Social Contract

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Full Title or Meme

It is thought that there can be no Ethics without social norms.


  • The idea of a Social Contract originated with Thomas Hobbes book "The Leviathan" (originally published in 1651) which is concerned with the structure of society and legitimate government.
  • Hobbes feared that without a commonwealth acting as "one person" humanity would descend into a "war of all against all." He argued for a covenant among people. Each would give up certain freedoms, and restrain certain impulses, in exchange for peace, order and civic longevity. We see now that his fears have be fully realized on the internet where no one wants to forgot any freedoms and expects someone else to bear all the costs.
  • We all seem to want a civil society where we can flourish, but it must first of all be a society with justice for all who would be members of the society, excluding no one for arbitrary reasons. For then civil disobedience would be appropriate.


  • Social discourse has become increasing crude even at the highest level of social structure, the national government[1].
  • Some parts of the internet revel and brag about the freedom from inhibitions that are possible with anonymity on the internet.
  • Good behavior seems to be improbable for most of humanity without accountability.
  • Privacy regulation, like the GDPR seems to be structured so as to prohibit accountability.
  • Social norms are not common across all societies (countries as well as professions) that are present on the internet.


  • Bring back personal accountability for at least for some of the transactions on the internet.
  • Create social norms for the Internet or at least for some walled garden within the internet.
  • In the Trust Membership Validation we seek to show that it is possible to imagine a federation of members that all adhere to a Common Framework profile, giving up some freedom for peace and order.


  1. Z. Z. Packer, Polite Society. (2018-12-02) New York Time Magazine p. 11ff