typical context related to race relations, the social contract has been heavily criticised by many, including politicians from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, who contend that constant harping on the non-Malays' debt to the Malays for citizenship has alienated them from the country. Such criticisms have met with opposition from the Malay media and the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the largest political party in Barisan Nasional. Many Malays, typically from UMNO, have used the social contract to defend the principle of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy).

Usage examples of "social contract".

It was nothing more -- and nothing less -- than a five-year employment contract, a social contract, for her services as companion in the entourage of William, Prince, and Chairman of the Board of that very commercial planet Ceta which was the only habitable world circling the sun Tau Ceti.

And now here we are, on the brink of the most enormous breach of our social contract the West has ever had to suffer-and the West can't stop it.

And now here we are, on the brink of the most enormous breach of our social contract the West has ever had to sufferand the West cant stop it.

And a very liberal social contract it was, requiring no more than that she accompany William wherever he wished to go and supply her presence at such public and polite social functions as he might require.

Anyway, Kia does a great job (it is part of the unspoken social contract with these people that they always do an absolutely fantastic job) and she has sent e-mail to Randy notifying him that she has recently fielded four trans-Pacific telephone calls from America Shaftoe, who wants to know Randy's whereabouts, plans, state of mind, and purity of spirit.

Human beings have voluntarily arrived at a social contract, a code of laws which they willingly agree to abide by because life in a civilized society would be untenable otherwise.

You lay out the left side of it at the start with the apparition of this black runaway slave, he doesn't even appear, we don't see him we don't have to, the invisible man somebody called him haunting the whole play, haunting your main character with that flimsy pretext from the Social Contract of compelling men to be free to be hunted down somewhere and killed with no bands of angels waiting out there wails the dried old husk of a woman who's taught him to read in the Bible, about what it amounts to isn't it?

The social contract not only castrated man, but forced him into a straitjacket.

This royal prerogative with which I am endowed is only conferred on those who, like myself, sign the Social Contract in full.

The French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau speculated that states are formed by a social contract, a rational decision reached when people calculated their self-interest, came to the agreement that they would be better off in a state than in simpler societies, and voluntarily did away with their simpler societies.

The French philosopher Jean-Tacques Rousseau speculated that states are formed by a social contract, a rational decision reached when people calculated their self-interest, came to the agreement that they would be better off in a state than in simpler societies, and voluntarily did away with their simpler societies.

Tonight, in the spirit of Jefferson, I call for a new social contract.