Shared Society: Opportunity To Renew Our Social Contract?

11/01/2017 16:37 GMT | Updated 12/01/2018 10:12 GMT
den-belitsky via Getty Images

Change Is upon us. Leadership of the nation is calling us to share society. So what does that mean for you and I, our families and communities - key relationships which weave together the threads and trades of society. State and Institutions once regarded as noble and sublime face the possibility of a democratic deficit if we don't continue pitching in to have our say. Relational politics should be the order of the day.

A deep listening and understanding is required by us all not just the few if we are to consider our place in society and the world - what does a social contract mean in practise and in what kind of society do we want it to be practised?

Philosophers and theorists from Hobbes to Kant have sought to illuminate our minds over the ages with these age old questions. But for you and I, our families and communities what does this now mean as part of a nation in a state of flux. A nation which so often holds the individual rather than the collective in a higher regard.

Modern day philosophers from infant to elder in a shared society living in a democratic society should have their say. What do you want to say to national and local leaders, to each other and to yourself? How do you want to shape a social contract that binds a nation together? A new way and national journey to defining what a social contract means. A new-found freedom in ourselves and with each other.

Freedoms always come with responsibilities. Civic society is shared society in practise containing the fundamental liberties granted to us through national law. They include freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom of assembly, freedom of association and freedom of religious worship.

Such rights and freedoms form the basis of a democratic society. From the Magna Carta, drawn up in 1215 guaranteeing certain liberties and rights evolving over several centuries through conventions, legal precedents and legislation, leading us to the present day beginning of 2017 - 80 days to go until Article 50 is triggered.

Shared society means sharing a public space, a public forum and a public marketplace in which public exchange traded in thoughts, feelings and ideas, can be given a framework of common values and identity. Breathing space should be offered for the common good to bring together difference through tolerance - compromise is often required. A sense of shared humanity in a shared society is a pre-requisite to effective exchange and change

What does a social contract mean in practise and in what kind of society do we want it to be practised?

Core British values as we have known them:

How would you currently define them and what would you want to change to put in practise your idea of a social contract?

1. The rule of law.

2. The sovereignty of the Crown in Parliament.

3. The pluralist state.

4. Personal freedom.

5. Private property.

6. Institutions.

7. The family.

8. History.

9. The English-speaking world.

10. The British character.

Divided society as has been highlighted in the referendum offers us an opportunity society, a relationship based society that makes the choice to seize the day, a relationship based society which taps into the courage to have mutual respect despite difference and a relationship based society which reaches out the hand of generosity, the voice of inclusion for the most vulnerable and the ears to listen to parts of our community and country; whose voice is often silenced by the voice of the few.

Moments of history which cause us to pause for reflection seek to set up opportunities for generations to come. We have such a moment before us, a call to share society and a call to renew our social contract with a social conscience - each one of has the choice to shape and create or be destructive with this moment.

Moments in history which can reflect on the lessons of the past, analyse the present and seek to make a better world for the future. What choice will you make for your fellow citizens? Babies, children, teenagers, adults and elders. What will be your legacy in your family and community, society and global memory?

Your nation is calling you - your citizenship, your campaign, your creativity.

Creative societies which hold a common cause and social contract thrive. It matters to the stability of family and community life. A vision which holds possibilities beckons you to help shape the way in which it extends its arm to the future. Future generations which will be living in a world which you have helped shape and create.

What does a social contract mean in practise and in what kind of society do we want it to be practised?

"Goodness is about character - integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage, and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people" Dennis Prager