×

We've got news for you.

Register on Sunday Times at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

SA’s social contract has been broken. That’s why things are ...

Ideas

SA’s social contract has been broken. That’s why things are falling apart

Operation Dudula is just another indicator that people have no faith in the government to fulfil its side of the bargain

Editor: TimesLIVE

The relationship between society and the individual has always been complex. Even as our minds are subject to the laws of causation, as argued in Joseph Priestley’s Doctrine of Philosophical Necessity Illustrated, we are, still, neither the amalgam of our deeds nor objects of control from outer space. We are a mix of intersecting pull and push forces. 

In The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau teaches us that we lose individual rights but gain a level of orderliness that keeps us away from the “state of nature” where only the fittest survive. 

Yet the tumult in the world today is a direct consequence of inconclusive answers to the question: “What is the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society — or governments — over the individual in return for this orderliness?” ..

This article is reserved for Sunday Times Daily subscribers.
A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times Daily content.

Sunday Times Daily

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems?
Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.