Identity in a Digital World – World Economic Forum - Part 1-Social Contract

A new chapter in the SOCIAL Contract September 2018


According to Amanda Long, Director-General, Consumers International


Our identity is precious; any digital identity program must be based on enabling meaningful trust,

control and accountability. Yet even agreeing these principles are proving hard - implementing them

will be even more so because of a confluence of political, economic, technological, cultural, legal and

social factors.


Before I move on I wanted to know what is actually meant by a ‘social’ contract. We read so many articles and reports which include words that we might not know what they are about.


What was the social contract in simple terms?

A social contract is an unofficial agreement shared by everyone in a society in which they give up some freedom for security.

The Magna Carta may have been the first time the idea of a social contract was institutionalized as the basis for national formation, for the governance of a nation. This theory really addresses how human live together, how rulers and ruled unite for the betterment of a nation, basically how nations are governed.


The philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau popularized the idea of the social contract in the 1700s, but his thoughts/writings are still being applied today. At this point I would like to mention that in the Bible we are not supposed to kill each other and due to the fallen angels teaching earthly men how to make weapons why would we have needed to make social contracts in the first place?!!


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the development of modern political, economic, and educational thought.[3] The Age of Enlightenment was a period in Europe in the 18th century when many writers and thinkers began to question established beliefs, e.g. in the authority of kings or of the Church, in favour of reason and scientific proof. The idea developed that everyone was of equal value and had equal rights.

The expression ‘Let them eat cake’ appears in book six of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Confessions, whose first six books were written in 1765 and published in 1782. In the book, Rousseau recounts an episode in which he was seeking bread to accompany some wine he had stolen. Feeling too elegantly dressed to go into an ordinary bakery, he recalled the words of a "great princess":[4]

At length I remembered the last resort of a great princess who, when told that the peasants had no bread, replied: "Then let them eat brioches."

— Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions

His personal life was very complicated….

The Enlightenment brought secular thought to Europe and reshaped the ways people understood issues such as liberty, equality, and individual rights. The Magna Carta protected a certain group of people. And the Rousseau theory of the social contract is to protect everyone. But they also have a lot of similarities such as the fact that they both put restrains on the government. It’s interesting to see the explanation of the opposite to a social contract being anarchy and lawlessness and mobocracy yet that is exactly where we are today with a state of disorder and a disregard of the law by the relative few!! The laws have never been applied equally due to the nature of the secret societies for starters which run the court system!

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