The Social Contract

Adam De Salle
15 min readSep 3, 2020

The ‘Social Contract’ is the concept that one consents to be ruled, and thus gives up certain freedoms and rights, so as to live in a society. This idea, although created by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, is inextricably linked with Thomas Hobbes’ theory of ‘The Leviathan’. The state of nature was a time before society, where people lived freely, without rules or laws. For Hobbes, the state of nature was a war of all against all. Mankind’s basic nature is fear, insecurity, violence and turmoil (man, in Hobbes’ view, is inherently evil), but from this constant terror people decided to surrender some basic rights to a sovereign entity, or what he called, ‘The Leviathan’. If one was, say, fed up with the theft of his property, the state could pass laws to protect his goods or receive some sort of reparation. Essentially, the Leviathan provides one with protection from the inherent evil of untamed humanity; laws and their enforcement keep constant anxiety and war at bay.

The issue then arises; what if one was to breach the social contract? What if the Leviathan limits your rights, and does not give you any protection? What if the law is inherently biased against you, for some trait, such as the colour of your skin? This is the current scenario we find ourselves in, and with the social contract having lapsed, we are seeing that society is coming to ruins.
The racial injustices of the police force is inherently linked to the idea of slavery. Hobbes argued that one willingly signs the social contract, willingly resigns their freedoms, and willingly enters a society. But that is not the case if one is a slave, you have no will, you are not even human, but property. You are torn away from your country, your homeland, forced into oppression in an alien land, without your consent, because what consent does an inanimate object have? The issue is with the realisation that slaves are not property, but human beings like you and I, and as a slave gains autonomy, becoming a human being, they are forced into signing a social contract. There is no willingness, no other option. You cannot return to your homeland, if your forefather’s were slaves then you don’t have a home, there is no world but the oppression of the foreign land. So you adopt this soil as your own, and sign the social contract, but you soon realise that its terms are not written with you in mind, the protection it offers does not apply to you, in…

Adam De Salle

I am a young writer interested in providing the intellectual tools to those in the political trenches so that they may fight their battles well-informed.